Ability-Requirements of Task Dimensions

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Title: Ability-Requirements of Task Dimensions
Author: Radziewicz, Alisa
Advisors: J.W. Cunningham, Chair
Mark Wilson, Member
Donald Drewes, Member
Abstract: This effort describes an analytic approach to exploring ability-requirement estimates for positions using the job-component approach. The first part of this study explored the underlying dimensionality of tasks. A job-task inventory was used to derive attribute-requirement weights for job components enabling the derivation of attribute-requirement estimates for any position that has been scored on the weighted components. Currently, little research has been conducted to examine different computational methods of deriving ability-requirements estimates outside of the work of Sparrow, Spurgeon, & Barwell (1982) and more recently the work of Cunningham, Powell, Wimpee, & Wilson (1996). The later research found that the use of minimum weight values with the cross-product method produced a more differentiated factor structure. Consequently, the second part of this study explored two different job-component methods for computing ability-requirement estimates using minimum values with the cross-product method. One method involved the combination of task ratings with factor ability weights, applying job-component procedures to the position rating matrix and ability weight matrix. The second method combined task cluster scores with factor ability weights. Job-component procedures were applied to a position matrix and an ability weight matrix. Each method yielded an ability-by-position matrix containing ability-requirement estimates. Correlations between the positions' ability-requirement estimates from the two job-component methods were compared via Monte Carlo procedures. The results demonstrated that although there was some convergence between the two methods there was also a lack of discrimination and differentiation within methods. Finally, the third part of this study used Monte Carlo procedures to compare two job-component derived ability-requirement estimates with direct ability dimension ratings made by incumbents. The underlying structure of each ability-requirement matrix was also examined. Results indicated that there was a lack of correspondence between the job-component derived ability-requirement estimates and those derived from incumbent judgments. It is likely that these results relate to the difficulty encountered by incumbents in rating the ability dimensions. The reliability of the incumbent ratings confirms this premise and likely influences the congruence between the data sets. These results suggest that caution should be taken when using dimensions in research, due to the cognitive challenge of rating broad constructs. In sum, this research demonstrates the need for further evaluation of the computational methods of the job-component approach.
Date: 1998-11-05
Degree: MS
Discipline: Psychology
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/1029

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