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Flashcards in Lecture 1 Job Analysis Deck (28):

What is Organisational Psychology?

Industrial/Organisational (I/O) Psychology: The study of behaviour in work settings and the application of psychology principles to change work behaviour.


Early 20th Century Organisation Psych

Walter Dill Scott
- First to apply psychology to advertising, employee
selection, and management issues
- Wrote The Theory and Practice of Advertising (1903)
• Hugo Munsterburg
- Advocated the use of psychological tests in selection

Testing WW1


How was Org Psych useful for World War I and the Testing Movement?

U.S. Army commissioned psychologists to devise two intelligence tests for the placement of Army recruits.
• After the war, the tests were adapted for civilian use and new ones were designed for a variety of situations.


What were the The Hawthorne Studies and Motivational Issues

In 1927, management wanted to boost productivity in the Hawthorne plant of Western Electric Company
• Put workers in test rooms and increased illumination levels for some workers.
• Results: Productivity increased in both rooms: where they increased illumination and where they did not
• Made other changes
1) Rest periods/coffee breaks
2) dimmer lights
3) free lunch
4) shorter work days
5) overtime payments
6) original pre test conditions

It didn't matter what they did, Productivity levels always increased!


What was the Hawthorne Effect?

The classic Hawthorne studies apparently showed that worker productivity was increased by the attention paid to the workers (Mayo, 1933).
• BUT recent research has debunked the classic Hawthorne studies (Kompier, 2006).
environmental changes can affect productivity, still research happening.


Significance of WW2 in org psych?

World War II
• Psychologists called to improve selection and placement of military personnel
• The increase in complexity of the machinery, sparked the development of human factors psychology, ERGONOMICS, building machinery , extended human capacity


Later Developments in Organisational Psychology

Dramatic growth in field corresponding with growth in U.S. business and technical enterprise
• New technologies meant that employees needed training programs
• Organisational issues also assumed greater importance (e.g., human relations skills)



JOB ANALYSIS: The PROCEDURE for determining the duties and skill requirements of a job and the kind of person who should be hired for it.
• The information obtained is then used for developing JOB DESCRIPTIONS (a list of what the job entails) and JOB SPECIFICATIONS (a list of a job’s human requirements, or what kind of people to hire for the job)

If someone is colour blind, you can back up that they are capable, we know from this procedure what is required..


Why conduct a job analysis?

Job Description and Job Specification LEAD TO

Recruiting and Selection Decisions, Performance Appraisal &Promotion, Job Evaluation, Wage and Salary Decisions (Compensation), Training Requirements


Main Steps in a Job Analysis Project

1. Identify purpose
2. Who to include*
3. What methods to choose*
4. Communicate the project (people come into job analysis very suspicious)
5. Collect all relevant materials
6. Analyse the job (using the methodologies you have selected)
7. Write up and integrate the data
8. Review (new perspective of a manager)
9. Feedback outcomes (take on board participants' feedback)


Subject Matter Experts (who does this encompass?)

People with direct experience with the job
(SME, i.e., person who has direct, up-to-date experience with the job for a long enough time to be familiar with all of its tasks)
1. The job incumbent 2. The supervisor
3. Trained job analyst


When are job analysts the most useful?

In general, incumbents and supervisors are the best sources of descriptive job information, and job analysts are better qualified for comparisons among a set of jobs


Methods to Collect Job Analysis Information (8)

1. Review written materials (e.g. O*Net, contemporary and relevant)
2. Standardised measures (e.g. Position Analysis Questionnaire (PAQ))
3. Job participation (field experience)
4. Interviews (ask the SMEs about their jobs, multiple people from diff levels)
5. Job diaries/Activity logs } (time consuming)
6. Observations*
7. Survey questionnaires*
8. Focus groups*
Multiple methods are preferred, but select the most appropriate for the purpose


Position Analysis Questionnaire (PAQ)

A structured questionnaire that analyses various jobs in terms of almost 200 job elements that are arranged into six categories.
Used to analyse the jobs of homemakers, housewives. Found it to be most similar to police officers, firefighters, airforce maintenance chiefs)


Are interviews reliable?

You have to ask SMEs about: the major duties of the position; the education, experience and skill required; the physical and mental demands etc.
• Accounts may be biased, so job analysts may want to interview a number of different SMEs.


Case Study of Job analyst

Frontline Police Officer Job Analysis
• Purpose: to identify the “inherent requirements” of frontline policing
• When defending a claim, employers must draw on objective and current evidence regarding essential aspects of the role


What is triangulation?

Three methods, with strengths and weaknesses to be the most effective. e.g. Job analysis
• Observations
• Survey
• Focus groups


Purpose of Job Analysis Observations method

To validate previous police job descriptions
• To enable the researchers to better understand
the nature of the job
• Almost 300 hours spent observing 36 frontline police officers (9 female, 27 male) from rural and metropolitan areas


Strengths of observations method

Provides detailed information about job
• Observer can learn about culture and jargon


Weaknesses of observations method

Costly and time consuming
• Time sampling– amount of time and
frequency of sampling
• Observed participants may behave differently
• Observer’s may not be able to determine
what was required to undertake task
• Critical/infrequent tasks not observed (300 hours not enough, lock psych in the car for murders etc)


Job Analysis: Survey
Purpose and case study participants

• To address the considerations of the observations study
• To survey the frequency and importance of several abilities for police officers

• 1000 questionnaires were distributed
• 268 police officers completed and returned
the questionnaires (185 male, 66 female)
• 13 participants excluded using validity
screening questions


Strengths of survey method

Large, representative sample easier to obtain
•Can inform about infrequent events
• Anonymous


Weaknesses of survey method

- Response biases of self-report measure (they all think their job is important)
•Does not allow for qualitative assessment
•Information obtained is limited by the
questions asked.
Cannot probe deeper (reason we run focus groups)


Job Analysis: Focus Groups method

• To obtain a more qualitative assessment of frontline officer’s own perceptions of the skills and abilities required
• To qualify information gained from the questionnaire study
• Groups of 5-8 police officers from 5 different regions participated in the study


Strengths of focus groups

-Allowed for open-ended feedback from officers
• Subjective information enhanced understanding of survey findings


Weaknesses of focus groups

-Small sample size
• Influence of researchers or senior officers. Different ranks in the same group, bad idea because jnr people pleasing the snr people


Job Analysis Issues

Jobs change over time, so job analyses should be conducted on a periodic basis
• The concept of a ‘job’ has been changing over the past few years. Organisations need to be flexible and responsive to compete in the global environment. Thus, jobs are less well- defined now and tend not to have a clearly delineated set of responsibilities.
• Many prefer the term “work analysis” as it focuses on tasks and skills that can be transferred from one job to another


Take Home Message

Organisational psychology is application of psychological principles to the workplace.
• Research in organisational psychology began in the early 20th century
• Job analysis information can be used for developing job descriptions and job specifications, the starting point for many personnel functions
- JOb analysis information can be collected in a number of different ways. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses, so multiple approaches are preferred.