Consider for a moment a midlevel manager, Fatima, who seems to be doing well. She’s consistently making her required benchmarks and goals, she has built successful relationships with colleagues, and senior management has identified her as having “high potential.” But she isn’t satisfied with her job. She’d be interested in understanding how her organization can use social media in marketing efforts at all levels of the organization, for example, but her job doesn’t allow her to work on this. She wants to quit and find something that better suits her passions, but in her economic situation, this may not be an option. So she has decided to proactively reconfigure her current job. Fatima is part of a movement toward job “crafting,” which is the process of deliberately reorganizing your job so that it better fits your motives, strengths, and passions. So how did Fatima craft her job? She first noticed that she was spending too much of her time monitoring her team’s performance and answering questions, and not enough time working on the creative projects that inspire her. She then considered how to modify her relationship with the team so that her activities incorporated her passion for social media strategies, with the team’s activities more centered on developing new marketing. She also identified members of her team who might be able to help her implement her new strategies and directed her interactions with these individuals toward her new goals. As a result, not only did her engagement in her work increase, but she also developed new ideas that were recognized and
advanced within the organization. In sum, she found that by actively and creatively examining her work, she was able to shape her job into one that is truly satisfying. As you may have noted, Fatima exhibited a proactive personality—she was eager to develop her own options and find her own resources. Proactive individuals are often self-empowered and are, therefore, more likely to seek workable solutions when they are not satisfied. Research leads us to believe Fatima will be successful in her customized job and that she will experience increased well-being. To the extent possible, then, all employees should feel encouraged to be proactive in creating their best work situations.
3-17. Fatima chose to remain in her old job rather than looking for a new one elsewhere. What are her
3-18. Fatima is described as having a proactive personality. What does this mean and what is the pre-requisite for it?
3-19. Are there any potential drawbacks to the job crafting approach? If so, how can they be minimized?
Sources: A. B. Bakker, M. Tims, and D. Derks, “Proactive Personality and Job Performance: The Role
of Job Crafting and Work Engagement,” Human Relations (October 2012): 1359–78; A. Wrzesniewski,
J. M. Berg, and J. E. Dutton, “Turn the Job You Have into the Job You Want,” Harvard Business Review (June 2010): 114–17; A. Wrzesniewski and J. E. Dutton, “Crafting a Job: Revisioning Employees as Active Crafters of Their Work,” Academy of Management Review 26 (2010): 179–201; and G. R. Slemp and D. A. Vella-Brodrick, “Optimising Employee Mental Health: The Relationship between Intrinsic Need Satisfaction, Job Crafting, and Employee Well-Being,” Journal of Happiness Studies 15, no. 4 (2014): 957–77.
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Go to mymanagementlab.com for the following Assisted-graded writing questions:
3-20. Based on your reading from this chapter and the Ethical Dilemma, do you feel differently about posting anonymous comments online than you did before? Why or why not?
3-21. In consideration of Case Incident 2, some contend that job crafting sounds good in principle but is not necessarily practical for every job. What types of jobs are probably not good candidates for job crafting activities?
3-22. MyManagementLab Only—comprehensive writing assignment for this chapter