University of Baltimore

                                           Fall, 2005 Applied Psychology 651.185

                                                   Course Outline: Job Analysis


Instructor: Elliot D. Lasson, Ph.D.

Class Meets: Wednesdays 8:15-10:45 PM in Room 408 AC

Office Hours: Wednesdays 5:00 to 5:30 PM

E-mail (preferred): or

Office and Voice Mail: Room 209G AC and 410-837-5281 (mailbox “5")

Office Fax: 410-837-4059



Required Text:

Brannick, M. T., & Levine, E.  L. (2002).  Job Analysis.  Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.


Other Readings:

McIntire, S. A., Bucklan, M. A., & Scott, D. R. (1995). Job analysis kit (Manual).  Odessa, FL: PAR, Inc. (copies of relevant chapters will be distributed.


Additional readings to be assigned.  Most of these will be distributed by the instructor.



Course Description


A survey of job analysis methodology and issues, using experiential projects. Includes tools used in conducting a job analysis: data gathering techniques, legal and technical standards, and the Occupational Information Network. Emphasis is on variation in approach dependent on subsequent application of the results. (ref: UB Catalog)



Course Overview


This course, now required in the program, will include a treatment of job analysis from theoretical and applied perspectives.  Students will learn the importance and rationale for job analyses as well as be exposed to various job analytic approaches and techniques.  Secondly, students will have the chance to perform job analyses using these techniques and approaches.  Finally, students will have the opportunity to use job analytic data in the development of a selection instrument such as a written exam or structured interview.


Please note that there is much in the course, which will be autonomous project work, mostly working in collaborative teams of other classmates.  In addition, it is important that students stay current with the various readings for which they are responsible.



Course Structure and Grading


Much of the course will be project-based.  Once students have a foundation about job analysis, they will spend time completing the projects in a timely fashion.  Therefore, some class time will be devoted to discussion about the project progress and meetings with students for discussion purposes.


Part of the project component will have teams of two or more students meeting with people from organizations.  It is expected that the teams will work in a collaborative manner with each team member equally contributing toward the effort and final product.  Teams are expected to manage these responsibilities equitably.  If there are any difficulties in this regard, team members should express this to the instructor.


In the course, there will be three job analysis projects, including one warm-up and two more full-scale projects.  Also required will be a selection instrument development project that will be a written test/inventory or structured interview. There will be a cumulative final exam.  It will consist of multiple-choice items and will take place on December 14.  The breakdown of the final grade will include the following:


Job Analysis Warm-up                                 15%

Job Analysis Kit Project                               20%

WRIPAC Job Analysis Project                    25%

Selection Instrument                         10%

Final Exam                                                     30%





There will be no make-up final exams, unless I am contacted in advance of the test.  All no-shows will get a zero on the exam.  Written assignments will not be accepted late.  All work is to be turned-in at the start of class on the due date indicated.  Failure to do so will result in points deducted from that assignment.  Attendance for the course is expected.  In the event of extenuating circumstances, students who must miss class should contact the instructor or leave a message prior to the class meeting.


Over the course of the semester, students will be expected to go out into the field to conduct job analytic interviews and to work on assignments.  Students should keep apprised of when this will occur.


For issues of Academic Dishonesty, the course will be conducted as per the University of Baltimore Student Handbook.  Instances of academic dishonesty will result in a grade of zero on the pertinent project or exam.  Although some collaboration will be allowed on some assignments and presentations, this does not hold true for exams.


Please note that wireless phones should either be turned off or set to some form of quiet mode prior to the start of class.




As part of the course, students will be expected to utilize available resources to help with the job analysis assignments (especially the JA Kit and WRIPAC).  There are two such outlets of information.  First, there is the Job Analysis Listserv.  This is a discussion list with which job analysis professionals all over the world participate.  Students should feel comfortable introducing themselves and the information they want.  The second is the new O*Net Online, which contains helpful information on most jobs that exist today.  Please sign-on to the Listserv and browse O*Net Online.



Job Analysis Listserv


Students in the class should subscribe to the Job Analysis Listserv out of Virginia Tech.


Go to:



O*Net Online


APPL 651.185: Job Analysis

Fall 2005 Tentative Course Schedule

(subject to change)




Preparation Required for Class


Pick up Syllabus and Readings

Introduction to Job Analysis

Cascio & Aguinis Chapter 9;

Gatewood & Feild Chapter 7


Introduction to Job Analysis (cont.)

