Can job crafting reduce job boredom and increase work engagement? A three-year cross-lagged panel study
Who conducted the study?
Lotta K. Harju, Jari J. Hakanen, and Wilmar B. Schaufeli
Lotta K. Harju currently works as a researcher at Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (Helsinki, Finland). Lotta K. Harju is a Ph.D. candidate at Aalto University School of Science and Technology.
Dr. Hakanen is a research professor at Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (Helsinki, Finland).
Dr. Schaufeli is a professor of work and organizational psychology at Utrecht University, (Netherland), and a research professor at Leuven University, (Belgium).
What did they find?
The authors observed that seeking challenge positively affect work engagement, and negatively affect job boredom by short-term effects; work engagement increases structural resources (e.g. “I try to learn new things at work”) and social resources (e.g. “I ask others for feedback on my work performance”), and decreases job boredom. Moreover, seeking challenges could stimulate more crafting activities (e.g. structural resources and social resources). The research stated the idea that job crafting activity is a prevalent strategy for job boredom. The limitation of this study is that the conclusion may not be applied in the long-term scenario.
How did they find these results?
The study is based on Conservation of Resources (COR) theory—people feel stress when their resources are depleted. The authors aimed to test how do Job Crafting behaviors affect Job Boredom and Work Engagement.
- Data: two-wave, three-year panel (year 2011-2014)
- Population: 1630 highly educated Finnish employees from 87 various organizations
- Measurement of Job Boredom: Dutch Boredom Scale (using six items to capture affective, cognitive, and behavioral manifestation of job boredom; from 0 (never)-6 (very often) seven scales)
Why are these findings important?
The article has a great contribution in both theoretical and practical aspect. The findings of this paper highly support COR theory and were strongly been proved by the longitudinal study. For the further research, scholars could observe the long- term effects of this study. Avoiding the previous limitations, such as self-report answer bias, time period, population, etc., and the future researchers could get a more accurate result. Empirically, organizations could also benefit from these findings.
Where can these results be applied?
The findings could be used as a training strategy by some managers since job crafting behaviors make the employees be more sustainable and comfortable at work. For instance, if an organization provides some challengeable projects, and let the employees participate the projects based on their preferences. The strategy is not only employee-oriented; the leaders could influence their followers by changeling themselves. A related video on YouTube by Amy Wrzesniewski also addressed the applied area about job crafting:
Harju, K. L., Hakanen. J. J., Schaufeli. B.W. (2016). Can job crafting reduce job boredom and increase work engagement? A three-year cross-lagged panel study. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 95, 11-20.