Descriptive Versus Prescriptive

There is a long tradition of viewing job analysis as a set of methods for describing a job as currently constituted. Also worthy of recognition, however, are a variety of situations in which the goal is to be prescriptive rather than descriptive. Examples include scenarios in which the work of one or more expert performers is studied with the goal of prescribing procedures to be followed by others or prescriptions about activities or attributes for an about-to-be-created job that does not currently exist. Strategic job analysis (discussed later in this chapter) is also an example of a job analysis technique used for the purpose of forecasting future job requirements.

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