History of Job Analysis

Instructions for JA Warm-ups Distributed

Job Analysis Kit Manual, Chapter 1; Brannick Chapter 1


Job Analysis Methodologies and Research

Introduction to the Job Analysis Kit System

Brannick Chapters 2-4

Job Analysis Kit Manual Chapters 2-3


Job Analysis Methodologies and Research (cont.)

Job Analysis Warm-ups Due (informally presented)



Writing Task Statements & KSAO’s

Task-to-KSAO Linkages

O*NET and e-Applications of JA

Gatewood & Feild, Chapter 8



Work on JA Kit Assignments

Job Analysis Kit Manual Chapters 4-7


No Class



Informal Presentations of Notebooks/Discussion

Other Applications of JA

Job Analysis Kit Notebooks Due

Brannick Chapter 7


WRIPAC Job Analysis System

WRIPAC JA Assignment Distributed

Readings from WRIPAC


Developing the Selection Plan/Instrument

Readings from WRIPAC


Work on WRIPAC JA Exercise

Readings from WRIPAC


JA Documentation

Selection Instrument Development

Job Analysis Kit Manual Ch. 8; Brannick Chapter 9

Gatewood & Feild Chapter 9


Thanksgiving Break: No Class

WRIPAC JA Exercise Due (by 11/22)



Selection Instrument Development (cont.)

Brannick Chapter 7


Future of Job Analysis

Selection Instruments Due

Brannick Chapter 10


Final Exam


                                                               Warm-up Job Analysis Exercise


Job analysis is the systematic approach to documenting job requirements.  There have been various techniques which have been used to accomplish this.  The most common technique is interviewing someone with a good working knowledge about the job.  The purpose of this exercise is to gain experience in conducting a job analysis using the interview method.  The final result will be documented in the format below.


In this exercise, you will be paired up with a partner (to be assigned).  The process should begin by your partner writing a brief job description containing information about his/her organization, position, and scope (how many employees is he/she responsible for) and providing it to you for your review.  You may choose to open the interview by asking an open-ended question like, "On a typical day, what do you find yourself doing from the time you come in the office until the time you leave".  Using this as a start, probe into each major activity in order to get a handle on what he/she does and the characteristics that are necessary to perform the job adequately (see 2a and 2b below).  Also, you may want to ask if there are any seldomly done activities (e.g., organize Christmas party) that may have been overlooked initially.  In addition to the "planned questions" asked, there should be additional discussion between the parties, in which the job analyst (interviewer) summarizes what the incumbent (or supervisor) has said and asking for approval ("So you do X, Y, & Z on a typical day, right?").  This interview should be viewed as an iterative process, so the interview can be broken up into a few time periods.  See the next page for other issues to address when considering the job during the interview.


Write up the results according to the formats below:


The final product should include:


(1) a cover page with your name, the job title of job analyzed, the organization name for job analyzed (or at least the type of organization; e.g., insurance agency)


(2) a job analytic summary (report) with two components (see below)


(a) a chart of task statements divided into "Data", "People", and "Things" with an indication of frequency and criticality (on a high, medium, low continuum).  Each task statement (functional description) should begin with an "action verb" in the present tense and contain a preposition of "for", "with", etc. indicating the "object" of the statement; then, include the answers to "how" and "why" questions as appropriate; for example, "proofreads memos for CEO to circulate" or "updates software on network for customers"; try to keep the statements as succinct as possible (Note: The activities included on the "Data", "People", "Things" page are D.O.T. categories, included for reference purposes only.  Use your own action verbs as appropriate.)  You should also make an assessment for the job as to the relative percentages of "Data", "People", and "Things" (out of 100%).


(b) the knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics (KSAO's) necessary to satisfactorily perform the job; this will take the form of a series of properly written KSAO statements and an indication of required upon entry (asterisk) for each statement.


(Note: The accompanying two pages should be used as a template, so work should not be turned-in directly on the pages.)


(3) a job description- a one or two paragraph narrative about the job, based on 2a and 2b.  Make sure to capture the main tasks and responsibilities.  Keep the focus on the position and not the person occupying it.


(4) a position announcement which you would expect to see in the Employment Classified section of the Baltimore Sun (you can take this opportunity to be creative here).  Here too, make sure to include (for the job seeker) the main tasks and responsibilities.

The same process will be conducted for the other member of the pair.

                                                                             Keep in Mind...



Scheduling Requirements- are there times when one must be on-site?; are there optional times, flex-times, telecommuting conditions?; are there unusual scheduling requirements, like night shift, Saturdays, Sundays etc.?


