similar job activities/behaviors that underlies the accomplishment of major work functions. These broad types of job activities occur to different degrees in a very broad spectrum of occupations. The 42 generalized work activities included in O*NET™ were identified through earlier factor analyses of job analysis inventories, with generalized work activities subsumed under four general categories: information input, mental processes, work output, and interacting with others inside and outside the organization.
Work context variables describe the conditions under which job activities must be carried out. They include physical conditions (e.g., temperature and noise) as well as social psychological conditions (e.g., time pressure and dependence on others) that might influence how people go about performing certain activities. Although some occupations are carried out across a wide range of settings, many others can be said to have a typical work context, such as indoor/outdoor work, degree of danger and exposure to elements and hazardous materials, and degree of involvement or conflict with other persons.
Organizational context refers to variables that might interact with the operational environment and how people go about doing their work. For example, a flatter, more open organizational structure may require workers who possess a broader range of skills, placing a premium on problem-solving skills and an independent work style. O*NET™ organizational context variables were identified after a review of studies assessing the impact of organizational structure on how work gets done, with a special focus on high-performance organizations. Other examples of organizational context variables include industry characteristics; a range of characteristics of organizational structure and human resource systems and practices; organizational values; individual and organizational goals, processes and characteristics; and various features of role relationships, including conflict, negotiability, and overload. Given that incumbents of occupations reside in a wide variety of organizational and industry contexts, the eventual O*NET™ system will need to attend to multiple sources of data and will need to measure not only typical contexts but also the variety of contexts in which occupations reside.