Job characteristic model

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The job characteristic model is a work design theory that wasdeveloped by Hackman and Oldham. Its central concept is the fact theattributes of the task itself can act as a source of inspiration tothe employees. This is based on the understanding that occupationsthat are monotonous or dull results into less motivated workers whilethe majority of people like challenging but fulfilling jobs. Themodel identifies five characteristics of a job (“skills variety,task identity, task significance, autonomy, and feedback) and how itimpacts on the outcomes (Taylor, 2015). This paper looks how feedbackaffects motivation, regarding a professor or a teacher job.

Job: Professor/Teacher

Professors and other post-secondary teachers play a vital role inhigher education as well as professional and vocational traininginstitutions. They specialize in a particular field of study withinan academic subject. Their primary task is teaching courses in anarea of his or her specialization. They disseminate knowledge andskills to the learners. They have other responsibilities such asadministrative roles, planning of lessons, management of assignmentsand examinations as well as assessments of the students. Professorsare responsible for grading and measuring learning progress. Theyalso play a significant role in advising the students and acting asrole models and mentors. In addition to their teaching job, theconducted research and advance knowledge (Shin, 2014).

Characteristic: Feedback

Feedback is one of the essential characteristics of a job in themodel. It refers to the level to which the employee understands theresults or outcomes of the task. It also describes how knowledgeableis the worker on the ability to transform his or her inputs intoperformance. For example, the relationship between productivity orcustomer satisfaction and the effort. Feedbacks always come fromother parties or the job. It should contain accurate information uponwhich actions can be taken (Ali, et al, 2014).

Feedbacks have direct impacts on critical physiological states andthus motivation of workers. An employee who knows the level of his orperformance through knowledge of results becomes motivated.Additional, he or she can experience the meaningfulness of hiscontributions and take responsibility for the outcomes (Taylor,2015).

Design of the job

The job of a professor can be redesigned to ensure that the feedbackcharacteristic, based on the model, is accommodated. This is bymaking sure that the instruction has more knowledge about theoutcomes of his or her inputs. First, the course evaluation criteriacan be developed in a way that it gives the teacher more usefulinformation about his effectiveness. Additionally, quicker reactionswill have more impacts on motivation. Secondly, feedbacks on otheraspects of the professor’s job can be incorporated. For example, heor she may have administrative roles in the institution. Thirdly,directly feedback from the students can also be enhanced. This willprovide a precise source of information on whether the efforts areconverted into positive outcomes. It will also serve as a basis forappropriate actions for improvement.


can be applied in different occupation toenhance the critical psychological states and outcomes. Professorsand other postsecondary teachers play a significant role indisseminating knowledge. Feedback is an essential characteristic of ajob. It refers to the awareness of the worker on the outcomes of hisefforts. The teacher’s job can be redesigned to enhance the abilityof the feedback to impact on critical psychological states andmotivation.


Ali, S. et al (2014). Hackman and Oldham`s Job Characteristics Modelto Job Satisfaction. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences,129, 46-52.

Shin, J. (2014). Teaching and research in contemporary highereducation: systems, activities and rewards. New York: Springer.

Taylor, G. (2015). Hackman and Oldham`s Job Characteristics Model.Teaching Business &amp Economics. Hassocks, 19(2), 7-9.