Critical Incident Technique Job analysis is a mechanism for identifying nature of all the jobs in an organization. It helps in determining all the tasks, duties, and responsibilities related to a job. It also highlights knowledge, skills and abilities (SKA’s) required for each and every job. A good job analysis will certainly yield good results in the form of making efficient use of human as well as other resources. There are a number of methods for conducting a job analysis. Each one has its own pros and cons attached to it.
Among these, there is a method, which is called Critical Incident Technique (CIT). The technique is directed at identifying different behaviors at different situations. This method assist in finding out the behaviors that are desired at the workplace, it also identifies the behaviors that can have negative consequences on the employees and organizational productivity, and needs to be avoided. Flanagan, J. C. , who fist developed the method during 2nd World War, defines CIT as, “The critical incident technique of job analysis is used to identify work behaviors that classify in good and poor performance”.
There are some other definitions as well, given by different scholars. The main theme of all the definitions is to show the impact of certain behaviors on the incumbent’s performance. This technique may be used in the Organizational Development. Because Organizational Development is a long term process, which organizations pursue in coping with the all the environmental changes. With the changes taking place in the surroundings, the behaviors of the employees are also shifted, as they are also part of the same environment.
And its necessary for the organizations to asses the shifts in the employees behaviors and foresee, how good or bad will affect the organization. To survive in this ever changing and highly competitive environment, organizations are left with no other option but to adapt themselves to these changes. And to do so, organizations have to take good care of one of its key resources, which is human resource. The technique may also be helpful in analyzing different large scale tasks and activities. The technique will find out how employees ehave when they feel fatigue after performing physical or labor-intensive tasks. Applying his technique may also be helpful in conducting in while conducting a market research. The purpose of Market Research is to identify the customer’s needs prevailing in the market. How employees approach different customers, and how they do behave with them will definitely affect the response they get from the customers. For example, sometimes, in fact most of the times, the marketing staff gets behind the customers, that make them (customers) annoyed.
The technique can be applied at managers; to see how they behave in stress situations, on supervisor; how do they cooperate and deal with their subordinates, on co-workers; to see the level of cooperation at the workplace. It may also be applied to asses the behaviors of suppliers, as well as customers. As mentioned earlier, each method has its own pros and cons; the same is the case with the CIT. There are some advantages that organizations can enjoy while applying this tool. For example it deals with the behaviors of the employees. Behaviors are key indicators to identify employee’s performers.
Also, the surveyors get a chance to acquire data in the employees own words. It is helpful in identifying some of the problems causes and its weightage. It is comparatively less expensive, but good result producing technique. It gives very handy data to the organization, regarding different jobs. Also, the employee does not have to work under a certain framework. On the other side of the continuum, it has it demerits as well. Like, this technique emphasizes on the rare, unusual or extraordinary events, while routine’s works may be missed out. The technique may also lack, when it comes to the reliability factor.
The technique emphasizes on critical incidents, these incidents, sometime, may be ambiguous to understand and interpret. To conclude, I would say that, if conducted well, the technique can give good results. This technique can help organizations to design the jobs, build job description and job specification. The organizations can come up with a list of desirable and undesirable behavior. And the data may be used for performance appraisal. Organizations can also devise their strategies to bring the behaviors in accordance with the organization to possible extents.