Generalized Work Activities

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Book Chapter

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job-oriented vs worker-oriented descriptors of jobs & definition of & measures for collecting information on generalized work activities

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One of the key considerations that led to the development of the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) was the realization that today's national compendium of job information, "The Dictionary of Occupational Titles" (DOT; US Dept of Labor (DOL), 1991), was a system that could not respond to user needs for analysis across occupations and was limited by the task specificity inherent to its design and implementation. Ernest J. McCormick made one of the most important contributions to job analysis research when he observed that descriptors of job content can be classified as either job-oriented or worker-oriented (E. J. McCormick, 1979). McCormick's vision provides a viable solution to the problems inherent in the current DOT system that relies on task-based information as primary descriptors. Now widely divergent occupations or jobs can be studied from a common frame of reference, and analytical techniques can be used to understand relevant similarities and differences.
This chapter discusses how generalized work activities have been defined. The authors discuss how they developed measures for collecting this information and then provide a review of their results.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Generalized Work Activities, in N. Peterson, M. Mumford, W. Borman, P. Jeanneret & E. Fleishman (Eds.), The Occupation Information Network (O*NET), American Psychological Association, p. 105-125