Necessary Leadership Skill – Technical Skill 1 – Competency in Job Analysis

Dr. Donna L. Roberts

In order to function successfully, and to have their teams function successfully, leaders of today need to be competent in various areas of performance: Technical Competencies - referring to functional knowledge and skills; Business Competencies - having a strong management, economics of administration base; Interpersonal Competencies - having a strong communications base; and Intellectual Competencies - referring to knowledge and skills related to thinking and processing of information.
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The job analysis skill is classified as a technical competency and involves “identifying the knowledge and skill requirements of jobs, tasks and roles” (McLagan & Suhadolnik, 1989, p. 36). Specifically, job analysis is, “the process by which jobs are studied to determine the tasks, duties, assignments and dynamics involved in their performance” (Rachman & Mescon, 1987, p. 214). It represents a formal and objective method for evaluating job requirements and standards and includes the activities an employee performs, the tools, equipment and work aids that the employee uses and the working conditions under which the activities are performed (Cherrington, 1991). Job analysis can be conducted through direct observation, interviews, questionnaires or system analysis (Koontz, O’Donnell, Weihrich, 1980).

The end products of a job analysis are detailed job descriptions and job specifications. Job descriptions provide information regarding the duties and responsibilities of a specific job and include the following components:

1) Identification - job title, job number, department, reporting relationships, pay grade, number of employees holding this position

2) Job Summary - major responsibilities differentiating this position form others in the organization

3) Specific Duties and Responsibilities - clear and precise statements of major tasks, duties and responsibilities preformed, percentage of time devoted to each particular task, working conditions and potential hazards, supervisory responsibility, machines and equipment used (Cherrington, 1991)

Job specifications identify the minimum acceptable qualifications required for an employee to perform the job adequately, including general qualification requirements such as experience and training, educational requirements and knowledge, skills and abilities (Cherrington, 1991). Job analysis information is important for human resource planning, resource allocation and various aspects organizational decision making.


Cherrington, D. J. (1991). The Management of Human Resources. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Koontz, H., O’Donnell, C. & Weihrich, H. (1980). Management, 7e. New York: McGraw-Hill.

McLagan, P. A. & Suhadolnik, D. (1989). Models for HRD practice: The research report. Alexandria, VA: American Society for Training and Development.

Rachman, D. J. & Mescon, M. H. (1987). Business today, 5e. New York: Random House.

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Writer and university professor researching media psych, generational studies, addiction psychology, human and animal rights, and the intersection of art and psychology.

Canandaigua, NY

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