The available information indicates that more research is needed to develop more sophisticated and foolproof methods of job analysis in order to fine-tune personnel functioning and enhance organizational productivity in the long run.
In the words of Ash (1988) job analysis may be defined as "The collection and analysis of any type of job related information by any method for any purpose" (cited by Voskuijl, 2005, p. 27). It is expected to provide information pertaining to the purpose of the job and individual contribution to the job. The elements that constitute job analysis include job description, job specification and the methods used to collect the needed information. Job description indicates the essential characteristics of the job that include factors like the objectives, performance criteria, corresponding responsibilities, training facilities, working conditions and future prospects. Job specification emphasises the requirements of the worker that is motivational factors, areas of skill, knowledge and expertise, abilities and other personal determinants of performance. The main methods of job analysis are discussed in detail below.
Observation is the simplest and ...
The data generated is therefore extremely accurate and reliable. According to Myers, Observation "is probably the optimum method of collecting data, since the analyst obtains the information firsthand and there is no better way of understanding the tasks in a job than watching as the tasks are performed" (2004, p.212).
There are two approaches to this method, as outlined by Markowitz, "continuous observation and sampling observation" (1981, p.113). The former is self-explanatory; the analyst is required to observe the job as it is performed over a given period of time. In the latter case observation takes place in a random manner as only certain aspects of the job is observed over shorter time periods. In order to carry out this procedure, adequate preparations are required to derive the maximum benefit. The tasks that are to come under direct scrutiny, the equipment required for the observation process and the job incumbents to be monitored are to be determined as per the needs of the organization. The analyst is then required to compile notes pertaining to the elements that come under the job description. It is considered ethical to inform the subject being observed and it is good practice to take up a non-threatening stance and to remain as unobtrusive as possible in order to put the subject at ease. The analyst is supposed to gather data about the components of the job, the tasks performed by the workers, and the subsequent duration.
Strengths: It is the perfect method for accumulating information regarding manual labour, particularly the ones that call for repetitive action. Since information is gathered from actual work settings as opposed to