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Drivers, facilitators and consequences: exploring and examining job crafting among management consultants (CD)

By: Singh, VijayLakshmi.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: Ahmedabad Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad 2016Description: 209 p.Subject(s): Management consulting - IndiaDDC classification: TH 2016-11 Summary: ABSTRACT The design of a job is deeply consequential for employees’ experiences at work. Research in this area has traditionally built on the top-down approach to designing jobs. However, a global shift to service and knowledge economies, along with emerging employment trends that denote lesser managerial contact has dramatically altered the nature of work in organizations (Oldham & Hackman, 2010). In the current work environment, organizations increasingly desire their employees to be adaptive and proactive in their jobs (Grant & Parker, 2009).Hence, the proactive perspective of job design is relevant as it accentuates how employees take initiative to shape their own work environment or craft their jobs through a personalized approach to self-job management (Parker, 2014). Job crafting is defined as the “physical and cognitive changes that employees make to the task and relational boundaries of their work” (Wrzesniewski and Dutton, 2001, p. 179). Scholars identify three major forms of job crafting – task crafting, relational crafting and cognitive crafting, on the basis of changes made or initiatives taken in tasks, work relationships or work related perceptions, respectively. Essentially, job crafting is a process that captures how individuals locally adapt their jobs by balancing their job demands and resources in ways that create and sustain a viable definition of their work (Demerouti et al., 2015; Tims, Bakker & Derks, 2012). Job crafting theory and research is still in the nascent stage of development. Though, existing studies have identified various antecedents and positive outcomes of job crafting (e.g. Leana et al., 2009; Ghitulescu, 2013; Petrou et al., 2012), but there is a scarcity of studies that focus on the ‘within’ or core aspects of job crafting, e.g. how do individuals actually craft their jobs (e.g. Berg et al., 2013). Further, though existing studies present a host of antecedents and outcomes of job crafting, there is less evidence on the organizational factors in relation to job crafting and factors that influence such relationships. This study aims to target these gaps in literature. Accordingly, the objectives of this study are to (i) explore the techniques employees adopt in crafting their jobs; (ii) to identify the drivers, facilitators and outcomes of job crafting in context of our study; and (iii) to derive a research framework based on the qualitative insights in order to test the validity of the findings through a quantitative model. v Job crafting is a situated activity, and hence this research is contextualized in the context of early career management consultants, as scholars have indicated that early career professionals, knowledge or boundaryless workers, especially in the case of project based ‘active’ jobs are particularly likely to exhibit job crafting initiatives. In order to achieve the study objectives, a mixed methods approach was adopted utilizing 24 daily diaries and follow-up interviews, and a set of 18 in-depth interviews for the qualitative inquiry of the techniques and relationships of job crafting, followed by a questionnaire based quantitative survey from 268 management consultants. Qualitative inductive and content analysis was utilized for eliciting insights from the qualitative data, while for the quantitative analysis, structural equation modeling. This study contributes by identifying various techniques within task, relational and cognitive crafting at the personal, structural and social level of employee focus. For example, task crafting through emphasizing tasks, simplifying tasks and adding in-role and extra-role tasks at the personal, structural and social level of focus, respectively; similarly, relational crafting through building influential contacts, building transactional relationships and developing collaborative relationships; and cognitive crafting through emphasizing positive impact, envisaging challenges positively and focusing on client satisfaction. Next, the study also presents a classification of job crafting techniques based on the differentials between routine and critical task boundaries that explain the approach taken by individuals in crafting their jobs. Findings reveal that employees utilize more task crafting for managing routine tasks, while they engage in more relational crafting for handling critical tasks. Further, the study identifies various drivers, facilitators and outcomes of job crafting. The study identifies 35 categorical descriptions of causes or factors that drive job crafting, resulting in 11 aggregate themes, such as centrality of work in life, impression management, achievement orientation among others. In terms of the organizational factors, this study finds that employees engage in job crafting due to their need to cope with increasing competition, uncertainty, changing work needs and technological developments. Similarly, findings reveal nine factors from 29 categorical descriptions that facilitate undertaking of job crafting efforts, example, empowering manager, flexibility in job, compatibility with peers, among others. In terms of the outcomes of job crafting, data reveal 32 categorical descriptions aggregating in ten factors, such as reduced stress, increased psychological and social capital, among others. vi Finally, drawing from the conservation of resource and the job demand-resource theories, a research framework is derived based on the qualitative insights. The study finds that employees having higher work centrality exhibit more job crafting behaviours. The research model presents job crafting as a proactive coping mechanism in reducing stress and burnout, as well as making employees more psychologically available. Results indicate that the job performance effect of job crafting is mediated by burnout and psychological availability. Several theoretical and practical implications emerge from the qualitative and quantitative insights. The findings also imply that managers need to recognize and understand the reality and significance of job crafting in handling demands and individual work related needs; and hence organizations should encourage and support employee job crafting on the path of individual and organizational effectiveness. THESIS ADVISORY COMMITTEE Prof. Manjari Singh Prof. Biju Varkkey Prof. Sunil Sharma
