The Role of Supervisor Behavior in Facilitating Opportunities for Skill Development and Utilization

D.L. Morrison, D.M. Upton, John Cordery, [No Value] W (Editor), G. Salvendy Karvwowski (Editor)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


The job design literature has established that job demands and control mechanisms have an influence on productivity and affective outcomes. It has also been suggested that when demands and control are high, new, job-relevant knowledge can be developed. What is less clear are the mechanisms by which the effects of job content are realized especially when the job requires employees to deploy mental skills. In this article we suggest that opportunity to develop and use skills is the learning mechanism which mediates job characteristics and work outcomes. We report data from an organization that demonstrates such an effect. In addition, we consider the context into which job redesign is implemented. We examine the impact of supervisor behavior on both job content and skill learning opportunities in a contemporary organization. We found supervisor behavior to act both as a source for job content and, importantly, to set the climate in which learning behavior takes place. Psychological climate was found to have a direct effect on skill development and exerted a major influence on a structural equation model of job design and work-related affect. (C) 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-67
JournalHuman Factors and Ergonomics in Manufacturing
Publication statusPublished - 1999


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