Advantages and Disadvantages of Five Popular Job Analysis Methods

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Cascio: Managing Human
Resources: Productivity,
Quality of Work Life,
Profits, Seventh Edition
II. Employment 5. Analyzing Work and
Planning for People
© The McGraw−Hill
Companies, 2005
Chapter 5 Analyzing Work and Planning for People 167
Table 5–1
Job performance With this method there is exposure This method is inappropriate for jobs to actual job tasks as well as to the that require extensive training or are physical, environmental, and social hazardous to perform.

demands of the job. It is appropriate
for jobs that can be learned in a
relatively short period of time.
Observation Direct exposure to jobs can provide a If the work in question is primarily mental, richer, deeper understanding of job observations alone may reveal little requirements than workers’ useful information. Critical, yet rare, job descriptions of what they do. requirements (e.g., “copes with emergencies”) simply may not be

Interviews This method can provide information Workers may be suspicious of interviewers about standard as well as nonstandard and their motives; interviewers may ask and mental work. Because the worker ambiguous questions. Thus, distortion of is also his or her own observer, he or information (either as a result of honest she can report on activities that would misunderstanding or as a result of not be observed often. In short, the purposeful misrepresentation) is a real worker can provide the analyst with possibility. For this reason, the interview information that might not be available should never be used as the sole from any other source. job analysis method.

Critical incidents This method focuses directly on what It takes considerable time to gather, abstract, people do in their jobs, and thus it and categorize the incidents. Also, because provides insight into job dynamics. by definition the incidents describe Because the behaviors in...
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