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Job Control, Assignment Variability

Mental Health in the Working World

Job control describes the extent to which a person can influence the process of a work activity and make decisions. In contrast, assignment variability means how diverse the assignments are that have to be carried out. These characteristics are part of the primary concept of latitude for activity at work.

With regard to the content, the concept of job control can be assigned to the action regulation theory. In addition, various occupational-psychological models contain this factor as an important component. Examples of this are the job characteristics model, the job demand-control model and the vitamin model. Various concepts such as autonomy or degrees of freedom are components of these models. Each theoretical foundation therefore focuses on a slightly different facet of this factor.

Current state of knowledge

A scoping review by the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health summarises the state of scientific knowledge on job control and of assignment variability and observes their interrelationships with (mental) health and well-being. It also describes its relations to motivation, job satisfaction and performance. The theoretical basis for this is formed by the action regulation theory, the job characteristics model, the job demand-control model and the vitamin model. In addition, the authors reveal research gaps and discuss options for designing this factor.

The project "Mental Health in the Working World"

The scoping review on job control and assignment variability is part of the project "Mental Health in the Working World - determining the current state of scientific evidence". The project assesses mental load factors based on the state of scientific knowledge.

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