Personal Stories Illuminate Three Main Types of Job Crafting


Writing in Harvard Business Review, Michigan Ross Professor Jane Dutton shows how the concept can apply in differing work situations.

Photo illustration of laptop with craft supplies

You may have heard about the concept of “job crafting” — finding ways to make your work more meaningful — but wondered how it could apply to your unique professional situation.

In a new essay in Harvard Business Review, Michigan Ross Professor Emerita Jane Dutton and Amy Wrzesniewski of the Yale School of Management provide real-life examples that illustrate the three main types of job crafting: task crafting, relational crafting, and cognitive crafting. 

“The positive impact of making thoughtful changes to the design of a job has been documented and studied in a broad range of occupations since our research was first published 20 years ago,” the authors wrote. “The principles of job crafting remain deeply relevant in a world where job structure is rapidly changing, putting more and more responsibility on the individual for the experience and engagement in their work.”

Jane Dutton is the Robert L. Kahn Distinguished University Professor Emerita of Business Administration and Psychology at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, and a cofounder of the Center for Positive Organizations.

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