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Understanding Mission Essential Competencies as a Work Analysis Method

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Final rept. for 15 Sep 2005-15 Aug 2007

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The United States Air Force Research Laboratory AFRL, Human Effectiveness Directorate, Warfighter Readiness Research Division, in conjunction with the United States Air Force Major Command, Air Combat Command ACC, has for a number of years pursued a program of research whose focus is the rational integration of networked flying, flying-related, and command and control simulators into current training via Distributed Mission Operations DMO. The Mission Essential Competency MEC work analysis methodology was developed as one facet of this DMO initiative. The MEC approach addresses multiple AFRLACC DMO program needs. Among other purposes, MECs enable the determination of training requirements and the appropriate mix of live operation and virtual training media, allow ACC to identify the value of DMO and provide justification for funding, and directly enable the construction of air combat simulation scenarios for which validated measures can be developed. While much has already been written about the MECs, one particular unaddressed topic relates to the nature of this effort relative to other work analysis and competency methods. How are MECs different from other methods of work analysis What outcomes does the MEC approach produce that are unique Is the MEC process rigorous enough to be considered a work analysis method, as IndustrialOrganizational Psychologists understand the terminology and process To address these questions, the authors take a historical-comparative approach. First, they consider the origin and nature of modern job analysis. Second, they do the same for the competency movement. Third, they review in some detail how MECs are developed and used. Fourth and finally, they discuss MECs as a job analytic technique, including some thoughts on the validity of the method.

Subject Categories:

  • Psychology
  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations
  • Military Forces and Organizations

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