Building Coalitions for Job Crafting: Leader-subordinate Autonomy Expectation (In)congruence



Job crafting is an important proactive organisational behaviour of employees, offering a set of beneficial organisational outcomes. Yet, little is known about what makes employees engage in such proactive behaviour. Drawing on role theory, we suggest that the congruence of leader-subordinate autonomy expectations nurtures subordinates' experiences of having their competences adequately utilised in their jobs. This experience involving the competence mobilisation of their work roles subsequently fosters subordinates' engagement in job crafting behaviour. We also propose that leadership coalition influence tactics may help subordinates to see the relevance of the given autonomy to their competence development. A two-stage field study of 145 leader-subordinate dyads using cross-level polynomial regression and response surface analysis supported the (in)congruence hypotheses. The results also demonstrated subordinates' perceived competence mobilisation as a mediator carry over the congruence effect on job crafting. In addition, leader coalition as a moderator strengthens the effect of perceived competence mobilisation as a psychological condition for job crafting. Implications for practice and future research are discussed.

We are grateful to Amy Wrzesniewski and to Adam Grant for sharing with us the job crafting scales and their invaluable feedback on the manuscript's earlier version.