The process of reinventing a job: A meta–synthesis of qualitative job crafting research

Alessandra Lazazzara, M. Tims, Davide De Gennaro

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Two different research streams are encountered in the job crafting literature. The first, defined as task, cognitive, and relational job crafting by Wrzesniewski and Dutton (2001), has predominantly applied qualitative research designs to explore how employees craft their jobs to better align them with their preferences, abilities, and motivations to enhance work meaning and identity. The second stream, characterized by crafting job demands and job resources (Tims & Bakker, 2010), focuses mostly on quantitative research designs and examines the antecedents of job crafting and whether those antecedents are related to work-related well-being and performance. Although the quantitative studies have recently been meta-analyzed (Lichtenthaler & Fischbach, 2018; Rudolph, Katz, Lavigne, & Zacher, 2017), the knowledge that is captured in the qualitative studies has not been formally integrated. We contribute to a better understanding of job crafting by conducting a meta–synthesis of the qualitative research. Analyzing 24 qualitative studies, we developed a process model of job crafting that enhances an in-depth understanding of the processes associated with job crafting. More specifically, we highlight the motives for job crafting (i.e., proactive or reactive) and how the specific context may influence the form of job crafting in which individuals engage. Next, the process model shows that personal factors connect job crafting forms to the experienced job crafting consequences. The process model enables a better understanding of the conditions under which job crafting is most likely to generate positive or negative experiences.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103267
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Vocational Behavior
Issue numberPart B
Early online date6 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020

Bibliographical note

Part of special issue: 2019 Review Issue. Edited by Nadya A. Fouad.


  • Job Crafting
  • Process model
  • meta-synthesis


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