The Job Redesigning Process: A Study of Medical Representatives using the Job Characteristics Model

Maria Michailidis, Nicolina Dracou

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    An examination of the levels of job satisfaction of Medical Representatives was conducted using the Job Characteristics Model (JCM) and the Job Diagnostic Survey (Short Form), Hackman and Oldham, (1980). The study indicated the immediate need for job redesign in order to increase the general satisfaction levels. It seems that the current job design is not proportionally aligned with the skills and expectations of the majority of the workforce, and does not fulfill employees’ needs for achievement, recognition and growth. The least satisfied demographic category of Medical Representatives in Cyprus, and the category that seeks immediate job redesign is the Graduate degree holders; also those belonging to the age group of under 28 years old, and those working in the industry for 2-5 years demonstrated low general satisfaction levels. As far as the differences between genders in terms of satisfaction levels, no significant differences were shown. Furthermore, it was shown that the profession needs to be redesigned in a manner that would match and moreover exceed the employee’s needs in all of the five job characteristics of: Skill Variety, Task Identity, Task Significance, Autonomy and Feedback, thus adding value to the profession and to the pharmaceutical industry. Dhanjal (2006) refers to medical representatives as the bridges between the pharmaceutical industry and the medical profession (Dhanjal 2006). According to recent international data there are approximately 1,500,000 professional medical representatives worldwide, from which the three hundred and forty three are working in Cyprus according to the Cyprus Association of Medical Representatives ( The everyday work activities of medical reps are very stressful, demanding and require high energy and self-motivation as it is a profession dealing with everyday sales which depend on whether the customers/doctors feel convinced about the quality of the products ( Medical reps have similar job related stress issues as salespeople dealing with non-pharmaceutical products (Anderson and Onyemah 2006). In the past the particular profession in Cyprus was open for everybody, but in 2003 the medical representatives’ profession was established by law to be performed only by university graduates in the science field ( As a result, the “new-blood” of professionals has higher expectations as far as the job design and definitely higher job satisfaction standards than their “old-school” colleagues. The gap between employees’ expectations and the job design offerings is causing moderately high turnover rates. A few attempts have been made by certain large pharmaceutical companies, in order to redesign the job description of a medical representative and retain the “talents” of the organization as well as attain “talents” of the market however there is still room for improvement.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)228-235
    JournalCambridge Business Review
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


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