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It is necessary to understand various kind of jobs for proper human resource system. This is reflected in activities like job description,
job analysis and job specification. The study of work or job is important to not only prepare details for recruitment, salary
administration, but to even help to develop in an organisation.

Various terms can be used in an organisation to analyze and describe peoples work. They are as follows:

Task: Task is the basic unit of a job and may be defined as a specific element in a job. It can be even defined as a specific activity
quite often bound by time.

Job: It is a component of a work and may be defined as specific requirement to get a product, or achieve an objective. A series of
tasks may constitute a job. Jobs are not time-bound, but the task to accomplish in a job could be. There is a strong relationship
between the job performer and the product of that performance.

Position or Office: The organisation being represented, as a pattern of hierarchy is the position or office. Job describes the activities
in which the person is likely to be engaged , position is evaluative . It describes the level, power, authority sanctions; etc the person
has in carrying out a job assigned to him.

Role: Role is a position or an office a person occupies as defined by expectations from significant persons in the organisation
including the person himself. A position or an office becomes a role when it is defined by various expectations from that position .
Role may keep changing with time. Changes in technology, challenges the environment, people and the competencies of the role

Work: work is a wider concept in which a person involved in an activity is seen in relation with his tools and other persons performing
a similar activity work involves the most complex configuration, extending it beyond individual persons and putting it in the context of
technological, economic and socio- psychological relationship is assumed in the concept of work. Analysis of role would involve
analysis of specific activities or functions in the role as well as various other components of the expectations by the significant
persons. Job analysis is usually done by collecting the background information about the job, selecting a few representing positions
to be analysed, collecting data about the job through various methods like observations, interviews, analysis of records, etc.

Job description included details of the specifications of a job in term of actual day-to-day activities and responsibilities of a jobholder.
Usually job descriptions are long and indicate in detail what is expected from the jobholder. A third party using several methods of
collecting data usually works out these details. Job specifications indicate the kind of persons who should be hired for a job. After
studying the job, such specifications are worked out and used for recruitment. It is useful to have job descriptions prepared containing
information about the general task and the specific tasks work relationship within and outside the department, authority, responsibility
facilities needed, level of performance required, job characteristics and job requirements.

Job evaluation is extensively being used in multinational companies with high degree of sophistication. Each job is analysed of terms
of specific dimensions like education level, responsibility level, relationship level etc. These are evaluated on the basis of which
compensation to the jobholders like salary, and other financial and non- financial rewards can be considered. There are various steps
involved in a job specification exercise.

1) Decision on the main criteria for job evaluation, e.g. education, experience, decision-making, relationship with other units/
departments / agencies etc.
2) Decision about weightages for any criteria if any.
3) Definition of each criterion in details in 7, 9 or 11 levels.
4) Determining scores to be given on the basis of the weightages given.
5) Setting up of job evaluation panels.
6) Decision about number of personnel levels to be kept in the organisation.
7) Decision about cut- offs for the levels decided on the basis of group total scores.
8) Grouping of jobs into various levels.
9) Examination of the results of job evaluation, exercise, making necessary adjustments and finalisation of the system.

Job analysis is useful in giving some idea about the contents of the job and job specification in suggesting the level of salary and
other compensations for different jobs, they do not contribute to peoples development directly. Analysis of the role or job may solve a
purpose of development only if a conscious effort is made in using the data for development purpose.

What are the three dimensions which need more attention to analyse a role, which may serve a developmental purpose?

There are three dimensions, which need attention to analyse the role of a person. These are as follows:

1. Key performance Areas: Analysis of a role for its key performance areas (KPAs) is necessary for performance appraisal, training
and development both of the people and the jobs. Performance appraisal has to be done against certain functions and objective
on which a person works. A person performing a job should be aware of his main functions in a job and other functions, which he
could consider as routine and not key functions of the job. His development in his role depends on the clarity of the function of his
role. Thus identification of KPAs is therefore useful for an organisation in various ways.
KPAs of a role are those functions that require priority attention, whereas a job description contains too many details, not pointing
out the key areas that need to be taken into consideration.
Job description describes the job as it is now, whereas KPAs may indicate the critical functions of the job relevant at present and
even in future.
KPAs are much more specific and indicate what the job contributes to the organisation. The advantage of identifying KPAs for the
various roles is that people can clearly distinguish between the specific contributions of one role from that of a related role in the
organization. In the absence of role clarity there may be conflicting and contradictory expectations by different persons from the
same role. Identification of KPAs leads to delegation of function to the next jobs. It is not only useful for performance appraisal but
also for general development of people in the organization. KPA s represents the functions that are very critical and important for
a role and which distinguish between effective and less effective jobholder. There are various principles for the formulation of the
KPAs. They are as follows:

1. There should not be too many KPAs for a job. Generally they may be about four or five.
2. Each KPA for the job should distinctly characterize the job and make it different from other jobs.
3. KPAs should indicate those critical groups of task for which the jobholder can be considered responsible.
4. KPAs should be able to distinguish between effective and less effective performance.
5. The jobholder should be able to write down specific objectives to be done every year under each KPA.
6. KPAs can change from time to time over years, but once identified they should be good for few years.

