Volume 9 Issue 2 (2020)

The Interaction Between Perceived Task Complexity, Individual Work Orientation, and Job Crafting in Explaining Flow Experience at Work

pp. 101-113  |  Published Online: December 2020  |  DOI: 10.22521/unibulletin.2020.92.3

Waweru Ibrahim Kahari, Kyakuha Mildred, and Ashaba-JAheebwa Marion


This study assessed the interaction between perceived task complexity, individual work orientation, and job crafting in explaining flow experience at work. The study was conducted using the National Social Security Fund of Uganda. Individual work orientation and perceived task complexity were assessed as the independent variables, job crafting as the mediating variable, and flow experience as the dependent variable. The study was based on work environments not necessarily being very friendly, yet employees are expected to be happy and post a positive performance. Thus it was expected that the independent variables would boost employees’ proactive behaviors towards achieving peak performance. The study adopted a cross-sectional design employing a quantitative approach. Self-administered questionnaires were distributed to a target study group of 387 individuals selected using random sampling. The results indicated that individual work orientation and perceived task complexity were good predictors of job-crafting behavior amongst employees, which is considered a proactive effort to redesign one’s work in order to make it more bearable or interesting. Equally, it was found that job crafting is one of the means of fostering flow experience which is characterized by work enjoyment, intrinsic motivation, and absorption. Given the results, it can be deduced that when the work is not clear or is complex, employees tend to proactively seek ways to make it easier through different initiatives; driven by their internal work desires they proactively seek for ways to achieve their end result successfully. When this is done, their work becomes more enjoyable, and they apply fully their concentration.

Keywords: Task complexity, job crafting, individual work orientations, flow experience.


Arts. R. (2012). A Multilevel study on the Contagion of Job Crafting between Coworkers and the Relationship between Job Crafting and Adaptivity (Master’s thesis). Utrecht University, Netherlands.

Berg, J. M., Dutton, J. E., & Wrzesniewski. A. (2013). Job crafting and meaningful work. In B. J. Dik, Z. S. Byrne, & M. F. Steger (Eds.), Purpose and Meaning in the Workplace (pp. 81-104). American Psychology Association. https://psycnet.apa.org/doi/10.1037/14183-005

Berg, J. M., Grant, A. M., & Johnson, V. (2009). When callings are calling: Crafting work and leisure in pursuit of unanswered occupational callings. Organization Science, 21(5), 955-1123.

Berg, J. M., Wrzesniewski, A., & Dutton, J. E. (2010). Perceiving and responding to challenges in job crafting at different ranks: When proactivity requires adaptivity. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 31(2-3), 158-186. DOI: 10.1002/job.645

Campbell, J. P. (1998). Modeling the performance prediction problem in industrial and organizational psychology. In M. Dunnette & L. M. Hough (Eds.), Handbook of industrial and organizational psychology (2nd ed., Vol. 1, pp. 687-732). Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists.

Caza, B. B. (2008). Experiences of adversity at work: Toward an identity-based theory of resilience (Doctoral dissertation). University of Michigan.

Creswell, J. W. (2014). Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches (7th ed.). Los Angeles, CA: Sage.

Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1975). Beyond boredom and anxiety. San Francisco, CA: Josey-Bass.

Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2002). Beyond boredom and anxiety. Experiencing flow in work and play. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Eisenberger, R., Jones, J. R., Stinglhamber, F., Shanock, L., & Randall, A. T. (2005). Flow experiences at work: for high need achievers alone? Journal of Organizational Behavior, 26(7), 755-775 . DOI: 10.1002/job.337

Ghitulescu, B. E. (2006). Shaping asks and relationships at work: Examining the antecedents and consequences of employee job crafting (Doctoral dissertation). University of Pittsburgh, PA.

Kira, M., van Eijnatten, F. M., & Balkin, D. B. (2010). Crafting sustainable work: development of personal resources. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 23(5), 616-632.

Ko, I. (2012). Crafting a job: Creating optimal experiences at work (Doctoral dissertation). Claremont Graduate University, CA.

Krejcie, R. V., & Morgan, D. (1970). Determining Sample Size for Research Activities. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 30(3), 607-610.

Nakamura, J., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2002). The concept of flow. In C. R. Snyder & J. S. Lopez (Eds.), Handbook of Positive Psychology (pp. 89-105). New York, NY: Oxford University.

Petrou, P. (2013). Crafting the Change: The Role of Job Crafting and Regulatory Focus in Adaptation to Organizational Change (Doctoral dissertation). Utrecht University, Netherlands.

Rickli, S. G. (2010). Job crafting. Quality of life Development.

Tims, M., & Bakker, A. B. (2010). Job crafting: Towards a new model of individual job redesign. South African Journal of Industrial Psychology, 36(2), Article 841.

Tims, M., Bakker, A. B., & Derks, D. (2012). Development and validation of the job crafting scale. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 80(1), 173-186.

Wrzesniewski, A., & Dutton, J. E. (2001). Crafting a job: Revisioning employees as active crafters of their work. Academy of Management Review, 26(2), 179-201.

Wrzesniewski, A., LoBuglio, N., Dutton, J. E., & Berg, J. M. (2013). Job crafting and cultivating positive meaning and identity in work. In A. B. Bakker (Ed.), Advances in Positive Organizational Psychology (Vol. 1, pp. 281-302). Bingley, United Kingdom, Emerald.

Wrzesniewski, A., McCauley, C., Rozin, P., & Schwartz, B. (1997). Jobs, Careers, and Callings: People’s Relations to Their Work. Journal of Research in Personality, 31(1), 21-33.



► New issue coming soon! (Volume 10 Issue 1, 2021)

Call for Papers

UNIBULLETIN is calling for submissions to the Vol. 10, Issue 2, 2021.

Authors are invited to submit papers from the broader fields of the social sciences and related disciplines in the international context. 

All submissions should be presented only in English. Manuscripts should be send to the Editor-in-Chief via e-mail: editor@unibulletin.com