The O*NET Taxonomy
The Occupational Information Network (O*NET) may be the best example of how taxonomies can be used in personnel psychology. As you may have discovered in previous weeks, the O*NET taxonomy defines the set of occupations through data collected from job incumbents and occupation experts. Each occupation requires a different set of knowledge, skills, abilities, and other personal characteristics (KSAOs), and a specific occupation involves a variety of activities and tasks.
Several taxonomies are included in the O*NET content model, which is the foundation of the O*NET. The six major domains (worker characteristics, worker requirements, experience requirements, occupation-specific information, workforce characteristics, and occupational requirements) can be used to describe worker and job attributes. Each of these major domains includes several taxonomies that are more specific. The model expands to 277 descriptors collected by the O*NET program, using on-the-job research and organizational analysis (O*NET). Often, the O*NET information and scales are an ideal, cost-effective tool readily available to researchers doing job and occupational analysis.
Respond by Day 6 to at least one of your colleagues’ postings in one or more of the following ways:
“An inductive approach to job analysis is an in-depth endeavor that can be costly and time consuming, but generates the current information from incumbents through direct observations. This technique has been used as far back as World War II, when John Flanagan began the process of interviewing pilots to find successful and unsuccessful situations that occur on the job to inform training (Hoge, Tondora, & Marrelli, 2005; Marrelli, 2005; Rothwell & Kazanas, 1992). The process has the same intent as it does now, to have up-to-date information about a job. While the process of gathering data, identifying subject matter experts (SMEs), obtaining skill information and analysis questionnaires, analyzing data, and using critical incident information may be long the approach gives human resource departments specific information about current jobs.
The Occupational Information Network (O*NET) replaces the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT). It is comprehensive having used rating scales and available data at the time of collection. Since the O*NET is electronic and can be used online it presents unique advantages. The database can be searched online for a specific job title resulting in specific information for that title being produced (Peterson, & Jeanneret, 2007). Another is an individual user can complete a survey associated with a specific job and view the results. These two make it possible for a person to not only gather information that exists about a job, but to compare the information to current requirements. O*NET, while it is comprehensive, does not have the most current information about jobs available since they change with the needs of the economy, organizations, and society (Landis, Fogli, & Goldberg, 1998). Another drawback of O*NET is that the level scales are unsystematic making it difficult to make direct comparisons between job characteristics (Handel, 2016). However, in comparison to an inductive approach such analysis techniques as critical job analysis, O*NET is a low cost, effective way to gather information that can be used for similar jobs without having to go through the time consuming and costly process of interviews, gathering subject matter experts (SMEs), observations, data retranslation, and developing an instrument that can them be used (Harvey, Anderson, Baranowski, & Morath, 2007). Updating information including instruments is crucial to job analysis.
A job analysis can become outdated for many reasons. One reason is that analysts are not keeping track of jobs that are impacted by changes in their content. For example, a teacher in the 70s and 80s did not have to content with smart boards and tablets. The teachers in classrooms today must be aware of the most recent innovations that can be used to enhance learning in the classroom and this is a change of which an analyst must be aware. Second, if an organization or industry restructures processes the analysis can become outdated (McKee, Kemp, & Spence, 2013). For example, the automobile industry went from a highly manual process of building cars to an assembly line changing the automobile industry. Another example is the merger of two organizations making it necessary to restructure the organization, change processes, or eliminate jobs altogether.”
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