Job Characteristics (Young Men's Cohort)

Job Characteristics (Young Men's Cohort)

The variables discussed in this section are limited to the special 1978 data collection for the Young Men cohort. This survey included a series of questions on characteristics of the respondents' current job, e.g., the amount of variety, autonomy, opportunity to deal with people or develop friendships or complete tasks, as well as the amount of significance they attributed to their job and the amount of performance feedback received. Items for this scale, the Job Characteristics Index (JCI), was developed by Sims, Szilagyi, and Keller and is an extension of the work first begun by Turner and Lawrence in 1965. The JCI was preceded by an instrument developed by Hackman and Oldham known as the Job Diagnostic Survey (JDS), dimensions of which are also incorporated in the JCI, although in a simpler format. Comparisons of the JCI and JDS by Dunham et al. have shown that both scales tend to collapse to a one-dimensional scale measuring job-complexity. Therefore, the JCI was shortened by selecting one scale item that loaded strongly on each of the dimensions of job complexity shown to be important in earlier research. In their 1976 article, Sims et al. reported the necessary factor analysis scores used to obtain the abbreviated scale.

Question and reference numbers for the seven items that comprise the shortened JCI scale are as follows:

R05542.-R05548. (Questions 12A-12G)

R05570.-R05575. (Questions 16A-16F)

Survey Instruments: These questions are found within the "Current Labor Force Status or CPS" section of the Young Men questionnaire.


Dunham, Randall B.; Aldag, Ramon, and Brief, Arthur P. "Dimensionality of Task Design as Measured by the Job Diagnostic Survey." Academy of Management Journal 20, 2 (June 1977): 209-23.

Hackman, J.R. and Oldham, J.R. "Development of the Job Diagnostic Survey." Journal of Applied Psychology 60 (1975): 159-70.

Hills, Stephen M. "Attitudes of Union and Nonunion Male Workers toward Union Representation." Industrial & Labor Relations Review 38,2 (January 1985): 179-94.

Pierce, Jon L. and Dunham, Randall B. "The Measurement of Perceived Job Characteristics: The Diagnostic Survey vs. the Job Characteristics Inventory." Academy of Management Journal 21,1 (March 1978): 123-28.

Sims, Henry R.; Szilagyi, Andrew; and Keller, Robert. "The Measurement of Job Characteristics." Academy of Management Journal 26,2 (June 1976): 195-212.

Turner, A.N. and Lawrence, P.R. Industrial Jobs and the Workers: An Investigation of Responses to Task Attributes. Boston: Harvard University Press, 1965.