Living one's calling: The role of skill variety and task Identity

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Recent research on calling emphasized on the important distinction between having a calling and living a calling in order to explain the positive effects of callings on well-being. However, a number of factors are critical in this regard (Duffy & Autin, 2013). The present study focuses on the understudied role of work characteristics (task identity and skill variety) in explaining the linkage between having a calling and living it. A quantitative study was conducted among a sample of 520 working nurses in the Netherlands. Testing moderating effects with regression analysis, results show that the level of skill variety nurses have does not have an effect on the strength of the relationship between having a calling and being able to live it. Task identity however significantly moderates the relationship between presence of calling with living a calling, while controlling for age, working hours per week, working experience, leadership position, salary and educational level. However, this moderation effect was not in the hypothesized direction. Results indicate that as the level of task identity grows, the strength of the relationship between presence of calling and living a calling becomes weaker. A post hoc mediation analysis revealed that task identity was a significant mediator in the process of transforming the presence of calling into a state of actually living it. Therefore, one can conclude that nurses with a calling are also more likely to live out their calling by working in jobs with high levels of task identity.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen