Evaluating Job Analysis Approaches There are many approaches, often referred to as methods, to conducting a job analysis. One traditional form of job analysis is the deductive approach, which relies upon existing knowledge and taxonomies of job information during job analyses (Peterson & Jeanneret, 2007). On the other hand, one commonly used inductive approach is creating a task survey. Job analysts create a task survey by constructing a list of task statements. An accurate task statement includes the actions and people involved. For example, a task statement may be: Advise the president in the selection of personnel for the company. Many times, task statements also explain where the action is done, why it is done, and how it is done. Once the task survey is complete, subject matter experts (SMEs) rate the tasks by the frequency of performance and/or by the level of importance to the overall job. SMEs are generally people who are incumbent workers and supervisors. In contrast to task surveys tailored to a specific job or small set of jobs, organizations may prefer to use a widely distributed instrument such as the Position Analysis Questionnaire (PAQ), which is a survey based on a set of standardized questions. The PAQ asks incumbent workers to rate the level of importance of general tasks they may encounter in their job. The PAQ can provide a standardized system to compare the similarities and differences in job skills and requirements among a variety of jobs (Harvey, Anderson, Baranowski, & Morath, 2007).
How organizations determine which type of job analysis to use is dependent upon different organizational or situational factors. For example, an organizational factor may be the number of locations and job titles a company uses to accomplish a certain kind of work. A situational factor may be the specific job task the consultant is assigned to do. As a potential personnel consultant, it is important to consider how these factors influence the type of approach to use. In addition, it is important to consider what type of job analysis is most effective in court proceedings. As you discovered last week in the case of Griggs v Duke Power Co., you can lose a case if you do not select an approach to predict job performance accurately. For this Discussion, review Chapter 2 of your course text, Applied Measurement: Industrial Psychology in Human Resources Management, and focus on the section about the PAQ (pages 34–37). Consider how an organization might utilize task surveys and how they might determine what type of job analysis to use.
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