Job analysis and job design
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Job Analysis and Job Design. Chapter 4. Chapter Overview. Basic Terminology Job Analysis Job Design Summary of Learning Objectives. 4- 3. Basic Terminology.

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Job Analysis and Job Design

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Job AnalysisandJob Design

Chapter 4

Chapter Overview

  • Basic Terminology

  • Job Analysis

  • Job Design

  • Summary of Learning Objectives


Basic Terminology

  • Micromotions – Simplest unit of work; involves very elementary movement, such as reaching, grasping, positioning, or releasing an object

  • Elements – An aggregation of two or more micromotions; usually thought of as a complete entity, such as picking up or transporting an object

  • Tasks – Consists of one or more elements; one of the distinct activities that constitute logical and necessary steps in the performance of work by an employee

    • A task is performed whenever human effort, physical or mental, is exerted for a specific purpose


Basic Terminology

  • Duties – One or more tasks performed in carrying out a job responsibility

  • Responsibilities – Obligations to perform certain tasks and assume certain duties

  • Positions – Collection of tasks and responsibilities constituting the total work assignment of a single employee

  • Jobs – Group of positions that are identical with respect to their major or significant tasks and responsibilities and sufficiently alike to justify their being covered by a single analysis

    • One or many persons may be employed in the same job

  • Occupations – A grouping of similar jobs or job classes


Relationship among Different Job Components


Job Analysis

  • Process of determining and reporting pertinent information relating to the nature of a specific job

    • Involves determining the tasks that comprise the job and the skills, knowledge, abilities, and responsibilities required of the holder for successful job performance

    • End product of a job analysis is a written description of actual requirements of job

    • When performing a job analysis, the job and its requirements (as opposed to characteristics of person currently holding the job) are studied

  • It is the beginning point of many human resource functions

    • Specifically, data obtained from job analysis form the basis for a variety of human resource activities


Job Analysis Influencing Human Resource Activities

  • Job definition – Job analysis results in a description of duties and responsibilities of job

  • Job redesign – Job analysis often indicates when a job needs to be redesigned

  • Recruitment – Process of seeking and attracting a pool of people from which qualified candidates for job vacancies can be chosen

    • Job analysis not only identifies job requirements but also outlines skills needed to perform job

  • Selection and placement – Process of choosing from those available the individuals who are most likely to perform successfully in a job

    • Job analysis determines importance of different skills and abilities


Job Analysis Influencing Human Resource Activities

  • Orientation – Introduction of new employees to the organization, work unit, and job

    • Effective job orientation cannot be accomplished without clear understanding of job requirements

  • Training – Learning process that involves acquisition of skills, concepts, rules, or attitudes to increase employee performance

    • Job analysis helps in determining training requirements, establishing training objectives, and helps determine the reason of problem occurrence

  • Career counseling – Job analysis provides clarity on variety of jobs in the organization and clarifies exact job requirements


Job Analysis Influencing Human Resource Activities

  • Employee safety – Often uncovers unsafe practices and/or environmental conditions associated with a job

  • Performance appraisal – The objective of performance appraisal is to evaluate an individual employee’s performance on a job

    • Job analysis helps in understanding exactly what an employee is supposed to do

  • Compensation – Job analysis helps ensure that employees receive fair compensation for their jobs

    • Once worth of a job has been established relative to other jobs, the employer can determine an equitable wage or salary schedule


Information Provided by a Job Analysis


Products of Job Analysis

  • Job description – Written synopsis of nature and requirements of a job

    • Concentrates on describing the job as it is currently being performed

    • Explains, in written form, what the job is called, what it requires to be done, where it is to be done, and how it is to be done

  • Job specification – Description of competency, educational, and experience qualifications the incumbent must possess to perform the job

    • Knowledge – Identifiable factual information necessary to perform job

    • Skills – Specific proficiencies necessary for performing tasks that make up the job

    • Abilities – General and enduring capabilities for doing the job

    • Other characteristics – Include any other pertinent characteristics not covered under knowledge, skills, and abilities


Contents of a Job Description


Job Description

  • A potential problem with all job descriptions is that they may become outdated

    • Often, it is not periodically updated to reflect any changes that have occurred in the job

  • Jobholder and his or her supervisor should review the most current job description annually and determine whether description needs updating

