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Job crafting

Job crafting is the process through which employees proactively redefine and redesign their work physically, cognitively and socially in order to make it more meaningful (Wrzesniewski and Dutton 2001).

There are three motivating factors for job crafting:

  • The need for control in order to avoid alienation from work
  • The need for a positive self-image
  • The need for positive human connection with others

Job crafting occurs in three areas.

Task crafting

Employees can change the way their work is conceptualised and performed. They can take on more or fewer tasks, expanding or diminishing their scope or change how they perform them.

Cognitive crafting

Employees can alter how they perceive tasks or thinking about the tasks involved in their job. This can be done as a collective whole or as discreet separate tasks.

Relational crafting

Employees can adjust who they spend time with, and how often by changing the nature or extent of one’s interactions with other people within or outside the organisation.

A diagram showing a model of job crafting with five columns. Column 1 Motivations. This features a box entitled Motivation for job crafting. Within the box are Need for  control over job and work meaning, Need for positive self-image and Need for human connection with others. This all point to Column 3 Job crafting practices. In Column 2 Moderating Variables are the following which feed into Column 3 Job Crafting Practices. In Column 2 are the following: Perceived opportunity to job craft and Job features. Below and grouped together are Individual orientation toward work and Motivational orientation. Column 3 Job crafting practices contains three boxes. Box 1: Changing task boundaries, Alter job tasks, Alter number of job tasks. Box 2: Changing cognitive task boundaries, Alter view of work as discrete parts of whole. Box 3: Changing relational boundaries - Alter with whom one interacts at work, Alter nature of interactions at work. The content of Column 3 feeds into Column 4 Specific effects which contains two boxes: Changes the design of the job and Changes the social environment at work. Both of these boxes feed into Column 5 General effects. This has only one box which reads Changes the meaning of the work and Changes one's work identity. Click to expand

Adapted from Wrzesniewski, A., Dutton, J. E. (2001)

Your task

Read this article on job crafting and answer the following questions:

What are some of the effects of job crafting, either from an employee or organisational perspective?

How effective do you consider job crafting to be as a means of improving workplace wellbeing?

You may include some of your personal experiences from inside or outside the workplace, if you so wish, to support your response.

Explain your answers in the comments . Don’t forget to like or reply to posts you find useful or interesting.


Wrzesniewski, A.,E., Dutton, J. (2001) ‘Crafting a Job: Revisioning Employees as Active Crafters of their Work’. Academy of Management Review [online] 26 (2), 179-201. available from https://locate.coventry.ac.uk/primo-explore/fulldisplay?docid=TN_scopus2-s2.0-0035532011&context=PC&vid=COV_VU1&search_scope=Primo_Central&tab=remote&lang=en_US [10th May 2019]

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This article is from the free online course:

Wellbeing at Work: An Introduction

Coventry University