KPAs focus the attention of the of the jobholder on his critical functions and on those that distinguish his functions and tasks from
that of his boss, subordinates and colleagues.

2. Critical Attributes: The analysis of a role into Key Performance Areas indicates which function in the role are more important and
represents the key contribution the role is making to the organisation. The role can be analysed to indicate what personal qualities
and characteristics called attributes a role occupant should have in order to be effective in the role. Critical attributes are those
characteristics of a role, which distinguish an effective role occupant from an ineffective one. Critical attributes will include all
kinds of qualitative educational qualifications, experience, physical characteristics, emotional and attitudinal characteristics.
Critical attributes are included to indicate which attributes make a major difference for a person to be effective in a role. There are
various uses of critical attributes:

The critical attributes of a job can be useful in recruitment policy. Once important qualities a role occupant should have are
identified, matching of role requirements and profiles can be done. Matching can be even utilized for better placement. It can
further help in promotion. Promotions should be based on potential appraisal of a person for the job for which he is being
considered. This is only possible if job is analysed for its critical attributes and an attempt is made to match these critical attributes
of people being considered for promotion. Critical attributes may also be considered for training, thus increasing the effectiveness
of the role occupants. There are various methods through which critical attributes can be identified either in isolation or in
combination. Either the role occupants may themselves participate in such a process or other role senders may be involved.
Mixed groups in the form of task forces or task groups may also be used for this purpose. Again different participants may be
involved with different stages in the identification of critical attributes. There may be four different methods, which help in
identifying the critical attributes.

Observation: Observing the working of an effective or an ineffective role occupant over a long period of time, or taking samples of
his behavior on his job helps one identify the qualities of effective role occupants contrasted with the less effective one. Thus
observation of two known contrasting of groups of effective and ineffective role occupants may give a good idea about the
critical attributes for that role.

Interview: Interviews can be conducted with the role occupants divided into known effective and ineffective groups to find out what
qualities they possess or with representatives of the role occupants and other role senders to find out from their experiences
what qualities they perceive as distinguishing between effective and ineffective role occupants. Interviews can be conducted
either with a structured questionnaire or in an unstructured way. Data from such interviews can be collected and used by a
task group or a panel for further discussion and finalisation of critical attributes.

Critical Incidents Technique: This technique has been extensively for the identification of critical attributes. A request is sent to
some role occupants and several other role senders to think of situations and actual examples in which a role occupant was
more effective, and describe the actual indicating that he was effective. These are called critical incidents because they
indicate the basic or critical difference between the effective and ineffective behavior of a role occupant. Once the critical
attributes have been written out, they are collected and a list of behavioral characteristics of an effective role occupant is
prepared. This is further edited to give the creative attributes for that role. This technique takes more time , but still utilizes
the best experiences of people and provides a rich material for the finalisation of critical attributes.

Checklist: The quickest way of getting data about critical attributes is to prepare a long list, after consulting various studies and
books. The checklist can be given to the role occupants and other role senders with a request that they may check those
attributes, which in their opinion are critical for that role. After collecting the responses from a large number of respondents
they are combined and edited to give the final list of critical attributes. Employing individuals and task groups in various
stages can use critical attributes.

3. Role analysis: Role is the position a person occupies in an organisation as defined by the expectations from that position by the
role senders, including the role occupant. The set of persons having expectations from the role is called the role set. The role set
for each role can be drawn as a map, with the role in the centre. Role analysis may be used to define a role more clearly to avoid
ambiguity in the expectations. A series of exercises have been designed to increase role effectiveness. This solves the purpose of
clarifying the role and it reduces role ambiguity.

Thus identification of KPAs, critical attributes and role analysis help an organisation in establishing clarity of functions , defining inter-
relationships among various roles, identifying capabilities required to perform effectively the different jobs and indicating
developmental needs for different role incumbents.
What is competency?

Any underlying characteristic required performing a given task, activity or a role successfully can be considered as competency.
Competency may take the following forms:

a) Knowledge
b) Attitude
c) Skill
d) Other characteristics of an individual
e) Motives
f) Values
g) Self concept etc
Competencies may be grouped into various areas.

Technical dealing with technology or know- how associated with the function, role, task.
Managerial/ organizational dealing with the managerial aspects, organizing, planning, mobilizing resources, monitoring, systems use
Human/ behavioral including personal, interpersonal, team related and
Conceptual / theoretical including visualisations, model building etc.

What do we mean by the term competency mapping?

Today global economy and the world has become a global village. With increased globalization companies have realized the need for
competent employees and developing distinguished competencies for every organisation. Thus competency mapping has gained
currency. There are various reasons due to which this need arose. They are as follows:

a) Increased costs of manpower.

b) Need for ensuring that competent people are available for performing various critical roles.
c) Downsizing and the consequent need to get the work done with fewer people reducing manpower costs and pass on the
advantage to the consumer.
d) Recognition that technology, finances, customers and market systems and processes can all be se right or managed effectively if
we have the right kind of human resources.
e) The need for focus in performing roles need for time management, nurturing of competence, increased emphasis on
performance management systems.
f) Recognition of the strategic advantage given by employee competencies in building the core competencies of the organisation.