Purdue University Graduate School
Thesis - Formatted FINAL - Ajay Shah - 1.pdf (615.28 kB)

Job Crafting Amid Resource Threats: A Conservation of Resources Theory Perspective

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posted on 2023-04-27, 23:08 authored by Ajay A ShahAjay A Shah

Job crafting refers to work-related behaviors employees take to make their job better fit with their preferences. While job crafting is based on the premise that employees can make such proactive changes on their own volition, recent work has suggested social context plays an important role in determining whether an employee has the opportunities and ability to engage in job crafting. Such contextual factors include the level of support one’s manager provides as well as one’s ability to obtain instrumental resources such as information and advice as well as emotional resources such as social support from the wider organizational community. Applying conservation of resources (COR) theory, Study 1 proposes that when a manager is perceived to provide a low level of support, employees can leverage their social network in order to engage in job crafting initiatives. For instance, when one’s manager offers relatively little encouragement and availability, it can hinder their subordinate’s ability to engage in job crafting. Additionally, when one’s manager has relatively low status in the organization, they may be less able to help their subordinates develop a network to obtain the types of instrumental resources that fuel job crafting behaviors. Findings based on a survey of 276 full-time workers suggest that employees seeking to job craft can compensate for their manager’s shortcomings by building bonding social capital in the former scenario (i.e., when the manager offers little encouragement and availability) and bridging social capital in the latter (i.e., when the manager has relatively low status). Study 2 focuses on the extent to which employees with differing dispositions towards their work engage in different kinds of job crafting behaviors. Findings from survey data (n = 307) suggest that compared to career orientation (i.e., the tendency to view work as a means for advancement and status enhancement), calling orientation (i.e., the tendency to view work as one’s “calling” in life) reduces the tendency for employees to engage in withdrawal behaviors. However, both calling and career orientation were associated with the tendency to proactively leverage technological and other knowledge-based resources in the execution of their work. Additionally, the study tests how virtual work contexts may influence how employees across different dispositional types engage in specified forms of job crafting. Findings suggest these dynamics persist regardless of telecommuting frequency. Implications for theory and practice are provided for both Studies 1 and 2. 


Degree Type

  • Master of Arts


  • Communication

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Seungyoon Lee

Additional Committee Member 2

Scott Feld

Additional Committee Member 3

Jordan Nielsen

Additional Committee Member 4

Jeremy Foote

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