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Hackman and Oldham: Job Characteristics Model of Motivation

How do the characteristics of the task at hand affect motivation? This is the question that Hackman and Oldham tackle in their Job Characteristics model of motivation.

In this video, we look at the three factors that contribute to the Hackman and Oldham the ‘Motivating Potential’.

Watching this video is worth 1 Management Courses CPD Point*.
(See below for more details)

This video is part of course module number 3.7.3
Program 3: Managing and Leading Individuals
Course 7: Motivation
Section 3: Content Models of Motivation

Primary videos that precede this video include:
– Introduction to Motivation https://youtu.be/hbPGqPLv2s4
– The Fundamentals of Motivation https://youtu.be/IVjnAZ-8-dY

Primary Content (or needs) Models of Motivation videos include:
– Abraham Maslow and The Hierarchy of Needs https://youtu.be/gz5zNx3KnrE
– Clayton Alderfer and ERG Theory https://youtu.be/a01zosRYGnk
– Frederick Herzberg and Two Factor Theory https://youtu.be/f_qyDfZYfXQ
– David McClelland and Three Motivational Needs Theory https://youtu.be/jxNhGE3gPcA
– Ryan & Deci: Self Determination Theory https://youtu.be/dR_-6pUfCBg
– Daniel Pink and Motivation 3.0 https://youtu.be/5A5vxXwv92Q

Richard Hackman & Greg Oldham offer us a very practical take on how to make a task motivating.

Hackman and Oldham start from the assumption that most of us get an intrinsic reward from completing a task. This is a feature of David McClelland’s Need for Achievement (nAch).

Hackman and Oldham argue that three psychological needs contribute to the motivation to do a piece of work. These are their three job characteristics.

1. Meaning (M)
This is something that Danial Pink focuses on: https://youtu.be/5A5vxXwv92Q
Hackman and Oldham suggest that meaning is made up of three components:
– Identity (i) – the extent to which the worker identifies with the complete product
– Variety (v) – we lose motivation if we get bored)
– Significance (s) – the extent to which we find the work we are doing makes a worthwhile contribution

2. Autonomy (A)
This is about a sense of responsibility for the job we are tasked with
Both Daniel Pink and Ryan & Deci (https://youtu.be/dR_-6pUfCBg) emphasize this

3. Feedback (F)
Will we be able to monitor ur progress – either directly, or with the assistance of an observe (such as our manager or supervisor)?

Hackman and Oldham calculate:

Motivating Potential MP = M x A x F
Meaning M = 1/3 x (i + v + s)

A high Motivating Potential leads to high motivation. This, in turn, leads to:
– High-quality performance
– High levels of work satisfaction
– Low absenteeism and staff turnover

1. If you have not done so, it would be helpful to take a look at our videos:
– David McClelland and Three Motivational Needs Theory https://youtu.be/jxNhGE3gPcA
– Ryan & Deci: Self Determination Theory https://youtu.be/dR_-6pUfCBg
– Daniel Pink and Motivation 3.0 https://youtu.be/5A5vxXwv92Q
2. Consider the jobs and tasks that different members of your team do. What are the motivating potentials for each? [You can score each of i, v, s, A, F out of 10 to get a fair comparison. (2 MC CPD Points)
3. Where you find low scores, tink about how you can shift the characteristics of their jobs to increase the motivating potential. (2 MC CPD Points)

Free Resources
– CPD Tools – https://gum.co/MC-CPD
Paid resources
– Management Courses Onboarding Kit – https://gum.co/MC-ObK ($3)


For a solid introduction to motivation:
– HBR Guide to Motivating People https://geni.us/sO2IKgn

The best of modern thinking on motivation, in accessible business books. These are all modern classics:
– Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action https://geni.us/vjErAN
– Lead, Motivate, Engage: How to INSPIRE Your Team to Win at Work https://geni.us/ABkZEx
– Multipliers, Revised and Updated: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smart https://geni.us/E39I
– Payoff: The Hidden Logic That Shapes Our Motivations https://geni.us/uMaP

Management Courses Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Points
You can record your Management Courses CPD points on our free, downloadable CPD record log.
Download it here: https://gum.co/MC-CPD

Each video has two levels of MC CPD points. For this video:
– If you simply watched the video, record 3 MC CPD points
– If you also carried out all of the recommended exercises, score a total of 11 MC CPD points

Links to our book recommendations are affiliated through Amazon

#Motivation #JobCharacteristics #HackmanOldham


Expectancy Theories of Motivation: Vroom and Beyond [Compilation]
How Do We Motivate People? Top Process Models of Motivation [Compilation]
What Motivates People? The Top Motivation Models [Compilation]
Porter & Lawler: Expectancy Theory on Steroids
Edward Lawler: Vroom Enhanced with Two Types of Expectancy
William Ouchi: Theory Z Organizations and Motivation
The Psychology of Motivation: Understand the Basics
Basics of Motivation: Building Morale in your Team
Basics of Motivation: Incentives – do they work?
Work Orientation Theory: John Goldthorpe and How Attitudes affect Motivation
Edwin Locke: Goal-Setting Theory of Motivation
Daniel Pink and Motivation 3.0 – Content Models of Motivation
Ryan & Deci: Self Determination Theory (SDT) – Content Models of Motivation
Chris Argyris and the Immaturity-Maturity Model of Motivation: Treat People as Adults
Rensis Likert and High Producing Managers – Process Models of Motivation
David McClelland and Three Motivational Needs – Content Theories of Motivation
Clayton Alderfer and ERG Theory – Content Models of Motivation
Frederick Herzberg and the Two-factor Theory – Content Models of Motivation
Abraham Maslow and the Hierarchy of Needs – Content Model of Motivation
Douglas McGregor and Theory X & Theory Y: Process of Model of Motivation
John Stacy Adams and Equity Theory: Process of Model of Motivation
Victor Vroom and Expectancy Theory: Process of Model of Motivation
Elton Mayo and the Hawthorne Experiment: Process of Model of Motivation
The Fundamentals of Motivation – Motives, Drives, and being Blocked
Introduction to Motivation: Key Questions Answered

Mike Clayton

About Mike Clayton 

Dr Mike Clayton is a (former) Project Manager and now a management educator. Having trained thousands of people at live workshops, seminars, and conferences, he now delivers training mainly via video. He has 14 books with international publishers and runs two successful YouTube channels. He is also the founder of OnlinePMCourses.com

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