Objective: The German manufacturing sector plays an important role in the national labour market and the overall economy. Manufacturing jobs, especially assembly tasks, are often characterised by high degrees and levels of automation as well as repetitive work cycles. These organisational structures are strongly correlated with the psychological concept of job control. The aim of this paper is to outline the scientific evidence regarding job control and its relationship with different outcome variables such as mental health, wellbeing, motivation and performance. Further task design implications are discussed.
Methods: The article summarises the main results of an already published scoping review and discusses task design recommendations based on the analysis.
Results: The scoping review included 106 studies, most of which applied a cross-sectional design and used subjective measures. Studies were categorised into horizontal or vertical task characteristics and characteristics of the work organisation. Health-related outcomes were studied most frequently with horizontal and vertical task characteristics. Both aspects show positive correlations with positive health outcomes, motivation, satisfaction and wellbeing, whilst showing negative correlations with negative health outcomes such as depression. Although evidence on characteristics of work organisation is rather limited, studies addressing these issues can be related to task design.
Conclusions: Overall, the review shows that higher levels of job control are correlated with positive outcome variables such as wellbeing. Further research is needed to complement practical guides on how to design job control in production tasks.
This article is published in the Journal "Arbeitsmedizin, Sozialmedizin, Umweltmedizin : ASU, Zeitschrift für medizinische Prävention", Volume 53, Issue December 2018, pp. 9-14.
Please download the article "Job control in production tasks - findings and design options from labour studies" (in German only).
P. H. Rosen:
Tätigkeitsspielräume in Produktionsaufgaben - Arbeitswissenschaftliche Erkenntnisse und Gestaltungsoptionen.
in: Arbeitsmedizin, Sozialmedizin, Umweltmedizin : ASU, Zeitschrift für medizinische Prävention, Volume 53, Sonderheft 2018. pages 9-14, Project number: F 2353