Jan Häusser, Stefan Schulz-Hardt, Thomas Schultze, Anne Tomaschek and Andreas Mojzisch

Experimental evidence for the effects of task repetitiveness on mental strain and objective work performance.

Journal of Organizational Behavior

People frequently have to work in high repetitive jobs. Previous research has focused exclusively on the effects of task repetitiveness on well-being, while neglecting effects on work performance. In the present study, we aimed to fill this void by conducting two workplace simulations with experimental manipulations of task repetitiveness. Participants worked for about 5 hours at either a computer workstation, compiling computer hardware packages according to customer requests (Experiment 1, N = 160), or at an assembly line, piecing together equipment sets for furniture (Experiment 2, N = 213). Both experiments provide consistent evidence that high repetitiveness has a detrimental effect on well-being, whereas work performance increases under conditions of high repetitiveness. On a practical level, our study hence shows that high task repetitiveness is a double-edged sword for both employees and organizations. On a conceptual level, our findings emphasize the necessity to account for both mental strain and work performance when examining the effects of task repetitiveness. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

Accession Number: 96645877; Häusser, Jan Alexander 1; Schulz-Hardt, Stefan 2; Schultze, Thomas 2; Tomaschek, Anne 3; Mojzisch, Andreas 1; Affiliations: 1: Institute of Psychology, University of Hildesheim; 2: Institute of Psychology, Georg-August-University Göttingen; 3: Institute of Psychology TU Dresden; Issue Info: Jul2014, Vol. 35 Issue 5, p705; Thesaurus Term: Job performance; Thesaurus Term: Work design; Thesaurus Term: Job enrichment; Thesaurus Term: Work environment; Thesaurus Term: Simulation methods & models; Thesaurus Term: Task performance; Subject Term: Stress (Psychology); Subject Term: Well-being; Author-Supplied Keyword: job design; Author-Supplied Keyword: job enlargement; Author-Supplied Keyword: mental strain; Author-Supplied Keyword: task repetitiveness; Author-Supplied Keyword: well-being; Author-Supplied Keyword: work performance; Number of Pages: 17p; Document Type: Article