Idiosyncratic jobs occur when formal job duties match the abilities or interests of a specific person. New duties can accrue or be negotiated to match an existing employee or a potential hire. Idiosyncratic jobs can help organizations deal with changing contexts, and influence organizational goals and structure. They can affect job holders’ careers and organizational job structures. The evolutionary accumulation of idiosyncratic jobs can potentially generate unplanned organizational learning. Promising research frontiers include links to work on job crafting, I-Deals, negotiated joining, and ecologies of jobs. Deeper exploration of these domains can advance core theories of job design and organizational transformation and inform normative theory on organizational use of idiosyncratic jobs without falling into cronyism, inefficiency, or injustice.
Ramon Aldag, Linda Argote, James Baron, Lisa Cohen, Jane Dutton, Randy Dunham, Suzanne Estler, Heather Haveman, James G. March, David Robinson, Thekla-Rura Polley, Jeffrey Pfeffer, Denise Rousseau, W. Richard Scott, and Myra Strober provided valuable advice. Stanford University Organizations program, National Institute for Mental Health, the Wisconsin Business School Research Fund, the University of Wisconsin-Madison Graduate School, and the Decision and Risk Science Division of the National Science Foundation provided financial support for this research stream.
Miner, A.S. and Akinsanmi, O.(. (2016), "Idiosyncratic Jobs, Organizational Transformation, and Career Mobility", The Structuring of Work in Organizations (Research in the Sociology of Organizations, Vol. 47), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 61-101. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0733-558X20160000047016
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