Questionnaire Method

The questionnaires are a widely used method of analyzing jobs and work. Here the job holders are given a properly designed questionnaire aimed at eliciting relevant job related information. After completion the questionnaires are handed over to supervisors. The supervisors can seek further clarifications on various items by talking to the job holders directly. After everything is finalized the data is given to the job analysts.

The success of the method depends on various factors. The structured questionnaire must cover all job related tasks and behaviors. Each task or behavior should be described in terms of features such as importance, difficulty, frequency, relationship to overall performance etc. The job holders should be asked to properly rate the various job factors and communicate the same on paper . The ratings thus collected are then put to close examination with a view to find out the actual job requirements.

The Questionnaire method is highly economical it covers a large number of job holders at a time. The collected data can be quantified and processed through a computer. The participants can complete the items leisurely. Designing questionnaire however is not an easy task. Proper care must be taken to frame the questions in such a way that the respondents are unlikely to misinterpret the questions . Further it is difficult to motivate the participants to complete the questionnaires truthfully and to return them.

Some of the standard questionnaires that are widely used are discussed below:

The Positions Analysis questionnaire (PAG):

The PAG is a standardized questionnaire developed at Purdue University to quantitatively sample work oriented job elements. It contains 194 items divided into six major divisions. The PAQ permits management to scientifically and quantitatively group interrelated job elements into job dimensions. These are explained below:

Employees’ activities in PAQ

1) Information Input: Where and how does the employees get the information he/she uses in performing his/her job. Examples: Use of written materials, near visual differentiation.
2) Mental processes: What reasoning, decision making, planning and information processing activities are involved in performing the job? Examples: levels of reasoning in problem solving.
3) Physical activities: what physical activities do the employees perform and what tools or devices does he /she use? Examples: Use of keyboard devices, assembling / disassembling
4) Relationships with other people: What relationship with other people are required in performing the job? Examples: Instructing, Contact with public customers.
5) Job context: In what physical and social context is the work performed? Examples: High temperature. Interpersonal conflict situations.
6) Other Job characteristics: What activities, conditions, or characteristics other than those described above are relevant to the job? Examples Specified work place. Amount of job structure.

The activities shown above represent requirements that are applicable to all types of jobs. This type of quantitative questionnaire allows many different jobs to be compared with each other.

Management Position Description Questionnaire (MPDQ):

MPDQ is a standardized instruments designed specifically for use in analyzing managerial jobs. The 274 item questionnaire contains 15 sections. It would take 2 ½ hours to complete the questionnaire. In most cases the respondents are asked to state how important each item is to the position.

Management Position Description factors

1) Product marketing and financial strategy planning.
2) Coordination of other organizational units and personnel.
3) Internal business control.
4) Products and services responsibility
5) Public and customer relations.
6) Advanced consulting
7) Autonomy of actions.
8) Approval of financial commitments
9) Staff service
10) Supervision
11) Complexity and stress
12) Advanced financial responsibility
13) Broad personnel responsibility.

Source: HRM VSP

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