Favorable job characteristics (e.g., presence of job resources such as autonomy and skill variety) are considered to be beneficial for workers motivation, well-being, and personal development. On the other side, poor work quality negatively affects employee well-being, organizational costs and performance, private life, and society. Occupational health psychology has established theoretical models and empirical knowledge on various aspects of the relationship between people and their work but the majority of research focuses on negative variables (e.g., stressor-strain relationship) and is cross-sectional. Longitudinal studies are important for several reasons, for example some effects may occur with longer exposure time. Thus, with this project we will focus on longitudinal effects of positive variables, i.e. resources at work for young workers in Switzerland.
Our two main goals of this project are 1) Strengthen occupational health psychology's knowledge on positive job characteristics, and 2) extend knowledge on (individual) development processes over time (e.g. reciprocal effects and parallel development). Quantitative analyses are based on the two largest longitudinal data samples within Switzerland; the Work Experience and Quality of Life in Switzerland (AEQUAS) and Transition from Education to Employment (TREE) longitudinal studies on quality of working live. Both studies allow us to follow occupational and personal pathways of young workers in Switzerland.
The scientific significance of this project is to gain a better understanding of relationships between positive aspects of work and worker’s personal resources over time. Also study results will extend knowledge in occupational health psychology to young workers and positive aspects of work. Employers will learn more about long-term effects of job characteristics and job design.