This week you will be discussing issues that can arise from gathering
job analysis information from differing SME’s (subject matter experts).
As you know, job incumbents, supervisors, and other SME’s (e.g.,
customers) often give different information about the tasks and KSAOs
required for a job.
Explain why you think this happens.
Do you think disagreement between supervisors and incumbents represents a lack of reliability and/or validity? What implications does this have
for doing a good job analysis?
Should job analysts collect their information from just one source or across all sources? Why?
How can this issue be addressed?
Discussion 3: Job Analysis INP 3004
Job analysis is an imperative practice in every organization that wishes to have a competent workforce- it facilitates the determination of each job position, its associated activities, qualifications, and context of job performance. Unfortunately, several issues, such as presentation of varying information about the tasks and KSAOs required for a job, may arise from gathering data from different subject matter experts (SMEs). Despite the associated problem, which is not a representation of lack of validity but a depiction of varying expectations, interests, and involvement in the job by SMEs, job analysts should collect their information across all sources to boost the accuracy of data and utilize observations and information from the most qualified job incumbents to avoid the highlighted issue.
In my view, SMEs often give different information about the tasks and KSAOs required for a job because of their varying expectations, interests, and involvement in the given position. For example, a customer may have high expectations about the skills, abilities, and knowledge of a given job because their interest is to have their needs fulfilled to their satisfaction. On the other hand, job incumbents may have varying views about the same job because they are involved in it and are aware of the reality of what the position entails. Therefore, the eruption of disagreement between SMEs such as supervisors and incumbents, about job analysis may not necessarily reflect a lack of validity of the gathered information, but a variation in their expectations, interests, and involvement in the job of interest.
As noted, disagreements may exist between supervisors and incumbents, and this phenomenon implies that doing good job analysis should entail not only data collection but also critical analysis of the gathered information. Most notably, for a job analysis to serve its purpose, the data collected from multiple SMEs should be reviewed and analyzed thoroughly to eliminate any form of bias by the informants. Overall, the existence of disagreements among SMEs during job analysis implies that good practice should be reinforced with a critical analysis of the gathered data.
However, despite the issues that may arise during job analysis, job analysts should always collect information across all sources to enhance accuracy and avoid the utilization of partial data. Most notably, soliciting input from different sources can help the analyst have a variety of information from SMEs with differing interests, expectations, and involvement in the job. The variation of this information makes it easier for the analyst to have an accurate and unbiased job description because they can select the most common information presented by different SMEs.
Besides collecting information from across all sources, job analysts can address the identified problem by utilizing appropriate approaches of job analysis such as observation and interviewing the most qualified job incumbents. In my view, observation provides a more realistic view of the job position and its associated activities. Also, the behaviors of the most qualified job incumbents reflect the most realistic KSAOs required to perform the job effectively. As such, the most qualified job incumbents and utilization of observation can help job analysts address the issue of varying information during job analysis.
In summary, variation in the information presented by different SMEs, which is mainly triggered by informants’ varying expectations, interest, and involvement in the job of interest, can be an issue during job analysis. However, this disagreement in views should not constrain the analyst’s effort to solicit information across all sources. Instead, the analysts should utilize effective tactics such as observation and obtain information from the most qualified job incumbents to gather the most accurate, realistic, and unbiased data during the analysis.