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Abstract

Two established approaches to work redesign are formal top-down interventions and proactive bottom-up job crafting. Top-down approaches are limited in their ability to create individually optimized work characteristics, whereas bottom-up processes are constrained by the latitude workers have to modify their own jobs. Following recent research on the idiosyncratic deals (i-deals) individuals negotiate with their employer, task i-deals customizing job content are suggested as a third approach to work redesign. Hypotheses on antecedents and consequences of task i-deals were tested in two studies conducted in the United States and Germany using structural equation modeling. LMX related positively to the extent of successfully negotiated task i-deals, which, in turn, was associated with a more positive evaluation of work characteristics—specifically, higher complexity and control and lower stressors. Work characteristics mediated positive indirect effects of task i-deals on employee initiative and work engagement. Denied requests for task i-deals were associated with a more negative assessment of work characteristics. We conclude with theoretical, practical, and research implications for better understanding and implementing work redesign through i-deals. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.