Date of Award


Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name





Psychology, Industrial.




It was proposed that the principal effects of computerization on job content in clerical work can be described in terms of increasing or decreasing task complexity and job decision latitude. The purpose of the study was as follows: (a) to investigate, in computer-based clerical tasks, the effects of variations in task complexity and job decision latitude on performance, subjective workload, and perceptual and affective responses to the work; and (b) to assess the effects of individual differences in abilities, personal control beliefs, and work preferences on reactions to task characteristics. One hundred and thirty-four female undergraduate students performed proofreading, text entry, and data entry tasks on a micro-computer. The subjects performed the tasks under one of four combinations of work conditions: low or high task complexity, and low or high job decision latitude. As hypothesized, subjects performed better when task complexity was low rather than high. The subjects reported lower workload when job decision latitude was high rather than low. With regard to perceptual and affective responses to the work, subjects in the high job decision latitude condition perceived their work to be lower in complexity than subjects in the low job decision latitude condition. Predicted relationships between abilities, locus of control, and work aspect preferences were not observed. Contrary to predictions, neither ability or locus of control moderated perceptual and affective responses to the work. Consistent with predictions from theories of job enrichment, strong associations were observed between perceptions of high task complexity, meaningfulness, and skill-utilization, and intrinsic task satisfaction. Implications of these findings for the psychologically-based design of computerized clerical work are discussed. Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 50-08, Section: B, page: 3738. Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1989.