Job and Work ANALYSIS: Methods, Research, and Applications for Human Resource Management

Books

Michael T. Brannick, Edward L. Levine & Frederick P. Morgeson

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  • Chapters
  • Front Matter
  • Back Matter
  • Subject Index
  • Dedication

    To Bob Guion and to my fellow students in Bob's job analysis class in 1980

    —M. T. Brannick

    To my grandson, Joshua Evan, and granddaughters, Samantha Maryssa, and Aliyah Rachel and their delightful grandmother, my bride Rosalie

    —E. L. Levine

    To Deborah, Marilyn, and Mildred, you have made such a difference in my life

    —F. P. Morgeson

    Copyright

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    Preface

    Job analysis provides useful tools for those working in human resource management, human factors, and industrial and organizational psychology. Others, such as industrial engineers, have also used these tools. Although job analysis has been with us since the dawn of scientific management, it still provides valuable guidance for those who wish to develop new programs or improve existing ones that enhance the contributions of people in organizations. Such programs can help people work smarter, improve hiring and training, make jobs safer, provide a more satisfying work environment, and even allow some of us to make money watching other people work (the last item is one of our favorites). Once you have read this book, you too will be convinced of the value of job analysis.

    Who Will Benefit from This Book?

    This book is intended mainly for undergraduate and graduate students in classes covering human resources management, including classes in job analysis, industrial psychology, organizational behavior, and more specific classes in areas such as personnel selection, training, and compensation. The book can stand on its own or be used with another text that covers the class content. Professionals in a variety of areas, especially human resources or personnel, may find the book useful. It should be particularly helpful to those new to the human resources function in companies and in government. But even experienced professionals may find a new wrinkle or two.

    Purpose

    In this book, we describe several methods for discovering, understanding, and describing the nature of work and applying the results of job analysis to problems arising in the management of people at work. We have made judgment calls about what to include and exclude among the many methods and applications available. Methods that are commonly used in industrial engineering for applications such as work scheduling are given minimal attention. However, we feel that the most important and commonly used methods in human resource management are treated in enough detail that you, the reader, should become familiar with their value and uses. We show in detail some of the marriages between job analysis methods and purposes. We have discovered from teaching job analysis that such marriages are central to understanding its value. Finally, we have incorporated some practical suggestions for doing job analysis based on research and on our own experience. In many places throughout the book, we cross-reference other chapters that are relevant to the topic at hand. Thus, the instructor may choose to assign chapters in an order different from that in the book, and professionals may access those chapters that meet their immediate needs.

    A Note on Voice

    At various points in the book, we report experiences that one or the other of us has had in job analysis or human resources practice more generally. In such instances, we say “we” rather than distinguish who did what among the authors, for it tends to distract the reader from the point. We often address the reader directly to avoid passive voice.

    Acknowledgments

    We thank the Sage editorial staff, especially Jim Brace-Thompson, and freelance copy editor Pam Suwinsky for their help with the manuscript; and several reviewers who have either taught with the first edition of this book, carefully read the revised manuscript, or both, for their thoughtful and helpful comments. We also owe a great debt to those who contributed to the current state of our knowledge and skill. Ronald Ash, PhD, and Juan I. Sanchez, PhD, collaborated with us in past research and have been instrumental to our own development. Many others have helped educate us, and more important, advanced the field. They and their work are referred to often in the chapters that follow. A special note of thanks goes to Dr. Ren Nygren at DDI, and Dr. Carol Jenkins at Bigby-Havis for supplying a great deal of useful information on new developments in competency modeling. Also deserving our gratitude are Drs. Dave Thomsen, Alan Mead, and Lyle Leritz at the Economic Research Institute for their updates on the PAQ and the DOT.

