Table of Contents
The Job Diagnostic Survey (JDS) was developed by Hackman and Oldham (1974) in conjunction with the theory of job characteristics and continues to be the most widely used measure of the nature of jobs. The measure includes separate subscales that describe employee perceptions of skill variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy, and feedback from the job itself, feed back from agents (supervisors, customers), and dealing with others in their jobs. The five dimensions most frequently used in studies that I reviewed from the 1990s were skill variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy, and feedback from the job itself. The original scales for these five dimensions have been subjected to extensive analyses, which resulted in revisions to some of the items by Idaszak and Drasgow (1987). I have included both the original and revised items. In some studies, the subscales for the five major dimensions have been combined to form a single measure of job complexity or job scope (Hochwarter, Zellars, et al., 1999; Siegall & McDonald, 1995).
Coefficient alpha values for skill variety ranged from .65 to .78. Alpha values ranged from .74 to .83 for task identity, from .72 to .83 for task significance, from .68 to. 77 for autonomy, and from .65 to .81 for feedback (Munz, Huelsman, Konold, & McKinney, 1996; Renn & Vandenberg, 1995; Siegall & McDonald, 1995; Spector et al., 1995; Steel & Rentsch, 1997; Taber & Taylor, 1990). Across several studies, the estimated portion of “true variance” accounted for by the JDS measures were 69% for skill variety, 63% for autonomy, 48% for task identity, 47% for task significance, and 59% for feedback The test-retest reliability of the JDS was r = .62 (Taber & Taylor, 1990).
Across several studies (16 to 20 depending on JDS dimension), the JDS dimensions correlated positively with job satisfaction and growth and correlated negatively with absenteeism (Renn & Vandenberg, 1995; Taber & Tay lor, 1990). In Pearson (1991), more extensive and detailed job feedback cor related positively with internal motivation.
Using structural equation models, Renn and Vandenberg (1995) found that the five job dimensions were empirically distinct. Although responses to the items are affected by social cues, they are affected most by differences in objective job characteristics (Taber & Taylor, 1990). Munz et al. (1996) found that employee negative affectivity and positive affectivity were empirically distinct from the job dimensions and have minimal affects on the measurement of job characteristics with the JDS. Other confirmatory analyses have shown that the JDS dimensions fit the data better when an additional factor representing measurement artifacts associated with negatively worded items was included (Taber & Taylor, 1990). InIdaszak: and Drasgow (1987), factor analysis in two independent samples showed the presence of a sixth factor corresponding to the negative wording of five items. This led to revision of the JDS to include only positively worded items (Idaszak & Drasgow, 1987). Subsequent analysis showed that this revision eliminated the sixth factor.
Original items: Hackman, J. R., & Oldham, G. R. (1974). The Job Diagnos tic Survey: An instrument for the diagnosis of jobs and the evaluation of job redesign projects (Tech. Rep. No. 4). New Haven, CT: Yale University, Department of Administrative Sciences. Prepared in connection with re search sponsored by the Office of Naval Research (Contract No. N00014- 67A-0097-0026, NR170-744) and the U.S. Department of Labor (Man power Administration, Grant No. 21-09-74-14).
Revised items: Idaszak, J. R., & Drasgow, F. (1987). A revision of the Job Diagnostic Survey: Elimination of a measurement artifact. Journal of Ap plied Psychology, 72(1), 69-74. Items were taken from Table 3, p. 71. Copy right © 1987 by the American Psychological Association. Reprinted with permission.
The JDS has two types of questions related to job dimensions. Some are drawn from Section 1 of the survey, and others are drawn from Section 2. Each section of the JDS has separate instructions. I have grouped the items by job dimension for ease in visualizing what each scale actually describes. Rather than repeat the instructions for each type of question, I provide the directions once and then indicate the section of the JDS from which each item is drawn.
Instructions for items in Section I:
This part of the questionnaire asks you to describe your job, as objectively as you can. Please do not use this part of the questionnaire to show how much you like or dislike your job. Questions about that will come later. In stead, try to make your descriptions as accurate and as objective as you possibly can. The responses are on a continuum from 1 to 7. Circle the number that most accurately describes your job. (The anchors differ from item to item in Section 1 and are provided with each item below.)
Instructions for the items from Section 2:
Listed below are a number of statements which could be used to de scribe a job. You are to indicate whether each statement is an accurate or in accurate description of your job. Please try to be as objective as you can in deciding how accurately each statement describes your job-regardless of whether you like or dislike your job. How accurate is the statement in de
scribing your job? (The same response scale is applied to all Section 2 items: 1 = very inaccurate, 2 = mostly inaccurate, 3 = slightly inaccurate, 4 = un certain, 5 = slightly accurate, 6 = mostly accurate, 7 = very accurate.)
Skill variety items:
Circle the number that most accurately describes your job.
- (From Section 1) How much variety is there in your job? That is, to what extent does the job require you to do many different things at work, using a variety of your skills and talents?