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
ABSTRACT ............................................................................................................................. iv-vi
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION ………………………………………………………………………………………….1-5
1.1. Significance of Job Crafting...........................................................................................1
1.2. Present Study................................................................................................................3
1.2.1. Plan of Thesis.........................................................................................................4
CHAPTER 2: THEORETICAL FOUNDATIONS & REVIEW OF LITERATURE...........................6-27
2.1. Evolvement of Job Crafting...........................................................................................6
2.1.1. Work Redesign.................. ....................................................................................7
2.1.2. Related Concepts...................................................................................................8
2.2. Concept of Job Crafting...............................................................................................12
2.2.1. Social Constructionist view of Job Crafting..........................................................13
2.2.2. Job Demands-Resources view of Job Crafting.....................................................15
2.2.4. Boundary Conditions...........................................................................................15
2.3. Effectiveness of Job Crafting........................................................................................16
2.4. Theoretical Framework of Job Crafting.......................................................................20
2.5. Research Gaps.............................................................................................................23
2.6. Present Research Agenda............................................................................................25
2.6.1. Research Objectives.............................................................................................26
2.6.2. Research Approach..............................................................................................26
CHAPTER 3: RESEARCH CONTEXT & PRE-PROPOSAL EXPLORATORY STUDY ................... 28-40
3.1. Management Consulting…………………………………………………………………………………………28
3.2. Management Consulting in India…………………………………………………………………………….31
3.2.1. Current Scenario……………………………………….………….……………………………………..….32
3.2. 2. Job of a Consultant…………………………………………………………………………………….…..33
3.3. Tasks of a Consultant ……………………………………………………………………………………………..34
3.4. Findings and Discussion…………………………………………………………………………………………..37
CHAPTER 4: QUALITATIVE STUDY................................................................................41-79
4.1. Methodology..............................................................................................................41
viii
4.1.1.Research Design and Instrument..........................................................................41
4.1.2. Participants & Procedures...................................................................................44
4.1.3. Data Analysis.......................................................................................................48
4.2. Findings......................................................................................................................53
4.2.1. The Techniques of Job Crafting...........................................................................53 4.2.1.1. Structural level............................................................................................53
4.2.1.2. Social level...................................................................................................55
4.2.1.3. Personal level..............................................................................................57
4.2.1.4. Extent and Approach to Job Crafting..........................................................59
4.2.2. Drivers of Job Crafting.........................................................................................61
4.2.3. Facilitators of Job Crafting..................................................................................64
4.2.4. Outcomes of Job Crafting...................................................................................66
4.2.5. Framework of Job Crafting - A Summary of Qualitative Insights........................68
4.3. Discussion..................................................................................................................71
4.3.1. Theoretical and Research Contributions............................................................71
4.3.2. Inputs for the Quantitative Research Model......................................................77
CHAPTER 5: QUANTITATIVE STUDY .................................................................................80-114
5.1. Hypotheses & Research model…………………………………………………….…………………………80
