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analysis and occupational structures best remain current, relevant, and useful? Can the changes be successfully addressed by existing systems? If not, how must occupational analysis and classification systems be designed to better address the changes? What are the implications (if any) of the failure of occupational analysis to adapt to changes at work for the performance of the institutions that use occupational analysis?
Occupational analysis refers to the tools and methods used to describe and label work, positions, jobs, and occupations. Among the products of occupational analysis is an occupational category system, or an occupational structure. Our use of these terms is closest to that of organizational and industrial psychology, and it is somewhat different from the use of terms by other communities and disciplines. For example, sociologists and economists would ascribe additional meaning to the term occupational structure, including patterns of occupational recruitment and retention and inter- and intragenerational patterns of occupational mobility. For us, occupational classification has two general meanings: (a) the act of classifying positions, jobs, or occupations into an existing occupational category system and (b) the set of occupational categories in an occupational category system.
Occupational structures reflect the nature of work, its organization, employment relationships, demographics, and other factors. They also reflect their intended purposes and influence, both directly and indirectly, the variety of outcomes depicted in Figure 1.1. Occupational structures are the lenses through which we categorize and view the system of work. Over time, they also help shape the system of work by providing the labels and categories that we use to bundle tasks and duties into positions, jobs, and occupations—in effect telling analysts, employers, and recruiters what is salient about work and what is not.
For example, organizations that rely heavily on existing occupational classification systems and categories for the recruitment of personnel may be less likely to identify new task mixtures in their existing job structure, and also less likely to import new occupational distinctions from other organizations in the same industry. Similarly, organizations that use category systems that afford little or no attention to teamwork features of work organization may lag in the adoption of such structures and the moni-