What is a 'good' job? Modelling job quality for blue collar workers

2016-04-20T10:00:47Z (GMT) by Wendy Jones Roger Haslam Cheryl Haslam
This paper proposes a model of job quality, developed from interviews with blue collar workers: bus drivers, manufacturing operatives and cleaners (n=80). The model distinguishes between core features, important for almost all workers, and 'job fit' features, important to some but not others, or where individuals might have different preferences. Core job features found important for almost all interviewees included job security, personal safety, and having enough pay to meet their needs. 'Job fit' features included autonomy and the opportunity to form close relationships. These showed more variation between participants; priorities were influenced by family commitments, stage of life and personal preference. The resulting theoretical perspective indicates the features necessary for a job to be considered 'good' by the person doing it, whilst not adversely affecting their health. The model should have utility as a basis for measuring and improving job quality and the laudable goal of creating 'good jobs'. Practitioner summary Good work can contribute positively to health and wellbeing, but there is a lack of agreement regarding the concept of a 'good' job. A model of job quality has been constructed based on semi-structured worker interviews (n=80). The model emphasises the need to take into account variation between individuals in their preferred work characteristics.