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Peer Review

Task Significance

by Rosangela Nicolini


Overall Numeric Rating:

4.75 stars
Content Quality: 4.75 stars
Effectiveness: 4.75 stars
Ease of Use: 4.75 stars
Reviewed: May 24, 2010 by Business Editorial Board
Overview: The ‘Task Significance’ Podcast is a recording of an interview with Adam Grant, an Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior/Strategy in the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Adam presents the definition of ‘Task Significance’ and its importance as a motivator for employees and describes through Case Study Reports, founded on research interventions, various applications to apply these interventions. Ultimately, the research reports showed that such interventions that highlighted ‘Task Significance’ resulted in increased employee motivation, satisfaction and effectiveness. The podcast is approximately 15 minutes in length and takes the form of a February 2008 interview in which Michael Johnson (Assistant Professor in the Department of Management and Organization at the University of Washington) interviews Adam Grant . In the interview, Dr. Grant discusses his recently published work on “the significance of task significance.”
Type of Material: Lecture/Presentation (podcast of an interview)
Recommended Uses: The material would best be used as a foundation for F2F or online class discussion. It also could inform homework assignments (e.g., working students could provide examples of how their own work organizations might implement approaches for increasing employees' perception of task significance).
Technical Requirements: Browsers Mozilla and Chrome tested fine to access the Pod-cast. Quick Time or Microsoft Media Player will work to play this audio pod-cast but in some cases it may require the user to download, install and run these devices.
Identify Major Learning Goals: Students will be able to: • define task significance. • understand the relationship between perceived task significance and work motivation, work performance, and job satisfaction. • describe ways in which contemporary organizations increase workplace motivation and productivity by focusing on task significance. • explain how organizational research contributes to managerial practice.
Target Student Population: The population that would benefit from this Case Study Pod Cast could include but would not be limited to, Business management students; Organizational Behavior and Human Resource students, in either undergraduate or graduate levels. Application for this model, however, has purpose in any discipline that is service oriented, or that deals with employees and employee satisfaction and performance, industrial psychology, emotional intelligence, etc.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Prerequisite knowledge would not necessarily be required to benefit from this audio Pod Cast, because it has discipline-diverse applicability, however, it may be better used in context with other assignments. The only skill that may or may not be required is to install audio software and run it.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.75 stars
Strengths: •The author of contemporary research in an area of much interest provides a clear, comprehensible explanation of his work. • Perhaps most important, the interview explores the ways in which this research can positively impact managerial practice.
Concerns: This piece would be most effective and provide a more comprehensive demonstration of the concepts, when used in conjunction with other assignments in this theme: stand alone written assignments or team projects, or even inserted as part of a lecture presentation.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4.75 stars
Strengths: While this is a brief presentation, it highlights several points in research-based case studies. However, since this is an audio only pod cast presentation, and therefore it may not be the best learning modality for students who are more predominantly visual or tactile learners.
Concerns: The podcast is 15 minutes in length. Though the interview is engaging, the lack of a script will require the listener (i.e., the student) to take good notes in order to capture key points.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4.75 stars
Strengths: While this podcast does not have a video component, the audio presentation alone may be a sufficient format because the origin of why this presentation was created was for a radio interview - seeing the interviewer and interviewee would not necessarily contribute to the overall learning.
Concerns: The length of the Under New Management podcasts is not noted on the web site. Instructors who use the podcast as a class resource should make sure to let students know how much time they will need to set aside to listen to the podcast. In addition, instructors may wish to encourage students to take notes (as a script does not appear to be available).

Other Issues and Comments: This Pod Cast is appropriate for its intentions and while brief is engaging and clearly establishes the purpose. It would contribute to study assignments that reference employee motivations, and performance measurement.

Creative Commons:
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States