It is a metric evaluators use to evaluate the capacity of a job to motivate. The model underlying the metric – Hackman and Oldham’s Job Characteristics Model, which principally posited that it is the job itself that determines motivation -- was developed to reflect the psychological state of the worker, characteristics of the job as well as characteristics on the part of workers that determine responses to jobs. It is frequently used by managers to redesign jobs to increase motivation.
It considers motivation in terms of five aspects, viz. autonomy, feedback, identity, significance, variety. These five factors are supposed to have bearing upon three psychological states – experienced meaningfulness, experienced responsibility for outcomes and knowledge of actual results. Meaningfulness is supposed to arise from three components: an appropriate level of variety in application of skills, ability to identify oneself with the task, and the significance of the task itself in terms of its wider impact. Responsibility is identified primarily in terms of independence and discretion in scheduling and determining procedure. Knowledge of outcomes results from feedback, possibly from any quarter of stakeholders, and both quantitative and qualitative.
A highly motivating job, that is one with a high MPS, is one that maximizes the impact in terms of the three psychological states. The MPS is the multiplication of the meaningfulness, autonomy and feedback components. Should a job’s MPS be low, job rotation and job enrichment are avenues the HR management must take up. Employees in leadership roles are likelier to have higher MPS than those in line functions.