Work design theory: A review and critique with implications for human resource development

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

55 Scopus citations


Six theoretical perspectives on work design are examined for their contributions to our understanding of how work is organized and designed in organizations: sociotechnical systems theory process improvement, adaptive structuration theory, the job characteristics model, technostructural change models, and activity theory. A critique of these theories raises concerns about their ability to explain the design of work in new work environments. The critique highlights the need to eliminate the discontinuity in how theory explains the structure and articulation of work among system levels. The implications of this study for further research on work design theory and for human resource development practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-109
Number of pages25
JournalHuman Resource Development Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2005


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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