Toward definition of the structure of work: The development of a general-purpose job analysis instrument
Lynskey, Michelle C.
Howell, William C.; Autrey, Herbert S.
Doctor of Philosophy
The purpose of the current investigation was to develop and validate a general-purpose job analysis questionnaire capable of analyzing all types and levels of jobs, and to use this questionnaire as a means to investigate the underlying structure of work. The instrument was developed using existing items from the Job Element Inventory (Cornelius & Hakel, 1978) and managerial, supervisory, executive, and professional items which were based on dimensions reported in the literature. After completion of a pilot study, the questionnaire was administered to incumbents from a sample of jobs from various public and private sector organizations, resulting in the collection of 395 questionnaire responses. The job ratings were subjected to an exploratory factor analyses, and five overall and 28 divisional dimensions were interpreted. A policy-capturing approach was used to assess the validity of the questionnaire; R$\sp2$s ranged from.38 to.68. A confirmatory factor analysis investigated the following competing hypotheses of work structure. (1) The dimensionality of work resembles three dimensions: Working with People and Data, Physical Activities and Related Environmental Conditions, and Using Machines and Equipment. This structure is similar to Fine and Wiley's (1971) theory of work, which includes three factors: Data, People, and Things. (2) The dimensionality of work resembles six dimensions: Information Input, Mental Processes, Work Output, Relationships with Other Persons, Job Context, and Other Job Characteristics. These dimensions resemble information-processing theory and the a-priori divisions used by McCormick, Jeanneret, & Mecham (1977) to catagorize work. A covariance analysis confirmed the first two factors of the first hypothesis, but only three of the factors from the second hypothesis. Implications of these findings are discussed.