  • Glossary

    • Ability Requirements Scales (ARS) are related to a taxonomy of human abilities covering cognitive, perceptual, physical, and psychomotor areas. The abilities are each linked to one or more psychological tests. ARS are used to evaluate or judge the degree to which each of the generic human abilities is required by the job.
    • Adverse impact is a term used to describe a situation in which a test or hiring process results in disproportionate failure or rejection rates among protected categories of applicants such as racial or sex groups. See also “Uniform, Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures” (1978).
    • AET (Arbeitwissenschaftliches Erhebungsverfahren zur Tätigkeitsanalyse, “ergonomic task analysis data collection procedure”) is a job analysis method that comes from an ergonomics perspective, and attempts to minimize human stress and strain while maximizing performance quality and quantity.
    • Age Discrimination in Employment Act (1967) and later extensions or amendments prohibit discrimination in employment based on age. The act protects people 40 years of age and older.
    • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (1990) prohibits employers from discriminating against qualified people with disabilities, or a history of disabilities, as well as those who are regarded as being disabled due to assumed disabilities such as disfigurement.
    • Behavioral observation scales (BOS) use behavioral statements to illustrate the meaning of a facet of job performance. They do so by having the rater respond to each item in terms of frequency of occurrence rather than to the category as a whole, as in behaviorally anchored rating scales (BARS).
    • Behaviorally anchored rating scales (BARS) are used in performance appraisal, where they assist raters by providing behavioral descriptions (“anchors”) to help people understand what the points on a rating scale mean.
    • Building blocks of job analysis methods include descriptors, sources of data, methods of collecting data, and units of analysis. See Chapter 1 for details.
    • Civil Rights Acts (1964, 1972, and 1991) prohibit employers from discriminating on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, or national origin.
    • Cognitive task analysis is a collection of techniques all of which focus on understanding the mental processes involved in successful completion of a task.
    • Combination job analysis method (C-JAM) gives information about what gets done on the job and how, as well as information on the human attributes needed to do the job, which is information essential for legal, quasi-legal, and other purposes that relate to human resource management.
    • Competency models link the specific business strategy to attributes needed in people to pursue the strategy. For example, if an organization were to pursue a business strategy focused around innovation, the organization would want to hire, develop, and reward creative people.
    • Comprehensive Occupational Data Analysis Program (CODAP) is a computerized system developed originally in the U.S. Air Force for collecting and analyzing task inventory data.
    • Critical incidents are short stories about particular instances of either outstanding or poor performance in which the context, worker actions, and degree of worker responsibility for the outcome are specified.
    • Critical incident technique (CIT) is a job analysis method that helps to restrict the job analysis information by ignoring typical or ordinary job behavior. It requires that job experts recall specific incidents of either very good or very poor performance on the job.
    • Descriptors are the units or components of the job examined during the job analysis.
    • Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT) was developed by the U.S. Department of Labor to create a common set of job descriptions that would allow people in different agencies and geographic locations to communicate effectively about jobs. The latest version of the DOT contains more than 10,000 job descriptions.
    • Equal Pay Act (1963) requires employers to pay men and women the same salary for the same job, that is, equal pay for equal work.
    • Executive orders come from the U.S. president's authority to make rules and regulations for the federal government and also for those doing business with the federal government.
    • Forced-choice scales are a format for rating scales used in performance appraisal that aim to control for leniency on the part of the rater. The scales make it difficult for the rater to tell how favorable the rating is.
    • Functional job analysis (FJA) is a job analysis method that is based on tasks and the premise that whatever workers do, they do in relation to one of three aspects of work: data, people, or things.
    • Generalized work activity (GWA) is a task description that is written at a broad level so that it can apply to multiple occupations. These descriptors are part of the new Occupational Information Network (O*NET) that will replace the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT).
    • Graphic rating scales are used for performance appraisal. The scales usually require the manager to make quantitative ratings of various, often generic, aspects of the worker's job performance such as quality of work or quantity of work.
    • J-coefficient, in the job element method (JEM), is an estimate of a validity coefficient that would result if a validation study were conducted using a job element for selecting employees.
    • Job classification is the process of placing one or more jobs into a cluster or family of like jobs.
    • Job Components Inventory (JCI) is a questionnaire that lists 220 items related to tools and equipment plus other information useful for vocational purposes.
    • Job description is a brief written description of work intended to communicate the essence of the job. It usually contains identifiers, a summary, and duties and tasks. Job description is the most common application of job analysis.
    • Job design is the process of bundling tasks or units of work into a collective called a job. It is intended to meet three kinds of organizational needs: production system needs, social-organizational needs, and individual worker needs.
    • Job element method (JEM) focuses on knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics needed to perform work, and their degree of importance for selection or training.
    • Job evaluation is the process of establishing the worth of jobs to an employer.
    • Job redesign is the resorting or redistribution of tasks to replace old jobs with new ones.
    • Knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics (KSAOs) are human attributes needed to perform work. Their definition and use varies somewhat by author (see the sections on job elements, e-JAM, and legal aspects (Table 6.1).
    • Machines, tools, equipment, and work aids (MTEWA) are tangible objects used by the worker to accomplish work goals.
    • Management Position Description Questionnaire (MPDQ) uses quantitative responses to standard items in a questionnaire for the analysis of the job. The MPDQ was designed to use managers' self-reports of their jobs.
    • Materials, products, subject matter, and services (MPSMS) are the work outputs, or immediate goals, of the job.
    • Multimethod Job Design Questionnaire (MJDQ) is a method of analyzing jobs based on four different approaches to job design. The approaches are biological, mechanistic, motivational, and perceptual/motor. Trade-offs in benefits are typically expected across the four areas.
    • Multiphase analysis of performance (MAP) system is a job analysis method that covers team mission and functions; team member tasks; and team member knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics (KSAOs) needed to perform their tasks. The term MAP also conveys the idea that the method proceeds from a global picture of the team to the specific actions taken by the team as a whole and its members separately.
    • Occupational Information Network (O*NET) is an online occupational database organized around six sets of descriptors that serve as a content model. The information may be accessed at a general or specific level and can be used for numerous human resource applications. The network awaits refinements and updating based on sound research. The data can be accessed via the Internet: http://www.onetcenter.org/.
    • Occupational Reinforcer Pattern (ORP) is a worker-oriented method of job analysis. ORP traits are linked to human motives at work that can be used for vocational guidance purposes.
    • Performance appraisal is the formal process of evaluating the job performance of individuals (and teams) who have been working for some period.
    • Position Analysis Questionnaire (PAQ) is a questionnaire containing generic descriptors aimed at describing the basic nature of all jobs. The PAQ also notes that the environment and social setting play a role in job performance. Questionnaire responses are analyzed into job dimensions, which can be used in selection and job evaluation.
    • Professional standards are guidelines for job analysis proffered by organizations whose members conduct or evaluate job analysis. The Principles forValidation and Use of Personnel Selection Procedures published by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychological Psychology, and the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing published by the American Educational Research Association, the American Psychological Association, and the National Council on Measurement in Education are most relevant.
    • Purpose and practicality are the two primary influences on choice of job analysis methods.
    • Rehabilitation Act (1973) served as the foundation for the Americans with Disabilities Act. The law prohibits discrimination in employment based on handicap.
    • Reliability of job analysis data refers to the degree of consistency or agreement among raters using various scales and across time, which is referred to also as stability of data.
    • Role is an expected pattern of behavior that is focused on specific positions in a group.
    • Subject matter expert (SME) is an incumbent, his or her supervisors, or specialists who are considered to have in-depth knowledge about their own jobs or jobs with which they have substantial familiarity.
    • Task inventory is a listing of all the work activities performed to complete one or more jobs; each activity is commonly referred to as a task. A task inventory is presented to incumbents and supervisors in a survey format. Usually, the items are rated on scales such as time spent that serve to indicate task importance. The survey responses provide the data for the job analysis.
    • Task Inventory/Comprehensive Occupational Data Analysis Program (TI/CODAP) (see Comprehensive Occupational Data Analysis Program).
    • Threshold traits analysis (TTA) or Threshold Traits Analysis System (TTAS) is a job analysis method based on a standard set of 33 traits derived from a comprehensive database of work activities.
    • Time-and-motion study is a method of job analysis that evolved primarily from industrial engineering rather than from industrial psychology. Its descriptors are generally very small elements of work such as the timing of movements of the arms and fingers and/or their relationship to each other.
    • Training is the structured and systematic process by which workers learn what they need to know, think, or do to perform successfully on the job.
    • “Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures” (1978) are instructions to employers that tell how to ensure the legality of employment tests. The Guidelines describe requirements for job analysis and validation when adverse impact occurs. They were issued jointly in 1978 by federal compliance agencies including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
    • Validity of a job analysis can be inferred by the extent to which human resource programs developed from job analyses are noticeably and significantly improved relative to programs not developed from job analyses.
    • Work Performance Survey System (WPSS) is a computerized task inventory approach used in industry that descended directly from the Comprehensive Occupational Data Analysis Program (CODAP) system devised by the U.S. Air Force.
    • Worker mobility deals with how employees move into and through the organization and includes such movement as promotions, demotions, and transfers to different geographic locations. Organizations may provide career ladders and lattices to facilitate worker movement. Jobs in the ladders and lattices may be described by their needed experience; training; and knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics (KSAOs).
    • Workforce planning involves the estimation of the supply of qualified employees and the demand for employees of various types. Action plans are developed to ensure that supply and demand match as closely as possible.

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    About the Authors

    Michael T. Brannick earned his PhD in industrial and organizational psychology from Bowling Green State University in 1986. He is currently Professor in the Psychology Department at the University of South Florida. He teaches a graduate seminar in job analysis. His research interests include research methods and teams.

    Edward L. Levine earned his PhD in industrial and organizational psychology from New York University in 1970. He is currently Professor in the Psychology Department at the University of South Florida and served as chair of the department from 1993 to 2001. His research interests include job analysis, personnel selection, control in organizations, and affect at work. He is certified as a diplomate in Industrial and Organizational Psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology, and he is a Fellow of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology and the American Psychological Association.

    Frederick P. Morgeson earned his PhD in industrial and organizational psychology from Purdue University in 1998. He is currently an Associate Professor of Management at the Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University and is a recipient of the 2005 American Psychological Association Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution to Psychology in Applied Psychology. His research involves attempting to understand the nature of work, which includes the design and measurement of work activities, including those assigned to teams. In addition, he studies the effectiveness of different staffing techniques and the role leadership plays in high-risk and team-based environments.


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