    • If updating is required, jobholder should play a central role in revising it

  • In the initial development of a job description, jobholder should be involved


Job Analysis Methods – Observation

  • Relatively simple and straightforward method of analyzing jobs; can be used independently or in conjunction with other methods

    • Motion study (methods study)

      • Determining motions and movements necessary for performing a task or job and designing most efficient methods for putting them together

    • Time study

      • Determines elements of work required to perform job, order in which those elements occur, and time required to perform them effectively

    • Work sampling

      • Based on taking statistical samples of job actions throughout the workday and then drawing inferences about requirements and demands of the job


Drawbacks of the Observation Method

  • Observer must be carefully trained to know what to look for and what to record

    • Helpful to use a form with standard categories of information to be filled in as job is observed to ensure basic information is not omitted

  • Its application is somewhat limited to jobs involving short and repetitive cycles

    • Complicated jobs and jobs that do not have repetitive cycles require such lengthy observation periods that it becomes impractical

  • Direct observation, can be used to get a feel for a particular job and then combined with other methods to thoroughly analyze


Job Analysis Methods – Interviews

  • Requires that person conducting job analysis meet with and interview jobholder

    • Unstructured interviews – Have no definite checklist or preplanned format; format develops as interview unfolds

    • Structured interview – Follows a predesigned format

      • Ensures that all pertinent aspects of job are covered

      • Easier to compare information obtained from different people holding the same job

  • Major drawback

    • Can be extremely time-consuming; compounded when several people are interviewed about the same job


Job Analysis Methods – Questionnaires

  • Typically three to five pages long and contain both objective and open-ended questions

    • For existing jobs – Incumbent completes questionnaire, has it checked by immediate manager, and returns it to job analyst

    • For new jobs – Questionnaire is normally sent to manager supervising the employee in the new job

    • Job being analyzed is vacant but is duplicated in another part of the organization – Questionnaire is completed by incumbent in the duplicate job

  • Information can be obtained from large number of employees in a relatively short time period

    • Used when large input is needed and time and cost are limiting factors


Job Analysis Methods – Questionnaires

  • Major Disadvantages of Questionnaire Method

    • Misinterpretation of information by respondent or analyst

    • Time-consuming and expensive to develop

  • A popular variation is to have incumbent write an actual description of the job, subject to approval of immediate supervisor

    • Advantage

      • Incumbent is often the person most knowledgeable about the job

      • Helps to identify any differences in incumbent’s and manager’s perceptions about job


Job Analysis Methods – Questionnaires

  • Position Analysis Questionnaire (PAQ) – Highly specialized instrument for analyzing any job in terms of employee activities

    • Uses six major categories of employee activities

    • Total of 194 descriptors, called job elements, describe the six categories in detail

    • Using a five-point scale, one can analyze each description for the degree to which it applies to the job

  • Primary advantage

    • Can be used to analyze almost any type of job

    • It is relatively easy to use

  • Major disadvantage

    • The sheer length of questionnaire


Employee Activity Categories Used in the PAQ


Sample Page from the Position Analysis Questionnaire (PAQ)


Job Analysis Methods – Questionnaires

  • Management Position Description Questionnaire (MPDQ) – Highly structured questionnaire designed specifically for analyzing managerial jobs

    • Contains 208 items relating to managerial responsibilities, restrictions, demands, and other miscellaneous position characteristics

    • These items are grouped under the 13 categories

    • Requires analyst to check whether each item is appropriate to job being analyzed


Management Position Description Questionnaire Categories


Job Analysis Methods – Functional Job Analysis

  • Developed by Employment and Training Administration of Department of Labor

    • Uses standardized statements and terminology to describe content of jobs

    • Collects detailed task statements and rates them according to function level or function orientation

      • Function level – Describes how an employee interacts with data, people, and things

      • Function orientation – Describes amount of time (in percentages) employees spends on tasks of each functional level

    • Each task statement is analyzed and rated to determine skills needed to perform task it describes

    • Results in position-specific information about work being performed and standardized information about both work and person performing the work


Occupational Information Network (O*NET)

  • Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT), that described over 12,000 jobs became obsolete and inefficient in early 1990s

    • Provided very job specific and dated information in many cases

    • Did not provide for any type of cross-job comparisons for job similarities and differences

    • Did not directly identify what characteristics employees needed to perform the job or under what conditions job was performed

  • To overcome these problems, the U.S. Department of Labor developed a new system called the occupational information network (O*NET)

    • United States’ primary source of occupational information


Occupational Information Network (O*NET)

