Utilizing the Job Characteristic Theory

by Matthew T. Fretwell

Directions: This task does not require a specific reading, but pertains to the life of Saul, first king of Israel. Read the Summation and Task below, and then in your own words, answer each question in 100 words or less. (Reference:

Summation and Task:

King Saul was chosen to be king over Israel (1 Sam. 15:1); however, in his self pride, Saul did not adhere to the commands which God specifically gave. The Lord had lain out precise “job characteristics” for Saul. One of them was to utterly destroy the Amalekites (1 Sam. 15). The Lord provided specific “meaningfulness and responsibility” especially in “task identity,” to Saul, saying: “…do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’” Regardless, Saul fails at his given task, but had the choice of performing his responsibility. Saul’s mistake almost cost the entire Jewish people to be annihilated.

Saul allowed King Agag to live (although short lived, as Samuel had to put him to death), and apparently at least one of his sons, as well. Nearly six hundred years later (470 B.C.), while the Jews were in exile during the reign of King Xerxes (Ahasuerus), the book of Esther gives us one important detail, stating: “After these things King Ahasuerus promoted Haman the Agagite, the son of Hammedatha, and advanced him and set his throne above all the officials who were with him” (Esther 3:1). We see here, that Haman was an Agagite, directly related to King Agag of the Amalekites, whom Saul was to utterly destroy. Due to Saul’s inefficiency of responsibility, six hundred years later, Haman writes a decree to kill all Jews throughout the earth (Esther 9:24). Having read the job Characteristics Theory and this pertaining Biblical account, answer the following questions.

1. To be an effective leader, how do we make sure that proper Biblical goals are set and that the ones underneath of us understand their responsibilities and task identities?

2. To be an effective leader, how do we make sure that proper Biblical goals are motivating?