Job Cognitions scale


The measure, (Job Cognitions scale) developed by Williams and Anderson (1991), asks employees to describe the extent to which 20 statements are accurate descriptions of the nature of a job. The statements cover a broad range of job characteristics and leave unstated the specific referent an employee should use in responding. This approach allows respondents to naturally select reference group(s) they consider appropriate.


In Williams and Anderson (1991), a subscale measuring extrinsic job cognitions had a coefficient alpha of. 71, and a subscale measuring intrinsic job cognitions had a coefficient alpha of .78.


A factor analysis of the 20 items extracted two factors on which 15 items loaded (Williams & Anderson, 1991). One subscale measured cognitions about extrinsic aspects of the job (seven items). The other subscale describes intrinsic aspect of the job (eight items).


Williams, L. J., & Anderson, S. E. (1991). Job satisfaction and organiza­ tional commitment as predictors of organizational citizenship and in-role behaviors. Journal of Management, 17(3), 601-617. Items were taken from Table 2, p. 608. Copyright© 1991 by Journal of Management. Reproduced with permission.


The full 20 items are listed below. Items in the intrinsic subscale are labeled with (I), and those in the extrinsic subscale are labeled with (E). Responses to the items are obtained on a 5-point Likert-type scale where 1 = never true and 5 = always true.

  1. Am able to keep busy (I)
  2. Have the chance to work alone
  3. Have the chance to do different things (I)
  4. Have the chance to be somebody (I)
  5. My manager understands employees (E)
  6. My manager makes competent decisions (E)
  7. Can do things that do not go against conscience
  8. My job provides for steady employment
  9. Have chance to do things for other people (I)
  10. Have chance to tell other people what to do (I)
  11. Have chance to make use of abilities (I)
  12. Am informed about company policy
  13. Pay is reasonable for amount of work (E)
  14. Have chances for advancement (E)
  15. Have freedom to use my own judgment (I)
  16. Have chance to try my own methods (I)
  17. Working conditions are pleasant (E)
  18. Co-workers get along well with each other (E)
  19. Get praise for doing a good job (E)
  20. Get a feeling of accomplishment