  • O*NET database – Comprehensive online database of employee attributes and job characteristics

    • Provides definitions and concepts for describing employee attributes and workplace requirements that can be broadly understood

    • Using comprehensive terms to describe KSAs, it can accommodate rapidly changing job requirements

    • Continually updated by surveying a broad range of employees from each occupation – Done every five years

    • Content model – Encapsulates key features of an occupation into a standardized, measurable set of variables called “descriptors”

  • O*NET-SOC taxonomy – Identifies existing work occupations

    • Includes 949 occupational titles, 812 of which have data collected from job incumbents or occupation experts


The Content Model Forming the Foundation of O*NET


The ADA and Job Analysis

  • “Qualified individuals with disabilities” – Persons who have a disability and meet the skill, education, experience, and other job-related requirements of position held or desired and can perform essential functions of the position with or without reasonable accommodation

    • Requires identification of essential functions of each job and a reasonable accommodation to disabilities of qualified individual

  • Essential job function – One that is fundamental to successful performance of the job

  • Marginal job functions may be performed at certain times but are incidental to main purpose of the job

    • A job function is considered marginal if its performance is a matter of convenience and not a necessity


The ADA and Job Analysis

  • Reasonable accommodation means the employer may be required to alter conditions of a particular job so as to enable the candidate to perform all essential functions

  • An employer cannot be required to make an accommodation that causes undue hardship for the employer

  • Undue hardship refers to any accommodation that

    • Would be unduly costly, substantial or disruptive

    • Would fundamentally alter the nature or operation of business


Questions to Be Addressed to Determine Essential Functions


Potential Problems with Job Analysis

  • Top management support is missing

  • Only a single means and source are used for gathering data

  • Supervisor and jobholder do not participate in design of job analysis procedure

  • No training or motivation exists for jobholders

  • Employees are not allowed sufficient time to complete the analysis

  • Activities may be distorted

  • Participants fail to critique the job


Job Design

  • Process of structuring work and designating specific work activities of an individual or group of individuals to achieve certain organizational objectives

  • Job design process are divided into these phases

    • Specification of individual tasks – What different tasks must be performed?

    • Specification of the method of performing each task – Specifically, how will each task be performed?

    • Combination of individual tasks into specific jobs to be assigned to individuals – How will the different tasks be grouped to form jobs?

  • Phases 1, 3 determine content of job

  • Phase 2 indicates precisely how job is to be performed


Job Design

  • Goal of job design – Develop work assignments that meet requirements of the organization and technology, and that satisfy personal and individual requirements of jobholder

    • Key to successful job design is to balance requirements of organization and jobholder

  • Prevailing practice in designing jobs was to focus almost entirely on simplifying tasks to be undertaken

    • Usually resulted in making jobs as specialized as possible

    • Job specialization has its advantages, but can result in boredom and even degradation of jobholder


Advantages of JobSpecialization


Job Scope and Job Depth

  • Job scope – Number and variety of tasks performed by jobholder

    • In a job with narrow scope, jobholder performs a few different task and repeats them frequently

    • Can result in more errors and lower quality

  • Job depth – Freedom of jobholders to plan and organize their own work, work at their own pace, and move around and communicate

    • Its lack can create job dissatisfaction, tardiness, absenteeism, and even sabotage

  • A job can be high in job scope and low in job depth, or vice versa


Sociotechnical Approach to Job Design

  • Its thrust is that both the technical system and the accompanying social system should be considered when designing jobs

    • Jobs need to be designed by taking a holistic, or systems, view of the entire job situation, including its physical and social environment

    • The approach is situational

  • Requires job designer to consider role of employees in the sociotechnical system, nature of tasks performed, and autonomy of work group

  • Has been applied in many countries under headings such as “autonomous work groups,” “Japanese-style work groups,” or employee involvement (EI) teams


Using Sociotechnical Approach to Create Guidelines to Designing Jobs

  • Job needs to be reasonably demanding for the individual in terms other than sheer endurance, yet provide some variety (not necessarily novelty)

  • Employees need to be able to learn on the job and to continue learning

  • Employees need some minimum area of decision making that they can call their own

  • Employees need some minimal degree of social support and recognition in the workplace

  • Employees need to be able to relate what they do and what they produce to their social lives

  • Employees need to believe that the job leads to some sort of desirable future


The Physical Work Environment

  • The physical work environment should allow for normal lighting, temperature, ventilation, and humidity