5.1.1 Theoretical Background........................................................................................80
5.1.2. Work Centrality as an Antecedent to Job Crafting...............................................82
5.1.3. Outcomes of Job Crafting…………………………………………………………………………………82
5.1.3.1. Burnout………………………………………………………………………………………………..….82
5.1.3.2. Psychological availability………………………………………………………………………….84
5.1.3.3. Role stress………………………………………………………………………………………………..85
5.1.4. Multiple mediator effects ………………………………………………………………..………….….85
5.1.4.1. Job crafting, burnout and job performance…………………………………………….86
5.1.4.2. Job crafting, psychological availability and job performance…………………..86
5.1.4.3. Job crafting, role stress and job performance…………………………………………87 5.2. Methodology...............................................................................................................88 5.2.1. Survey Instrument & Measures...........................................................................88 5.2.1.1. Content & face validity.................................................................................88
ix
5.2.2. Data Collection....................................................................................................94
5.2.2.1. Context.........................................................................................................94
5.2.2.2. Participants & procedures............................................................................95
5.2.2.2.1. Sample description...............................................................................97
5.2.2.2.2. Sample size....................................................................................... .97 5.2.3. Data Analysis.......................................................................................................97
5.2.3.1. Data Examination.........................................................................................98
5.2.3.1.1. Data entry checks.................................................................................98
5.2.3.1.2. Missing value analysis...........................................................................98
5.2.3.1.3. Outlier analysis ....................................................................................98
5.2.3.1.3.1. Univariate analysis........................................................................98
5.2.3.1.3.1. Bivariate analysis..........................................................................99
5.2.3.1.3.1. Multivariate assumptions.............................................................99
5.2.3.1.4. Analysis of variance............................................................................100
5.2.3.2. Hypotheses Test Method...........................................................................101
5.2.3.2.1. Bivariate analysis................................................................................101
5.2.3.2.2. SEM procedures: Model Fit................................................................101
5.2.3.2.3. Testing mediation effects...................................................................103
5.2.4. Preliminary results............................................................................................103
5.2.4.1. Dimensional Properties of Scales..............................................................103
5.2.4.1.1. Principal component analysis ...........................................................103
5.2.4.1.2. Confirmatory factor analysis.............................................................103
5.2.4.1.2.1. Reliability & convergent validity................................................104
5.2.4.1.2.2. Discriminant validity..................................................................104
5.2.4.2. Test for Common Method Variance.........................................................104 5.3. Results & Test of Hypotheses……………………………………………………………………………..107
5.3.1. Descriptive Statistics…………………………………………………………………………………....107 5.3.2. Direct Effects………………………………………………………………………………………………..107
5.3.3. Indirect Effects ……………………………………………………………………………………………108
5.3.4. Alternate Models ………………………………………………………………………………………..110
x
5.4. Discussion………………………………………………………………………………………………………….110 5.4.1. Work Centrality – Antecedent to Job crafting......................................................110
5.4.2. Job Crafting predicts higher Psychological Availability & Performance..........111
5.4.3. Job Crafting predicts lower Stress & Burnout..................................................112
5.4.4. Full Mediation effect of Burnout between Job Crafting & Performance........113
CHAPTER 6: CONCLUSIONS ........................................................................................... 115-125
6.1. Theoretical & Research Contributions………………………………………………………………..115
6.1.1. Insights from Qualitative study........................................................................116
6.1.2. Insights from Quantitative study......................................................................117
6.2. Limitations and Suggestions for Future Research ……………..……………………………….120
6.3. Implications for Practice …………………………………………………………………………………….122
6.4. Conclusion…………………………………………………………………………………………………………..125
REFERENCES ................................................................................................................. ..126-145

ABSTRACT

