Complementing the traditional focus in work design on “top-down” organizational interventions, research into proactive work behavior suggests that “bottom-up” processes, based on the “micro-emancipatory” actions employees engage in, create more rewarding and meaningful work experiences. Based on current theorizing, this study tests a tripartite model of task self-redesign and positive work-related states of meaning, affective commitment, and work–home enrichment. The interactive effects of three modes of task influence are postulated: (a) the active use of existing potentials for task autonomy; (b) job crafting, as unauthorized and self-organized modifications of task features; (c) the individual renegotiation of tasks through idiosyncratic deals (i-deals) with superiors. Survey data from an occupationally heterogeneous convenience sample of N = 279 German-speaking employees were analyzed, using confirmatory factor analysis and moderated linear regression. The regression results confirmed that task i-deals consistently related to positive experiences, whereas autonomy only related to one, and task crafting had no significant main effect. A significant two-way interaction between i-deals and crafting was found only in relation to affective commitment. Supporting the suggested tripartite model, significant (synergistic) three-way interactions explained the additional variance in all three examined outcomes. These results offer some preliminary insights into the interplay of organizationally designed, individually crafted, and interpersonally negotiated work activities. Task autonomy, task-directed job crafting, and task i-deals appear to fulfill complementary roles in the self-directed creation of positive work experiences. Methodological limitations and further research needs are discussed.
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