2013-Rachel Nayani

Examining job crafting in inter-organisational contexts: a pilot study of research methods

Dr Rachel Nayani, Norwich Business School, University of East Anglia 

Prof Kevin Daniels, Norwich Business School, University of East Anglia 


There is a growing body of research examining the concept of ‘job crafting’, whereby workers shape the task, relational and cognitive boundaries of their job to meet their own needs and preferences (Wrzesniewski & Dutton, 2001), which may, or may not align with organizational interests. However, there is a significant gap in our understanding of the role of job crafting in the micro-causal mechanisms underpinning inter-organizational functioning.  

In this developmental paper we describe and present emerging findings of a pilot inter-organizational case study, examining externally-directed job crafting (i.e. crafting directed at activities with members of other organizations). We apply qualitative, longitudinal methods. Emerging findings indicate that even in the absence of formal requirements of the job, in some cases, employees initiate collective working with employees in other organizations. We identify three externally-directed job crafting activities (generating opportunities, utilising social ties and gesturing reciprocity) that can generate inter-organisational endeavours. Movement between individual and collective job crafting occurs through a three staged progression, in which we identified an interim form of crafting characterised by complementarity.  This preliminary study provided proof of concept for a larger multiple case study.