    • Baffles acoustical wall materials, sound absorbers, soothing colors, limiting exposure to less-than-ideal physical conditions to short periods are measures employers can take

  • Mental and psychological impacts of work environment to be considered when designing jobs

  • Implementation of Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) in 1970 magnified safety concerns

    • Specifies federal safety guidelines that all organizations in United States must follow



  • Allows employees to choose, within certain limits, when they start and end their workday

    • Organization defines a core period

    • Some allow varied hours worked each day, as long as a specified weekly total is met

    • Advantages

      • Allows employees to accommodate different lifestyles and schedules

      • Allows employees to avoid rush hours, having less absenteeism and tardiness

      • Allows employers an edge in recruiting new employees and in retaining hard-to-find qualified employees

      • May result in an increase in productivity

    • Disadvantages

      • Can create communication and coordination problems for supervisors and managers



  • The practice of working at home or while traveling and being able to interact with the office

    • Information technology has aided its spurt

    • Advantages

      • Less travel time and travel expenses, avoiding rush hour

      • Avoiding distractions at office

      • Being able to work flexible hours

    • Disadvantages

      • Insurance concerns relating to health and safety of employees working at home

      • Lack of professional and social environment of workplace

      • Some state and local laws restrict just what work can be done at home

    • Recent evidence shows that when given a choice, employees prefer a mix of working part-time from home and part-time in office


Job Sharing

  • Two or more part-time individuals perform a job that would normally be held by one full-time person

    • Can be in the form of equally shared responsibilities, split duties, or a combination of both

    • Especially attractive to people who want to work, but not full-time

    • From organization’s viewpoint, job sharing aids in retention of valuable employees

    • A critical factor is how benefits are handled – Often benefits are prorated between part-time employees

    • Some organizations allow job-sharing employees to purchase full health insurance by paying the difference between their prorated benefit and the premium for a full-time employee


Condensed Workweek

  • Number of hours worked per day is increased and number of days in the workweek is decreased

    • Typically done by having employees work 10 hours per day for four days per week (known as 4/40)

    • Other variations include reducing total hours worked to 36 or 38 hours

    • Advantages

      • Lower absenteeism and tardiness

      • Less start-up time

      • More time available for employees to take care of personal business

    • Disadvantages

      • Fatigue that often accompanies longer hours


Contingent Workers

  • The U.S. Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics separates contingent workers into

    • Independent contractors and on-call workers, who are called to work only when needed

    • Temporary or short-term workers

  • Reasons that organizations use contingent workers include

    • Seasonal fluctuations, and project-based work

    • Desire to acquire skill sets not available in the normal employee

    • Population, hiring freezes, and rapid growth

  • Advantages

    • Flexibility for dealing with fluctuating product or service demand

    • Increasing workplace diversity

    • Determining potential as a future full-time employee

    • Providing skills organization doesn’t have in-house


Contingent Workers – Challenges

  • Management issues

    • Who manages different contingent workers and what role does HR play?

  • Tracking and reporting

    • How do contingents fit into different HR system such as payroll?

  • Compensation

    • How are contingents compensated compared to other employees?

  • Retention

    • Since most contingents don’t receive benefits they can be hard to retain

  • Attitude and work quality

    • Most contingents do not share same degree of commitment as other employees


Contingent Workers – Challenges

  • Orientation and training

    • Orientation and training can be difficult to schedule because of scheduling conflicts with other jobs

  • Legal issues

    • Contingent workers must meet legal definition of “independent contractor” under IRS rules

  • Use or company resources

    • Can include everything from company discounts to participation in company educational programs

  • Physical security

    • Do contingent workers have same access to company facilities as other employees?


Summary of Learning Objectives

  • Define job analysis and job design

  • Distinguish among a position, a job, and an occupation

  • Describe several common uses of a job analysis

  • Define job description and job specification

  • Identify four frequently used methods of job analysis

  • Discuss why O*NET was developed and summarize what it is

  • Define essential functions and reasonable accommodation as interpreted under the Americans with Disabilities Act


Summary of Learning Objectives

  • Identify several problems frequently associated with job analysis

  • Define job scope and job depth and explain their relationship to job design

  • Explain the sociotechnical approach to job design

  • Distinguish among the following types of alternative work schedules: flextime, telecommuting, job sharing, and condensed workweek

  • Define the term contingent worker


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