The main aim of this dissertation was to examine whether positive organizational interventions based on JD-R theory can enhance employees’ work engagement and performance. This thesis presented five empirical intervention studies from different perspectives; (a) a personal resources intervention aimed at increasing personal resources, based on a top-down approach; (b) job crafting interventions aimed at optimizing job demands and resources, designed with a bottom-up approach; and (c) JD-R interventions aimed at optimizing both personal resources and job demands and resources, combining both a top-down and bottom-up approach.

These studies were conducted to test whether JD-R theory can successfully be turned into practice. In the overall, these five intervention studies shed light on the effectiveness of positive organizational interventions. The results presented in this dissertation strengthen JD-R theory by revealing that interventions based on the principles of JD-R theory can increase employees’ work engagement and performance. In addition, this dissertation offers insight into the underling process revealing how job crafting contributes to work engagement. Employees become engaged through job crafting because by crafting their job, employees can satisfy their need for competence, autonomy and relatedness. Thus, employees who proactively craft their job by adapting their job demands and resources engage in self-determination and consequently satisfy their basic needs. By satisfying their basic needs, employees become engaged at work, which subsequently leads to improved performance. Our findings also contribute to Self-Determination Theory (Deci & Ryan, 2001) by showing that basic need satisfaction can be enhanced when employees themselves adapt their own work environment instead of their managers. Thus, proactively adapting job demands and resources may lead to real self-determination.
In sum, the thesis showed that JD-R theory can be successfully turned in to practice using JD-R interventions with both a bottom-up and top-down approach.

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A.B. Bakker (Arnold) , D.A.J.A. Derks-Theunissen (Daantje)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Department of Psychology

Van Wingerden, J. (2016, June 16). Job Demands-Resources Interventions. Erasmus University Rotterdam. Retrieved from