A measurement system was also developed to evaluate jobs and tasks for their requisite abilities. The ability requirement scales (Fleishman, 1992) provide definitions, additional information to differentiate each ability from other similar abilities in the taxonomy, and 7-point behaviorally anchored rating scales to aid subject matter experts in estimating the amount of each ability needed to successfully perform a job or task. If tasks are rated, an ability profile for a job can be taken as an average (or weighted average, e.g., by task importance) of abilities required across tasks.

Reliability and interrater agreement are well established (see Fleishman and Mumford, 1988), as is the construct validity of the taxonomy and methods (Fleishman and Mumford, 1989). The FJAS has been especially useful in the development of valid tests linked to job requirements (Fleishman and Mumford, 1988,1989).

Occupational Analysis Inventory and the General Work Inventory

The Occupational Analysis Inventory (OAI) is designed to be more relevant to occupational education and guidance, rather than to applied problems in the work setting, which are the focus of systems like the position analysis questionnaire (Cunningham et al., 1983). The inventory includes 617 items, called "work elements," divided across the five categories of information received, mental activities, work behavior, work goals, and work context. Each item is rated on one of four scales: significance, extent, applicability, or a special scale for that element. The three nonspecific scales are relative ratings with adjectivally anchored scale points, e.g., "to a very small extent" at the lower end of the extent scale and "to a great extent" at the higher end. The OAI is characterized as a research tool and it is stated that it is "advisable for the OAI job rater to have college-level reading comprehension, plus some preparatory orientation and practice with the instrument" (Cunningham, 1988:981).

Empirical work has been completed to evaluate the reliability and validity of the OAI (Cunningham, 1988; Cunningham et al., 1983). A study of the reliability of OAI ratings was conducted using 12 job analysts and 21 trained psychology graduate students who rated 215 jobs using written task descriptions from the



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement