The Work Design Questionnaire (WDQ): Developing and validating a comprehensive measure for assessing job design and the nature of work

Frederick P. Morgeson, Stephen E. Humphrey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

890 Scopus citations


Although there are thousands of studies investigating work and job design, existing measures are incomplete. In an effort to address this gap, the authors reviewed the work design literature, identified and integrated previously described work characteristics, and developed a measure to tap those work characteristics. The resultant Work Design Questionnaire (WDQ) was validated with 540 incumbents holding 243 distinct jobs and demonstrated excellent reliability and convergent and discriminant validity. In addition, the authors found that, although both task and knowledge work characteristics predicted satisfaction, only knowledge characteristics were related to training and compensation requirements. Finally, the results showed that social support incrementally predicted satisfaction beyond motivational work characteristics but was not related to increased training and compensation requirements. These results provide new insight into how to avoid the trade-offs commonly observed in work design research. Taken together, the WDQ appears to hold promise as a general measure of work characteristics that can be used by scholars and practitioners to conduct basic research on the nature of work or to design and redesign jobs in organizations. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1321-1339
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2006


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Psychology

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