Anchors: 1 = Very little: The job requires me to do the same routine things over and over again; 4 = Moderate variety; 7 = Very much: The
job requires me to do many different things using a number of different skills and talents.
- (From Section 2) The job requires me to use a number of complex or high-level
- (From Section 2) The job is quite simple and repetitive. (Reverse scored-subtract the number entered by the respondent from)
Task identity items:
- (From Section 1) To what extent does your job involve doing a “whole” and identifiable piece of work? That is, is the job a complete piece of work that has an obvious beginning and end? Or is it only a small part of the overall piece of work, which is finished by other people or by automatic machines?
Anchors: 1 = My job is only a tiny part of the overall piece of work: The results of my activities cannot be seen in the final product or ser vice; 4 = My job is a moderate-sized “chunk” of the overall piece of work: My own contribution can be seen in the final outcome; 7 = My job involves doing the whole piece of work, from start to finish: The results of my activities are easily seen in the final product or service.
- (From Section 2) The job provides me the chance to completely finish the pieces of work I
- (From Section 2) The job is arranged so that I do not have the chance to do an entire piece of work from beginning to end. (This item is reverse )
Revised item: This item was positively worded by Idaszak and Drasgow’s (1987) revisions to read: The job is arranged so that I can do an entire piece of work from beginning to end.
Task significance items:
- (From Section 1) In general, how significant or important is your job? That is, are the results of your work likely to significantly affect the lives or well-being of other people?
1———–2 ———3 ———4———5 ———6———7
Anchors: 1 = Not very significant: The outcomes of my work are not likely to have important effects on other people; 4 = Moderately significant; 7 = Highly significant: The outcomes of my work can affect other people in very important ways.
- (From Section 2) This job is one where a lot of other people can be affected by how well the work gets done.
- (From Section 2) The job itself is not very significant or important in the broader scheme of (This item is reverse scored.)
Revised item: This item was positively worded inldaszak and Drasgow’s (1987) revisions to read: The job itself is very significant and important in the broader scheme of things.
- (From Section 1) How much autonomy is there in your job? That is, to what extent does your job permit you to decide on your own how to go about doing the work?
Anchors: 1 = Very little: The job gives me almost no personal “say” about how and when the work is done; 4 = Moderate autonomy: Many things are standardized and not under my control, but I can make some decisions about the work; 7 = Very much: The job gives me almost com plete responsibility for deciding how and when the work is done.
- (From Section 2) The job gives me considerable opportunity for independence and freedom in how I do the
- (From Section 2) The job denies me any chance to use my personal initiative or judgment in carrying out the (This item is reverse scored.)
Revised item: This item was positively worded in Idaszak and Drasgow’s (1987) revisions to read: The job gives me a chance to use my personal initiative and judgment in carrying out the work.
Feedback (job itself) items:
- (From Section 1) To what extent does doing the job itself provide you with information about your work performance? That is, does the actual work itself provide clues about how well you are doing-aside from any “feedback” co-workers or supervisors may provide?
1———–2———3———4 ———5 ———6 ———7
Anchors: 1 = Very little: The job itself is set up so I could work forever without finding out how well I am doing; 4 = Moderately: Sometimes doing the job provides “feedback” to me, sometimes it does not; 7 = Very much: The job is set up so that I get almost constant “feedback” as I work about how well I am doing.
- (From Section 2) Just doing the work required by the job provides many chances for me to figure out how well I am
- (From Section 2) The job itself provides very few clues about whether or not I am performing (This item is reverse scored.)
Revised item: This item was positively worded by Idaszak and Drasgow’s (1987) revision to read: After I finish a job, I know whether I performed well.
Feedback (agents) items:
- (From Section 1) To what extent do managers or co-workers let you know how well you are doing on your job?
1———–2———3 ———4———5 ———6———7
Anchors: 1 = Very little: People almost never let me know how well I am doing; 4 = Moderately: Sometimes people may give me “feedback,” other times they may not; 7 = Very much: Managers or co-workers pro vide me with almost constant “feedback” about how well I am doing.
- (From Section 2) Supervisors often let me know how well they think I am performing the
- (From Section 2) The supervisors and co-workers on this job almost never give me any “feedback” about how well I am doing in my (This item is reverse scored.)
Dealing with others items:
- (From Section 1) To what extent does your job require you to work closely with other people (either “clients,” or people in related jobs in your own organization)?
Anchors: 1 = Very little: Dealing with other people is not at all necessary in doing the job; 4 = Moderately: Some dealing with others is necessary; 7 = Very much: Dealing with other people is an absolutely essential and crucial part of doing the job.
- (From Section 2) The job requires a lot of cooperative work with other.
- (From Section 2) The job can be done adequately by a person working alone-without talking or checking with other (This item is reverse scored.)
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Mohammed Looti, PSYCHOLOGICAL SCALES (2023) Job Diagnostic Survey (JDS). Retrieved from https://scales.arabpsychology.com/s/job-diagnostic-survey-jds-2/. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.31575.96163