Task Discretion is a critical capacity provided to individuals for their self-realization in work: it is a chance given to employees, enabling them to make certain choice at work. Task discretion can be measured by a degree to which employees are allowed by their employers to act independently with work they are assigned to complete. Level of task discretion affects:
- Realization of talents: in some conditions managerial directions may suppress self-development of employees, but a higher level of task discretion can stimulate them to explore their talents.
- Personal satisfaction: people may feel much more contented with what they complete when they are less “controlled” – we all feel ourselves happier and can work more productive when we are less stressed out by too attentive supervision.
- Work motivation: when employees don’t suffer too much from a directive style of management, they can better realize their creativity and prove their professional qualities;
Examples of different levels of task discretion are the following situations:
- An employee is provided by standard workplace procedures and corporate business processes, but he is enabled to select specific working tools at his own discretion (let’s say he can choose between several computer applications from different developers);
- An employer gives to his employees a specification of the results he needs to obtain (along with some other constraints), but this employer is not really concerned in how these results will be delivered – employees can act at their own discretion;