Motivational nature of the critical systems operator job: expanding the job characteristics model with relationships

D. Harrison McKnight, Norman L. Chervany

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


Since 1980, when Couger and Zawacki called computer operations an information systems 'stepchild,' relatively little research has been done on computer operators. Almost no research has addressed the motivation of critical systems operators (CSOs), who run computer systems on which thousands of people depend to accomplish their daily business. Employing the Job Characteristics Model (JCM), this empirical study found that: a) the motivation predictions of the JCM were upheld in the CSO work environment, with Job Significance and Experienced Meaningfulness being the most consequential factors; b) CSOs were significantly more highly motivated in terms of job characteristics and related motivational measures than either the computer operators or the systems analysts studied by Couger and Zawacki; c) in spite of the strong job characteristics motivation of CSOs, the relationship of CSOs with their supervisors, and with the organization, added predictive power to the Job Characteristics Model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the ACM SIGCPR Conference
Number of pages10
StatePublished - Jan 1 1998
EventProceedings of the 1998 ACM SIGCPR Conference - Boston, MA, USA
Duration: Mar 26 1998Mar 28 1998


OtherProceedings of the 1998 ACM SIGCPR Conference
CityBoston, MA, USA


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