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When and why skill variety influences employee job crafting: Regulatory focus and social exchange perspectives

Jie Li (Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, Suzhou, China)
Tomoki Sekiguchi (Graduate School of Management, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan)
Jipeng Qi (School of Economics and Management, Beijing Jiaotong University, Beijing, China)

Employee Relations

ISSN: 0142-5455

Article publication date: 21 February 2020

Issue publication date: 26 March 2020



The literature on job crafting has paid scant attention to the role of skill variety, one dimension of job characteristics, as a predictor of employee job crafting. By integrating regulatory focus and social exchange perspectives with job crafting literature, the authors investigate how skill variety promotes employee job crafting and the moderating roles of employee's promotion focus and procedural justice climate.


The authors conducted two questionnaire surveys, one with a sample of 205 employees from a variety of organizations in China, and the other one with a sample of 265 employees within 44 work groups at a state-owned enterprise in China, to examine the hypotheses.


Results suggest that a high level of skill variety within a job promotes employee job crafting, that such an effect is stronger when the employee's promotion focus is high rather than low, and that procedural justice climate mitigates the negative influence of a low level of promotion focus.


The authors' findings suggest that both self-regulatory and social exchange mechanisms play a critical role in promoting employee job crafting when individuals are engaged in jobs that entail a high level of skill variety.



We acknowledge the financial support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (71702095), the Humanity and Social Science Youth Foundation of Ministry of Education of China (17YJC630076), and the Grants for Excellent Graduate Schools, MEXT, Japan. We appreciate Professor Kristopher J. Preacher's helpful suggestions on the statistical issues.


Li, J., Sekiguchi, T. and Qi, J. (2020), "When and why skill variety influences employee job crafting: Regulatory focus and social exchange perspectives", Employee Relations, Vol. 42 No. 3, pp. 662-680.



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