Development of a Task Assignment Tool to Customize Job Descriptions and Close Person-Job Fit Gaps

Bryan Walter Booker, Western Michigan University


Does the knowledge worker fit the job or should the job fit the knowledge worker? This research developed a methodology and a tool to customize a knowledge worker’s job design to better fit their knowledge, skills, abilities and characteristics. The research outcomes support the customization of the job design to improve person-job fit, the documentation of the customized job design as a position description, and the use of a structured person-task assignment process. The recommended task assignment process includes a job aid that uses multivariate equations to predict expected task performance. Data were collected from two knowledge worker sub-groups: lean leaders and youth leaders. The data were used to evaluate the hypotheses and to develop and test the person-task assignment tool.

A valid and reliable measure of the level of job customization was developed and tested. The measure demonstrated significant correlations with measures of person-job fit and the job outcomes of task performance, job satisfaction and intent to quit. A method for developing a tool to predict expected task performance for a task assignment decision was developed and tested. The method reduced twenty-four person-task fit and preference variables to ten predictive variables for problem solving, project and routine task performance. The research also investigated the effect of the incumbent’s preferred behavior style on ratings of person-job fit and the occurrence of job customization.