This paper develops the concept of task interdependence and integrates it in the Hackman and Oldham (1976) theory of job design. Two dimensions of initiated task interdependence and received task interdependence are developed as multidimensional concepts, each being made up of the elements of scope, resources, and criticality. A distinction is made between the two psychological states of experienced responsibility for one's own work and personal outcomes, and experienced responsibility for others' (dependents') work and personal outcomes for whom one initiates task interdependence. Autonomy is hypothesized to be related only to experienced responsibility for one's own work outcomes while initiated task interdependence is related to experienced responsibility for others' work outcomes. Initiated interdependence is also hypothesized to be positively related to the affective positive work and personal outcomes, while received task interdependence is negatively related to these variables. New subscales for the measurements of these constructs are developed and reliability and validity coefficients are reported. The substantive results give support to the motivating potential of initiated task interdependence. However, the results do not support the hypotheses associated with received task interdependence. While autonomy was found to be much more strongly related to all the critical psychological states than the Hackman-Oldham theory would predict, job feedback yielded negative results. These findings are discussed by identifying potential areas of future research and extending the concept of interdependence to the wider organizational context.

Additional Metadata
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1016/0030-5073(83)90118-6
Journal Organizational Behavior and Human Performance
Citation
Kiggundu, M. (1983). Task interdependence and job design: Test of a theory. Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, 31(2), 145–172. doi:10.1016/0030-5073(83)90118-6