New Horizons in Management series
Edited by Alexander-Stamatios G. Antoniou and Cary L. Cooper
Chapter 9: Job Demands, Job Control, Strain and Learning Behavior: Review and Research Agenda
Toon W. Taris and Michiel A.J. Kompier Over the last 25 years Karasek’s (1979) job demand–control (JDC) model has been a leading work stress model in occupational health psychology. One of its basic assumptions is that the combination of high job demands with high job control has positive eﬀects on employee motivation for learning new behavior patterns. To date, very little research has addressed this interesting and potentially practically important assumption. The current chapter ﬁrst provides a short introduction to the JDC model. Then the results of a systematic literature review on worker activation and learning in the context of this model are presented. Based on this review, shortcomings of this research and knowledge gaps are identiﬁed. It will be concluded that, while the results of the research currently available are suggestive, actually no ﬁrm conclusions regarding the eﬀects of work characteristics on employee active learning behavior can be drawn owing to methodological and conceptual ﬂaws. We end with an inventory of issues to be addressed in future research on the active learning hypothesis in the JDC model. The job demand–control model At the heart of the JDC model lies the assumption that a work environment can be described in terms of the combination of two dimensions: the psychological demands of the work situation and the amount of control workers have to meet these demands, usually measured in terms of worker decision latitude (referring to the amount of say workers have over their work, the...
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