The University of Edinburgh -

Working Papers on the Reconciliation of Work and Welfare in Europe

REC-WP 05 / 09

Quality of work concept and measurement

Svenn-Åge Dahlm, Torstein Nesheim, Karen M. Olsen

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In this paper we review some of the most essential literature on the concept and measurement of quality of work. We show that different academic fields have conceptualized quality of work in distinct ways however there has been a convergence in the positions. Although there is a lack of coherent measures or indicators, the utility a multi-dimensional approach, including both monetary and non-monetary indicators is often recommended. We propose six dimensions to be included in the measurement of quality of work: job security, pay and fringe benefits, intrinsic job rewards, work intensity, skills, and autonomy and control. The majority of the literature relies on subjective indicators of job quality. One way to improve data quality is to merge administrative data and survey data, combining both objective and subjective measures.


Job quality, multi-dimensional concept, pay, job security, intrinsic