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The effects of task characteristics and sub-unit structure on dimensions of information processing
journal contributionposted on 1993-01-01, 00:00 authored by R M Zeffane, Ferdinand Gul
Using survey responses from 1300 full-time employees in the Australian Telecommunications Industry, this paper explores the relative effects of task characteristics and sub-unit structure on aspects of information processing. Results of multiple regressions revealed that task characteristics have a greater impact on amounts and timeliness of information. In contrast, structural characteristics have greater effects on the degree of openness and accuracy of information. More specifically: (a) variety and task analyzability were found to increase the amount and timeliness of information; (b) greater sub-unit size tends to reduce openness and accuracy of information, while greater participation and formalization tend to increase these. Further scrutiny of these effects revealed that (a) the impact of structural characteristics on information accuracy and openness (i.e., section-level information processing) were strongly moderated by sub-unit size and (b) the effects of task characteristics on amounts and timeliness of information (i.e., individual-level information processing) were strongly moderated by the nature of the job, as strong differences between administrative, managerial, technical, and engineering positions were discovered in this regard.