Critically analyse the following

g statement ‘Job analysis is essential in order to get the best staff to work in modern, rapidly changing organisations.’ The importance of job analysis in obtaining the right people for organizations has been established in literature (Siddique, 2004; Palmer and Valet, 2001; Baruch and Lessem, 1995). Job analysis refers to the process of analyzing the requirements of jobs and identifying skills, behaviours, knowledge, and other characteristics needed for satisfactory job performance (De Cieri and Kramer, 2003; Palmer and Valet, 2001; McKillip, 2001). In recent years however, there have been issues regarding the relevance of job analysis in staffing for modern organizations because of its specific and detailed outcomes, which are inconsistent with the flexible nature of contemporary organizations (Brannick and Levine, 2002).

Given the arguments for and against the relevance of job analysis, can it be considered as essential in getting the ‘best staff’ to work in modern and rapidly changing organizations? Analyzing this statement merits a clear look into the characteristics of ‘best staff’ in modern organizations and the context where they are working.

As opposed to traditional organizations that offer rigid and stable working environments, modern and rapidly changing organizations have been described as flexible (Dessler, Griffiths, and Lloyd-Walker, 2004), dynamic, competitive, and less hierarchical (Brannick and Levine, 2002; Hammer and Champy, 2001; Sanchez, 1994), multidimensional (Hammer and Champy, 2001), influenced by technological,

2002. 2004). and boundaryless with tasks and roles that are more fluid and less defined (Nelson. empowered. Brannick and Levine. open to learning. 2001. when used appropriately. 1994). wherein jobs are constantly changing. 2004) and is able to accommodate and adapt to fast-changing demands (Clifford. job analysis is essential in getting the best staff to work in modern organizations so long as it is performed in a pro-active way (Siddique. A more modern type of job analysis that selects staff on the basis of their capability to function in a dynamic set-up is more appropriate (Sanchez. the ‘best staff’ to work for modern and dynamic organizations can be considered as those who are flexible.. 1992). and self-directed. Given this work context. and global changes (Dessler. Consequently. 1996. and with sound interpersonal and collaborative skills necessary for team work (Dessler et. able to respond to changing demands of the job. a traditional type of job analysis which focuses on specific job descriptors and employee characteristics to match these may no longer be relevant (Nelson. 1994). 2001) is also important. dynamic. et. 1994). Possession of the essential work-related skills (Palmer and Valet.. al.social. Therefore. 1994). Sanchez. Hammer and Champy. and staff 2 . 1992). political. Looking at the characteristics of modern organizations. 1997. Hirschhorn and Gilmore. has been seen to meet the demands of new working environments (Siegel. Hirschhorn and Gilmore. 2001) and the ability to manage complicated tasks (Hammer and Champy. first because it is capable of adapting to organizational needs in regards to providing relevant information for describing jobs and work environment. al. Sanchez. 2004. Job analysis is essential in getting the best staff to work in modern organizations. 1997. job analysis.

Sanchez. Siegel. Second. To discuss the first point. and organization culture. job analysis can also identify ‘team descriptions’ that can facilitate collaboration in a team-based nature of modern organizations (Brannick and Levine. p. 2003). al.. 2004. De Cieri and Kramer. Last. 2004. motivation. Third. it provides information on education and training needs for staff development (Dessler et. 2004. work environments. and the staff characteristics needed to get the work done. 43) and “competency-focused approach” (Siddique. 1997. Job analysis no longer limits itself to identifying specific job descriptions and job specifications.. 2004). Modern job analysis techniques such as the “worker-oriented” methods of job analysis (Nelson. al. Therefore. and flexibility that are critical for success in a variety of jobs for modern organizations. it strengthens the validity of measurement tools used to identify characteristics of jobs and employees (Kubiszyn and Borich. job analysis is relevant in getting the best staff for modern organizations because it presents dynamic and new ways of describing jobs. 2002. it serves its basic function of providing a match between organizational needs and staff characteristics. job analysis provides data needed in setting-up a working environment that would motivate staff to work at their best (Dessler et. 1996).225) provides information on broader qualities such as conflict management skills. Nelson. Palmer and Valet. 1994). 3 . 1997. p. it provides the basis for evaluating staff performance needed to enhance their performance (Brannick and Levine. 2001). Fourth. In addition.characteristics that is best for the organization (Siddique. 2002. 1996).