Extended Communication- is one required to be "on-call"?; requirement to be in constant contact with pager or cell phone?


Pressures/Dangers- are there physical dangers associated with the job (e.g. working with volatile individuals, medical waste, HIV, fire, police work)?; are there job-related stressors (e.g., a counselor for domestic-abuse crisis hotline)?


Computer/Technological Literacy; does one need to know computer packages (if so, which ones?)?; is there other technology in which one needs to be proficient?


Educational/Training Requirements- college degree, graduate work, certification, license


On-Going Certification or Education Requirements- does the person have to attend conferences, training, periodically to maintain work with organization, continuing education or re-certification


Physical Strength and/or Dexterity Requirement (not already covered)


Interpersonal/Communication Skills- verbal and written; writing reports, proposals

APPL 651.185 Job Analysis

Fall 2005 Semester

Basic Format of Job Analysis Kit and WRIPAC Assignments



For Assignments 2 and 3, the final product should be in the form of a “notebook”, preferably with sections and tabs.  A binder may be used, but come other form of notebook is also acceptable. 

The notebooks should be clearly labeled in terms of the position being analyzed, the name of the organizations and the name(s) of the student(s) submitting the report.


The assignments will utilize observations, interviews, and follow-up discussions with subject matter experts.  This will enable the collection of the relevant data which will be used to carry out the Job Analysis Kit and the WRIPAC.  In addition, it may be helpful to collect and review job-related materials, such as existing job descriptions, policy manuals, and other documentation relevant to the job under analysis.  Other sources of information will include O*NET and correspondence from the JA listserv.


As for the final product.  At the beginning of the notebook, there should be some sort of information about the organization.  A paragraph or two will suffice here, where there is a description of what the organization does and where the department in which the position exists fits into the overall organizational scheme.  There should also be an organizational chart, containing the position being studied.  In addition, the information generated from O*NET for this job should be included in the notebook.  If an exact match cannot be found, a job which closely approximates the job studies should be used.


Next, there should be a one or two paragraph job description.  The content of the job description should be taken from the major KSAO’s and tasks which have been developed during the assignment.  Some sort of statement should reference the job title from O*NET.


Special Instructions:


(1) Job Analysis Kit


- worksheets can be duplicated electronically and included in the sections in lieu of the paper forms (Worksheet #4 may also be transcribed electronically)

- Worksheet #5 is not needed



Hybrid of short and long forms (as instructed) should be used

- task and KSAO statements should be numbered beginning with “101, 102, 103…….”




These assignments should be turned in at the beginning of the class on the due date.

                                                                           Functional Job Analytic Table (“Task Approach”) [2a]






Position (Job Title):



Task Category


Task Statement (action verb, object of verb, using what tools, for what purpose)



(H, M, or L)



(H, M, or L)


Data (indicate overall % out of 100%)








































People (indicate overall % out of 100%)








































Things (indicate overall % out of 100%)







































                           The "Task-Oriented" Approach to Job Analysis:

Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT) Designations


                                            Data, People and Things





















Taking Instructions




Setting Up

Precision Working













Note: Use the above task categories as appropriate.

Data- includes activities involving decision-making, judgment, or thought


People- incudes activities where there is human interaction

Things- includes activities that are directly tangible or require manual manipulation

                                   Worker-Oriented (KSAO) Job Analysis [2b]






Position (Job Title):



                                    KSAO's Required to Satisfactorily Perform the Job

[indicate those KSAOs needed at entry with an asterisk]




Knowledge necessary for the position









Skills necessary for the position









Abilities necessary for the position









Personality and other characteristics necessary for the position

KSAO’s: Definitions and Examples


KSAOs are knowledges, skills, abilities, and other characteristics, required to perform the job adequately.


Knowledge- body of related information or an understanding of an occupational discipline that the worker needs to perform job tasks; usually involves some type of structured training or instruction, such as classroom training or course work; this information is typically of a factual or procedural nature that makes for the successful performance of a task.



knowledge of computer software programs or systems

knowledge of rules and regulations relating to emergency treatment

knowledge of a companys products and services



Skills- groups of observable and measurable behaviors that a worker needs to perform a variety of job tasks; usually acquired through on-the-job experience and practice, although people can be taught strategies to improve performance in certain skills (similar to nurture, in Psychology terms); an individuals level of proficiency or competency in performing a specific task; usually expressed in numerical terms.



