Phase III: Taxonomy Testing Phase (years 3 & 4)

Goals of this phase: To gather data from the experimental research sites and to test the major research hypotheses.

Progress: Phase III

• To date, JPQ software for the Preview version has been installed and training has occurred at two sites and scheduled for a third. Data are being collected and transferred to a central database.

Phase IV: Dissemination Phase (year 5)

Goals of this phase: To disseminate findings from the formal research study, to describe the nature and potential uses of "products" produced during the course of the research, and to provide continuing education credits for staff education and training seminars.

Expected Value of the Research

In the design or structuring of jobs, experts recognize that there are distinct populations of workers for whom special consideration needs to be given. Over two decades ago, McCormick (1979) identified those with disabilities of varying types and the elderly (p. 301) as two broad groups that need to be considered with regard to job design.

Today, experts in the field of psychosocial rehabilitation recognize that job restructuring may be needed in order to reduce the barriers to work for members of the population of adults with SPMI (e.g., Mancuso, 1990). The JCM is a widely used and studied approach to job design which addresses the relationships between the perceived structure of jobs and important workplace outcomes. Even so, literature reviews confirmed by a recent communication with Richard Hackman (October, 1998 e-mail), co-developer of the JCM, revealed that no direct tests have been conducted on the JCM as it relates to the population of working adults with SPMI. There are numerous reasons for conducting such an investigation. First, I/O psychologists clearly see the relevance of job design for dealing with work-related issues of distinct populations. Second, anecdotal evidence suggests that dimensions of jobs and other factors noted in the JCM and similar frameworks may be relevant to the population of adults with SPMI. Third, investigations of work barriers that exist for persons with psychiatric disabilities suggest a link to job design. Finally, legislation strongly supports consideration of job accommodations, including job re-structuring, as a means for making reasonable workplace modifications for persons with varying disabling conditions.

A variation of the Job Characteristics Model (JCM) is expected to have utility for effectively "matching" adults with SPMI to jobs. Information related to perceived job characteristics and other variables in the JCM is expected to be useful to a) CSP workers and others engaged in communicating with consumers about work-related issues and goals, b) job developers in assisting members of this population seek out jobs, c) employers interested in modifying jobs to suit the needs of persons with SPMI, and, d) consumers and their families attempting to understand job-related factors that might influence success at work.

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