Job crafting can build moral muscle, Harvard Business Review article says

April 3, 2020

The Harvard Business Review article “Craft a Career That Reflects Your Character” cites research by Center for Positive Organizations (CPO) co-founder Jane Dutton and faculty affiliate Amy Wrzesniewski.

The article encourages workers to harness the types of job crafting that Dutton and Wrzesniewski have identified in their research—cognitive, task and relational—to not just make work more meaningful and satisfying, but also to transform it into a crucible for self-improvement.

“We propose that through job crafting — by actively reimagining, redefining, and redesigning your own job — your workplace can become a moral laboratory for character development,” morality researchers Isaac H. Smith and Maryam Kouchaki write in the article. “This is particularly important considering the thousands of hours you will likely spend at work, and it all begins by reframing your approach to work as an opportunity to become a better person, in all aspects of your life.”

Dutton is a CPO core faculty member and the Robert L. Kahn Distinguished University Emerita Professor of Business Administration and Psychology at the University of Michigan.

Wrzesniewski is a professor of organizational behavior at the Yale School of Management at Yale University.