Laabs (1993) related the story of Gillette Co. 2002. thus empowering them to take charge of their own development. Several authors (Brannick and Levine. Since jobs keep on changing in modern organizations. For example. As a result. the world’s third largest oil company. However. and aggressiveness which effectively helped the company in attracting and tapping new graduates that meet its global and competitive needs. identifying work environment characteristics has been seen as more important in identifying compatible staff members than specific job descriptors (Nelson. enthusiasm. wherein teams of staff members from its different divisions and locations worked together to develop a skills matrix that included descriptors for families of skills and corresponding performance levels. that there have also been arguments regarding the applicability of job analysis to modern organizations (Sanchez. In contrast to accusations. Job analysis has been discussed 4 . Brannick and Levine (2002) discussed that problems with job analysis stem from its products such as job descriptors and not necessarily on the entire job analysis procedure. a fast growing global company that benefited from identifying important broad staff characteristics like adaptability. Sanchez. 1994) for instance discussed the setbacks of job analysis as being rigid and inconsistent with the fluid nature of modern businesses. the ability of job analysis to identify characteristics needed to get the best staff to function in modern organizations has been evident in several instances.It is worth mentioning however. the matrix enabled the employees to understand the different roles that they can play in the company and the level of performance required. Similarly. 1994). Milan and Tucker (1992) discussed the story of British Petroleum. 1997).

p. Getting the best staff does not end with matching organizational needs with employee characteristics. 1994). so long as job analysis is up-to-date. people are expected to be versatile and to attune their skills 5 .to serve this function. al. Education and training are important because in modern organizations. Nelson. Day (1989. they will only continue to be the ‘best’ if given proper education and training. 2004. 2001) said that job analysis aids in the valid and reliable development of these tools by specifying what needs to be measured for a given task and at what standards. H. 27) emphasized the importance of conducting job analysis in designing a ‘personality inventory’ and providing an accurate measure for personality traits in selecting employees. Siegel (1996) mentioned the applicability of job analysis in a TQM environment by detailing the characteristics of the organizations systems and subsystems to enable staff to work interdependently. Valid personality measurements and other competency measures are important in selecting the best staff for modern organizations because these provide characteristics that are needed for a wide array of jobs. For instance. their in the organization. For instance. it can function as a roadmap for companies to use in selecting the best staff both from within and outside the organization. Similarly. Job and work descriptions and specifications can only be effective in getting the best staff if measures used to identify relevant characteristics are valid. and Valet W. job analysis is also important in ensuring that employees match the organization culture by operationalising and providing a framework for an organization’s culture and the necessary staff characteristics that would fit the culture (Dessler et.. Clearly. Dr. Once. Howard Hane (cited in Palmer.

al. al. Furthermore. the effective way of determining the quality of performance is evaluation. Evaluation will provide an objective basis whether the ‘best staff’ is indeed at place in the organization. For instance Siegel (1996) discussed the use of job analysis in a TQM environment by providing information on employee cross-training for them to work spontaneously in different subsystems. job analysis strengthens the validity of training procedures by providing a means to match important characteristics and the emphasis given to these in trainings (McKillip. 1996). Hammer and Champy. or educated. trained. This company used job analysis as basis for staff education and development to enable them to keep up with and deliver good results amidst fast changing technology (Palmer and Valet. et.and knowledge to organizational changes (Dessler. The importance of job analysis in employee training for a modern organization was seen in the case of Dixie Group Inc. job analysis also assists the organization and its staff in determining training needs for professional growth planning. Job analysis is essential in employee education and training needs assessment in modern organizations by identifying skills and competence that needs to be developed and by forecasting skills that will be needed for future responsibilities (Dessler et. 2001). a major carpet industry in the United States. Once employees are hired. As Clifford (1994) suggested... put in the right position. 2001). 2001). Job analysis again enters the 6 . The basis for all evaluation is of course a clear criteria or standard of how jobs and tasks should be accomplished (Borich and Kubiszyn. 2004). 2004.

