What Hackman & Oldham’s Job Characteristics Model Means for Workers

The success of every firm is dependent on a number of factors, two of which are employee motivation and job satisfaction. Employees that are motivated and satisfied are more likely to perform at a higher level and to remain with a firm for a longer period of time. The Job Characteristics Model (JCM) developed by Hackman and Oldham offers workers useful insights into the factors that make a job fulfilling and inspiring for them to perform. This essay will discuss the Joint Council on Labor and what the JCM implies for workers.

Understanding Hackman and Oldham’s Job Characteristics Model

The idea upon which the Job Characteristics Model is founded is that the nature of the job itself has a substantial effect on an employee’s level of motivation. To put it another way, the particular aspects of a work have the potential to either increase or decrease an employee’s level of motivation. The following is a list of the most important parts of the JCM:

Five Job Characteristics:

  1. Skill Variety: This quality refers to the wide variety of tasks that are expected of an employee in a given position. It is more probable that an employee will be engaged and motivated by their work if the position requires them to use a diverse set of abilities and talents.
  2. Task Identity: The ability of workers to be involved in a project from its inception to its conclusion is what is meant by the term “task identity.” A worker’s feeling of duty and fulfillment may be improved when they do a job that has significance to them.
  3. Task Significance: This trait includes the influence that one’s work has on the lives of others, both within the company and in society as a whole. Having the awareness that one’s effort is beneficial to society as a whole may be a powerful motivator.
  4. Autonomy: The degree of freedom and discretion a worker has while performing their job responsibilities is referred to as autonomy. An employee’s feeling of responsibility and motivation may be increased when they are given the opportunity to organize their own work and to take the initiative.
  5. Feedback: Performance is very dependent on feedback. Motivating people to develop and succeed in their job by providing feedback that is timely, clear, and constructive is possible when employees get feedback in these ways.

Calculating the Motivating Potential Score (MPS):

The motivational Potential Score, often known as the MPS, is a score that may be used to determine how motivational a certain work is. The following is the formula for MPS:

MPS = (Skill Variety + Task Identity + Task Significance) / 3 * Autonomy * Feedback

The MPS indicates how a job affects an employee’s motivation. A higher MPS suggests greater intrinsic motivation, while a lower score may indicate the need for job redesign.

The Psychological States:

According to the JCM, the five job characteristics are linked to three psychological states:

  1. Experienced Meaningfulness: This state reflects the extent to which employees find their work intrinsically meaningful and valuable. It is influenced by skill variety, task identity, and task significance.
  2. Experienced Responsibility: This state is determined by the level of autonomy in a job. Autonomy allows employees to take responsibility for their work and decisions.
  3. Knowledge of Results: Employees need clear feedback to understand how well they are performing. When they receive feedback, they can take steps to improve and feel motivated to do so.

Work-Related Results:

When employees experience the three psychological states due to the presence of the five job characteristics, it leads to several positive outcomes, including:

  • High Performance: Employees are more likely to produce high-quality work and increased productivity.
  • High Motivation: Intrinsic motivation increases when work is perceived as valuable and meaningful.
  • High Satisfaction: Job satisfaction grows as employees find their work more engaging and fulfilling.


The Job Characteristics Model recognizes that not all individuals perceive job characteristics in the same way. Three moderators can impact how employees respond to job characteristics:

  1. Knowledge & Skill: Employees with the necessary knowledge and skills are more likely to experience positive emotions at work. If an employee feels unqualified for their role, they may not experience the psychological states.
  2. Growth Needs Strength: This refers to an employee’s desire to grow and develop. Those with a strong desire for growth are more likely to respond positively to new opportunities and challenges.
  3. Context Satisfaction: Working conditions, including factors such as management, compensation, and job security, can influence an employee’s overall satisfaction and their response to job characteristics.

In conclusion, the Job Characteristics Model developed by Hackman and Oldham offers a complete framework for understanding what factors contribute to an employee finding their work to be inspiring and gratifying. Organizations are able to develop a working environment that encourages high levels of performance, motivation, and overall happiness among their workforce by evaluating, improving, and taking into consideration the influence of moderators on the five qualities of the job. This model is not only an important tool for human resource management, but it is also a guide for individual self-development, which may lead to a more satisfying and gratifying experience while at work.

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