Job Analysis: Changing Nature of Work

By Cronshaw, Steven F. | Canadian Psychology, February-May 1998 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Job Analysis: Changing Nature of Work

Cronshaw, Steven F., Canadian Psychology


This paper reviews the potential and possibilities for job analysis in Canada under five sections. In the first section, future needs for job analysis information are explored from individual, organizational, professional, and societal perspectives. In the second section, epistemological and ontological assumptions underlying job analysis are critically examined. In the third section, a Work Modelling approach is recommended to augment job analysis in future, where this approach will help meet needs reviewed in Section One and at the same time address the epistemological and ontological limitations of current job analysis methodologies discussed in Section Two. In Section Four, a response is given to assertions about the future of job analysis presently circulating through the Canadian I-O community and some key practitioner issues are reviewed. In the fifth and last section, conclusions and recommendations are offered for future practice and research in job analysis. It is concluded that, ultimately, if work modelling is to be successful (whatever the specific processes involved), it must give the I-O practitioner the information needed to better resource worker and manager decisions and activities in Canadian organizations of the new millennium.

Dr. Rick Hackett, who edited this special I-O issue of Canadian Psychology, asked that the following issues be addressed in this paper:

... [w]hat are the implications of changes in the Canadian workplace into the next millennium for job analysis? Will the role, methods, procedures and outcomes of job analysis change? What workplace changes are likely to have the most direct impact (i.e., workplace empowerment, move to work teams, multi-skilling, changing workforce demographics, socio-economic environment, legal climate, alternative work arrangements such as telework, worksharing and the increase in part-time and contract work). What practical assistance can Canadian I/O psychologists provide in assisting new employers, employees, unions, and society in tailoring job analysis to meet these new emerging needs? (R.D. Hackett, personal communication, August 29, 1996)

Dr. Hackett raises questions that are highly relevant and important to the future efforts of I-O psychologists in Canada. As the point of departure for this paper, this series of questions will be categorized into two types. The first type of question has to do with the "why" of job analysis; that is, the ends or purposes to which job analysis is put. Dr. Hackett refers to these ends or purposes as "emerging needs". The second type of question involves the "what" and "how" of job analysis; that is, the means or methods that have been proposed by job analysts for meeting individual, organizational, professional, and societal needs. Of course, the means serve the ends and should be carefully developed with them in mind.

This paper is organized into five sections with the above means-end distinction in mind. In the first section, the ends of job analysis are discussed in terms of future individual, organizational, professional, and societal needs. In the second section, future means of job analysis, and especially requisite epistemological and ontological developments, are suggested. In the third section, specific recommendations are made for broadening the coverage of job analysis so that future needs are addressed. In the fourth section, some contemporary concerns and questions about job analysis are addressed. In the fifth and last section, overall conclusions are drawn and recommendations are made for future theory development, empirical research and practical application by I-O psychologists in Canada. For information on various job analysis methods themselves, the reader should consult other sources (e.g., Cronshaw, 1991; Catano, Cronshaw, Wiesner, Hackett, & Methot, 1997).

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Job Analysis: Changing Nature of Work


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?