NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Effect of Job Complexity on Job Satisfaction: Evidence From Turnover and Absenteeism

Andrew Weiss

NBER Working Paper No. 1597
Issued in April 1985
NBER Program(s):   LS

Usinga detailed sample of semi-skilled production workers we find that holding a wide range of personal and job-related characteristics constant, workers assigned to more complex jobs seem to be more likely to quit than are workers assigned to simpler jobs. Job complexity has no discernible effect on absenteeism. Matching better educated workers to more complex jobs affects neither absenteeism nor quit propensity. Thus it appears that experimental evidence suggesting that job enlargement increases worker satisfaction is likely to stem from the experimental design: asking for volunteers to be assigned more complex jobs, and improving the quality of supervision for workers assigned to more complex jobs.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w1597

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