analysis is a procedure for establishing the constituent
responsibilities of an
employee’s job. Conventional approaches tend to obtain descriptions of
characteristics through relatively informal interview procedures; or by
compiling and assessing lists of incidents of successful and
performance (Flanagan, 1954). These have been criticised because they
job descriptions that are insufficiently behaviourally precise (e.g.
‘team player’) while ignoring the need for flexible change in job
(Townsend, 1985); or for being inapplicable to the competencies
supervisory and managerial jobs (Summers, 1994).
alternative involves the use of elements carefully
sample job characteristics, a qualifying phrase that summarises the
performance focus required, and a single supplied construct that
focus and permits the isolation of those constructs most relevance to
performance. That is to say:
are elicited to describe 8 to 12 key types of activity
me an activity that is time-consuming in doing this job; an activity
particularly important to get right in doing this job; an activity that
particularly difficult to get right’ together with their converses,
‘quickly done’, ‘not particularly important’, ‘easy to get right’).
Alternatively, job incumbents known to the respondent are used,
anonymised (‘Please let me have two people who are particularly good at
job; two who are not very good at this job; and four in between.’)
are elicited triadically, with the qualifying phrase ‘which
these are alike, and different from the third, in terms of what it
them that makes for effective job perfomance as opposed to ineffective
performance’ in the first instance, and with the qualifying phrase
two of these are alike, and different from the third, in terms of
what they actually do that makes them more, or less, effective’
in the second
|The supplied construct
would typically be ‘Overall, related more to
job performance - Overall, related more to ineffective job
words to that effect.
of the ratings, (see Honey,
1979), designed to identify those
closely related to the ‘Overall Effectiveness - Ineffectiveness’
would typically require around 300 constructs to capture the chief
of the job; since a one-hour grid interview based on this technique
produces 8 - 12 distinct constructs, a total of around 30 respondents
required. These might usefully be a mixture of job incumbents, their
colleagues, and their supervisors.
J.C. (1954) The
critical incident technique. Psychological Bulletin 51, 237-258.
P. (1979) The
repertory grid in action. Industrial
and Commercial Training 11, 11,
A. (1994) Setting
standards of competence for management training. British Journal of
Administrative Management Oct/Nov, 18-19.
R. (1985) Further
up the Organisation. New York: Coronet Books, pp. 115-116.