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Research in Industrial-Organizational Psychology

Job Descriptions / Job Analysis

A Case Study of a Job Analysis

  • Published in 2003 in the Journal of Psychological Practice
  • Author: C. C. Bowen
  • For more information, contact: C. C. Bowen
Abstract: Job analysis is the foundation of virtually all the human resource management practices. Because of its scientific approach to gathering job information, it provides legal defensibility and practical utility for organizations. This article describes a step-by-step procedure for conducting a job analysis and illustrates it by reference to one performed by the author on a ride technician's job in an amusement park. The procedure is described in a general way that can be easily adopted and applied to other jobs. The position of ride technician was analyzed through a series of data collection methods in order to specify the knowledge, skills, and abilities that are necessary to perform the job. The data collection methods included O*NET database, perusal of the company's written documents, interviews with incumbents and supervisors, and multiple on-site observations. The use of the job information collected from this analysis provides a working example of how to design a fair and valid job selection system.