Dirty work: who decides who does it?
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Science
The assignment of unexpected tasks to employees has negative consequences for both employee and organization, in the way of employee well-being and successful organizational entry respectively. If such tasks were to possess an additional aspect of being “dirty”, and if it is newer employees who are the victim of such inappropriate assignment, such outcomes may not only be compounded, but these factors may also explain new employee high accident rates. The present research investigated whether co-workers or supervisors tended to be responsible for task assignment, whether the party responsible for task assignment was associated with employees’ perceptions of how “dirty” and risky the task was, and whether new employees tended to be assigned “dirty” tasks. 71 participants from New Zealand and around the world provided information on the nature of the tasks they were assigned when they first began work at their current job, and at the present point in time. One-way ANOVAs were used to compare means between these two instances. Results revealed that co-workers are involved in task assignment roughly half the time, and that, when co-workers are involved, participants were less expecting to have to undertake the assigned task(s) compared to when only supervisors were responsible for assignment. Organizations may wish to determine whether such a trend exists in their workforce, and encourage employees to make known any improper task assignment taking place.