2004)... Brannick and Levine. thereby maintaining the staff at their best performance levels. Job analysis addresses this issue by providing information needed in designing and redesigning interesting jobs that foster team work. 1994). For instance. Fast changing organizations would likely get the best staff that they require if compensation packages are reasonable and commensurate to the responsibilities given to people and their qualifications. Good employees in modern organizations are normally flexible and talented.. 2004). al. and employee empowerment (Dessler et. 2004). The information on various jobs provided by job analysis is very essential in this process (De Cieri and Kramer. then evaluation procedures would proceed smoothly (Clifford. 2004. 2002). If duties and standards are clearly provided by a job analysis.. Another area of employee evaluation wherein job analysis is important has to do with compensation decisions (Dessler et. challenge. responsibility. Finally.picture by providing up-to-date information for acceptable standards of job performance that will be used to assess the quality of work of staff (Dessler et. Siddique. al. al. The results of the evaluation can then be used for training needs analysis as well as personal improvement plans of the staff. getting the best staff also means keeping them at their best by providing motivation. al. 7 . 2004. 2003). It can also be the basis for putting people in job categories wherein they excel. proper combination of positive job characteristics in a job design may lead to positive work outcomes (Dessler et. therefore they will not stay in organizations that do not offer stimulating work environments.

. and boundaryless. 8 . Thus. al. 1997. Sanchez. 1994). Sanchez. as long as up-to-date. 2003). providing relevant information about people and work characteristics needed to get the best staff (Siddique. providing relevant information for staff education. This makes the question of whether job analysis is essential in getting the best staff to work in modern and rapidly changing organization an important point for discussion. job analysis. strengthening the validity of measurement tools used to identify characteristics of best staff (Kubiszyn and Borich. 2001) and design of a motivating work environment to keep the staff at their best (Dessler et. 2004. Nelson. literature on job analysis (Siegel. evaluation (Brannick and Levine. 2004. Palmer and Valet. 1994) has shown that it is capable of adapting to the requirements of modern organizations and has evolved to incorporate methods that enable companies to get the best staffs that are suitable to its changing needs. 1996).Modern organizations have indeed moved from a static and bureaucratic system to one that is dynamic. flexible. On the contrary. employees are no longer chosen on the basis of specific skills or how well they can perform specific tasks. al. De Cieri and Kramer. Since jobs keep on changing. 2004). 1996. second. however. is important in getting the best staff because it still serves its primary functions of first. resulting to changes on the characteristics of the ‘best staff’ needed for these organizations.. There have been arguments regarding the applicability of job analysis in modern and fast changing organizations because it was regarded as providing rigid information that is inconsistent the with the flexible nature of organizations. training (Dessler et. 2002. and third.

still merits more research on the applicability of job analysis in acquiring the best staff for real organizations and the development of more relevant job analysis tools. 9 . it is essential in getting the best staff to work in modern organizations. so long as job analysis is able to keep abreast with the dynamic needs of organizations. however.Clearly. This topic.

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International Journal of Human Resource Management. Public Personnel Management. I. B.M. (1996) Job analysis in the TQM environment. G. 25. Human Resource Management Review. 15. pp. Siddique. 51-74. pp. Vol. 485-494. (1994) From documentation to innovation: Reshaping job analysis to meet emerging business needs. 219-244.Sanchez. J. 11 . pp. Vol. Siegel. No. 1. No. (2004) Job analysis: a strategic human resource management Practice. C. 4. 1. Vol.

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