Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Dissertation


Building trades--Employees; Employee motivation;


This research was undertaken to investigate the extent to which employee-perceived job characteristics were related to internal work motivation and general satisfaction. Research shows that the structure of work has a significant influence on the motivation and general satisfaction of workers.

A job characteristic model developed by Hackman and Oldham (1980) was used as a basis for conducting this study. The study population consisted of construction craft workers who were registered members of the bricklayers, carpenters, and electrical unions located in a mid-western state. Job diagnostic survey questionnaires were mailed to 650 craftsmen. A total of 236 (36.3%) instruments were returned. Data analysis was performed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). Analysis involved cross-tabulations, mean ratings, correlation matrix, and analysis of variance.

Results of the study revealed that positive correlations exist among employee-perceived job characteristics, critical psychological states, and work outcomes as predicted by the model. The motivating potential score (MPS), which represents the summary of all job core characteristics, was also significantly correlated with the employee-perceived job characteristics and critical psychological states. No statistically significant differences were observed in the perceptions of the craftsmen regarding the job core characteristics.

Carpenters had higher growth need strength (GNS) than the electricians. Overall, construction craftsmen have GNS that are similar to those of professional-technical workers. The craftsmen did not differ in their perceptions regarding the MPS of their job. However, considering the overall means reported for all the groups, it appears that construction work is very high in motivating potential.

While no statistically significant differences were observed in the general satisfaction level of the craftsmen, the results showed that carpenters had higher internal work motivation than the electricians. Therefore, considering their higher GNS, carpenters should respond more positively to a job that is high in MPS than would the electricians.

The samples in this study seemed to have positive attitudes toward their jobs. Several recommendations were made, among which contractors were urged to structure their jobs to include all the job core characteristics. Recommendations were also made with respect to areas that deserve further study.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Doctor of Industrial Technology


Department of Industrial Technology

First Advisor

Mohammad F. Fahmy, Advisor

Second Advisor

H. Stephan Egger, Co-Advisor

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (ix, 116 pages)



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