RATIONAL VS. EMPIRICAL APPROACHES TO JOB/TASK DESCRIPTIONS FOR COBOL PROGRAMMERS
HUMAN RESOURCES RESEARCH ORGANIZATION ALEXANDRIA VA
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The purpose of the paper is to contrast empirical approaches deriving from job analysis and rational approaches deriving from taskequipment analysis, and to suggest the differences in the information to be gained from each. Job analysis establishes what exactly a representative sample of incumbents do on the job. Taskequipment analysis deduces the behavioral requirements for its operators and maintainers from the functional characteristics of equipment, or from task situations that do not yet exist in actuality. The purely empirical approach develops a set of behavioral capabilities together with associated frequencies of occurrence, but cannot guarantee that the required set of behavioral capabilities will be exhaustively enumerated. The purely rational approach will develop an exhaustive set of behavioral capabilities requisite for certain job or task constellations, but will provide no good way of establishing their probabilities of occurrence. Therefore, a combined approach seems desirable. It is illustrated in the context of a COBOL programmers job. The use of data from combined rational and empirical jobtask analyses for statistical models of job families is discussed. The uses of these models in training design is also discussed.
- Humanities and History
- Computer Programming and Software