Job Demand Control Model by Robert Karasek

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This article explains the Job Demand Control Model by Robert Karasek in a practical way. After reading it, you will understand the basics of this powerful effectiveness and stress management tool.
What is the Job Demand Control Model?
In 1979, with his Job Demand Control Model (JDC model or Demand Control Support (DCS) model), US sociologist Robert Karasek presented an assessment of stress and stress factors in the work environment (labour intensity) and health promotion in the workplace.

It has become one of the best-known models with regard to workload and work-related stress and emphasises two important aspects:
Height of strain (demands)
These are the requirements that are set at work, including work rate, availability, time pressure, effort and difficulty. Such requirements represent the psychological stressors in the work environment.
Decision latitude (control)
This concerns the freedom an employee has to control and organise his own work. This latitude refers to the control that employees have about their duties and how they want to perform these tasks. It consists of both competence and decision-making authority.

Both the job requirements and the management capabilities can be low or high. The Job Demand Control Model shows that the strain itself does not lead to high psychological stress. It is about the combination of the strain and the decision latitude that the job offers.

If the latitude to organise your work according to your own ideas is limited, this can lead to symptoms of stress. If it is possible for him to regulate the work himself, an employee can often handle the workload more adequately and is more motivated.
Job stress and the Job Demand Control model
The Job Demand Control Model is aimed at balancing requirements and autonomy; the decision latitude someone has. Robert Karasek posits that employees, who have demanding jobs, experience a lot of stress if they cannot decide when they do the work.

As soon as the (element of) control becomes less or is barely present at all, the workload will feel higher, leading to stress. Conversely it is also true that despite the high demands of the job, the personal control is actually a nice addition that leads to employees feeling far less stressed.

In jobs where control is given to time and deadlines, employees experience a lot more stress than when they can decide and use their own time schedule. This form of autonomy is therefore much more important in stress developmen...

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