The design of a job is deeply consequential for employees’ experiences at work. Research in this area has traditionally built on the top-down approach to designing jobs. However, a global shift to service and knowledge economies, along with emerging employment trends that denote lesser managerial contact has dramatically altered the nature of work in organizations (Oldham & Hackman, 2010). In the current work environment, organizations increasingly desire their employees to be adaptive and proactive in their jobs (Grant & Parker, 2009).Hence, the proactive perspective of job design is relevant as it accentuates how employees take initiative to shape their own work environment or craft their jobs through a personalized approach to self-job management (Parker, 2014). Job crafting is defined as the “physical and cognitive changes that employees make to the task and relational boundaries of their work” (Wrzesniewski and Dutton, 2001, p. 179). Scholars identify three major forms of job crafting – task crafting, relational crafting and cognitive crafting, on the basis of changes made or initiatives taken in tasks, work relationships or work related perceptions, respectively. Essentially, job crafting is a process that captures how individuals locally adapt their jobs by balancing their job demands and resources in ways that create and sustain a viable definition of their work (Demerouti et al., 2015; Tims, Bakker & Derks, 2012). Job crafting theory and research is still in the nascent stage of development. Though, existing studies have identified various antecedents and positive outcomes of job crafting (e.g. Leana et al., 2009; Ghitulescu, 2013; Petrou et al., 2012), but there is a scarcity of studies that focus on the ‘within’ or core aspects of job crafting, e.g. how do individuals actually craft their jobs (e.g. Berg et al., 2013). Further, though existing studies present a host of antecedents and outcomes of job crafting, there is less evidence on the organizational factors in relation to job crafting and factors that influence such relationships. This study aims to target these gaps in literature. Accordingly, the objectives of this study are to (i) explore the techniques employees adopt in crafting their jobs; (ii) to identify the drivers, facilitators and outcomes of job crafting in context of our study; and (iii) to derive a research framework based on the qualitative insights in order to test the validity of the findings through a quantitative model.
v
Job crafting is a situated activity, and hence this research is contextualized in the context of early career management consultants, as scholars have indicated that early career professionals, knowledge or boundaryless workers, especially in the case of project based ‘active’ jobs are particularly likely to exhibit job crafting initiatives. In order to achieve the study objectives, a mixed methods approach was adopted utilizing 24 daily diaries and follow-up interviews, and a set of 18 in-depth interviews for the qualitative inquiry of the techniques and relationships of job crafting, followed by a questionnaire based quantitative survey from 268 management consultants. Qualitative inductive and content analysis was utilized for eliciting insights from the qualitative data, while for the quantitative analysis, structural equation modeling. This study contributes by identifying various techniques within task, relational and cognitive crafting at the personal, structural and social level of employee focus. For example, task crafting through emphasizing tasks, simplifying tasks and adding in-role and extra-role tasks at the personal, structural and social level of focus, respectively; similarly, relational crafting through building influential contacts, building transactional relationships and developing collaborative relationships; and cognitive crafting through emphasizing positive impact, envisaging challenges positively and focusing on client satisfaction. Next, the study also presents a classification of job crafting techniques based on the differentials between routine and critical task boundaries that explain the approach taken by individuals in crafting their jobs. Findings reveal that employees utilize more task crafting for managing routine tasks, while they engage in more relational crafting for handling critical tasks. Further, the study identifies various drivers, facilitators and outcomes of job crafting. The study identifies 35 categorical descriptions of causes or factors that drive job crafting, resulting in 11 aggregate themes, such as centrality of work in life, impression management, achievement orientation among others. In terms of the organizational factors, this study finds that employees engage in job crafting due to their need to cope with increasing competition, uncertainty, changing work needs and technological developments. Similarly, findings reveal nine factors from 29 categorical descriptions that facilitate undertaking of job crafting efforts, example, empowering manager, flexibility in job, compatibility with peers, among others. In terms of the outcomes of job crafting, data reveal 32 categorical descriptions aggregating in ten factors, such as reduced stress, increased psychological and social capital, among others.
vi
Finally, drawing from the conservation of resource and the job demand-resource theories, a research framework is derived based on the qualitative insights. The study finds that employees having higher work centrality exhibit more job crafting behaviours. The research model presents job crafting as a proactive coping mechanism in reducing stress and burnout, as well as making employees more psychologically available. Results indicate that the job performance effect of job crafting is mediated by burnout and psychological availability. Several theoretical and practical implications emerge from the qualitative and quantitative insights. The findings also imply that managers need to recognize and understand the reality and significance of job crafting in handling demands and individual work related needs; and hence organizations should encourage and support employee job crafting on the path of individual and organizational effectiveness.


THESIS ADVISORY COMMITTEE

Prof. Manjari Singh
Prof. Biju Varkkey
Prof. Sunil Sharma

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