20 Work Design

Industrial and Organizational Psychology


  1. Frederick P. Morgeson PhD1,
  2. Adela S. Garza PhD1,
  3. Michael A. Campion PhD2

Published Online: 26 SEP 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118133880.hop212020

Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition

Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition

How to Cite

Morgeson, F. P., Garza, A. S. and Campion, M. A. 2012. Work Design. Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition. 12:IV:20.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Michigan State University, Department of Management, East Lansing, Michigan, USA

  2. 2

    Purdue University, Krannert Graduate School of Management, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 26 SEP 2012


Work matters to both organizations and individuals. As a discipline focused on the content and structure of jobs individuals perform as well as the broader context within which work occurs, work design research has evolved to describe and understand exactly how and why it matters. Although blessed with a long history, work design research had entered a period of decline in which progress slowed. Fortunately, there is renewed interest in the topics of work design, work characteristics, and the nature of work more generally. We present an integrative work design framework that incorporates the latest developments in work design research with past research findings. In so doing, we bridge the “old” and the “new” to provide readers with a comprehensive review of the work design literature. We begin with a consideration of major work design perspectives ranging from Job Characteristics Theory to the Job Demands–Resources model. We then discuss social and structural influences on work, followed by a consideration of research on task, knowledge, social, and contextual work characteristics, including the recent development of the Work Design Questionnaire (WDQ). We then review recent research on the mediating mechanisms through which work characteristics impact outcomes. Next, we present empirical findings on work design features and an extended set of attitudinal, behavioral, cognitive, and well-being outcomes and consider the possibility for individual differences in work design. Finally, we conclude the chapter with a discussion of trends that are likely to influence future work design research efforts.


  • work design;
  • job design;
  • work characteristics;
  • job characteristics