What is Task Identity?
Task identity refers to the degree to which a job allows employees to perform a whole piece of work and to clearly identify the outcome of their effort.
To make better understanding, Task identity involves the extent to which a job requires a jobholder to perform all the tasks necessary to complete that job from the beginning to the end of the production process.
For example, a crafts worker who takes a piece of wood and transforms it into a custom-made piece of furniture, such as a desk, has higher task identity than a worker who performs only one of the numerous operations required to assemble a television.
Specialized jobs are low in task identity because employees perform only a small segment of an entire job. This rarely provides a sense of accomplishment because the employees never have a picture of the whole.
Designing jobs so that employees perform a job from beginning to end increases task identity.
Consider the job of a dressmaker. This job could be designed so that one group of dressmakers cuts patterns, another assembles them, a third sews them, and a fourth inspects the finished garments. Conversely, individual dressmakers could be allowed to cut, assemble, sew, and inspect completed dresses.
The latter would constitute a whole job, with the dressmakers not only using a variety of skills, but being able to clearly identify the results of their individual efforts.
Ford Motor Co’s Aston Martin Lagonda auto works in England provides a second example of task identity. Each engine is handmade and autographed by a single craftsman. It takes 16 weeks to complete a car.