skill in planning and prioritization of the days work activities

skill in remaining calm during emergency situations

skill in listening to others and understanding key points



Abilities- physical of mental competency that a worker needs to perform job tasks; abilities are based on innate characteristics that cannot be learned or taught; however, abilities may be developed or refined through proper instruction (similar to nature, in Psychology terms); a more general, enduring trait or capability that an individual has when he/she first begins to perform a task.



ability to remain seated for extended periods of time

ability to lift 50 pounds

ability to hear and understand telephone conversations



Other Characteristics- personality characteristics, interests, or temperaments that a worker should possess in order to endure job conditions; includes willingness or motivation to deal with job conditions; also includes miscellaneous job requirements that do not fall under "KSAs"; can also include special certifications necessary to be held.



willingness to work night shifts

maintaining Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certification

willingness to deal with irate customers

Guidelines to Writing KSAO Statements



<                    KSA statements should demonstrate the degree or level needed for successful task performance.  Instead of stating “Typing Skill, be more specific: “types at the rate of 50 words per minute”.


<                    KSAO statements should specify the highest level required for the job.  For example, if statistical skills are needed, there is no need to list knowledge of basic mathematics, because that is assumed.


<                    KSA Statements should be specific.  General statements lack clarity as to what KSAO’s are required.  Specify by asking: What kind? To what extent? To solve what type of problems?  However, statements should not be so specific that there is a KSAO generated for each task.  Ideally, a KSAO should underlie several tasks.


<                    Adjective modifiers (e.g., “thorough”, “some”) should not be used.


<                    Emphasize those KSAO’s that determine successful performance on the job.

UB Fall, 2005 Semester

                                                              Contact Information for APPL 651.185


Please indicate all applicable contact information.  I keep it on file should I need to get in touch with you during the semester.





Work Phone/Fax


Home Phone/Fax


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University of Baltimore

APPL 651: Job Analysis

Fall, 2005 Semester

Selection Instrument Exercise




This assignment is a continuation of the job analysis exercise which you have completed.  The objective is to develop a selection device/instrument which could be used to select someone for the position in question.  This instrument can be based on either of the last two job analysis assignments already completed JA Kit or WRIPAC.  Option #1 is an objective psychometric instrument.  Option #2 is a structured interview.  The choice of which option may be based on what makes the most sense for the job in question, and/or your personal preference.


The first option is a test or inventory which measures some KSAO that is required for the target position.  If this option is selected, the instrument should contain at least 10 items.  This instrument could potentially be given to applicants who have applied for the position.  This could take the form of a multiple choice test which has right and wrong answers, measuring some knowledge or aptitude necessary for the position.  For example, a sales position could have technical product knowledge measured by the test.


This option could also be in the form of a personality inventory, which measures a relevant construct, where there are no right and wrong answers per se.  A reasonable format would be a Likert-type scale of 1-5, perhaps ranging from "strongly disagree" to "strongly agree".  For example, let's say a job analysis indicates that employee reliability is a desirable characteristic.  Then, a scale of employee reliability would be developed that could include an item like "Coming to work absolutely on time daily is critical" (on a scale of 1-5).


For the test or inventory option, there should be a cover page which has your names, the job title, and the type of measure (i.e., what KSAO or construct it is designed to measure).  On the next page, there should be a description of the construct or dimension which is to be measured by the test with an indication of whether it is a knowledge, skill, ability, or other characteristic.   This passage would be directed toward the test administrator or other HR professional who will use the instrument.   For example, if the test measures the ability to follow instructions, there should be a description of what this means, and how it relates to the job in question.  On the next page, there should be instructions to the test-taker on how to complete the instrument, as if someone was about to actually complete it as part of the selection process.  The instrument should have at least 10 items and the correct responses (if applicable) should be indicated.


The second option is to develop an interview protocol and scoring guide which could be used in interviewing candidates for the target position.  The interview protocol option will take the form of an outline, structured in the form of an "opening", body", and "closing".  The opening will consist of introduction and rapport steps.  The body will consist of 3 behavioral and 3 situational questions, together with a scoring guide (on a scale of 1-5 recommended) with anchor points as appropriate.  The closing will include additional information about the position and clearinghouse questions, and "future plan" (i.e., next contact point, information on the rest of the selection process, and parting words).


For the interview protocol, there should be a cover page indicating your names and the job that for which the interview form will be used to select.  On the next page, there should be instructions on how to complete the instrument, as if someone was about to actually use the protocol for the first time in an interview.  For each behavioral and situational question, there should be an indication of what the question represents (e.g. product knowledge) and the rating scale on which the response is to be evaluated. This guide should be included on separate pages.