Q1.  How might individual sources of job analysis data lead to a biased perspective on a job?

It is crucial to address the potential biases that may arise from individual sources of job analysis data (Morgeson et al., 2019). These biases could stem from the limitations of a single perspective, which may not fully encompass the intricacies of the job in question (Cascio & Aguinis, 2008).  Factors such as personal experiences, cognitive biases, or insufficient information can contribute to this issue (Sanchez & Levine, 2012).

For instance, if job analysis data is exclusively obtained from a supervisor, their viewpoint may be influenced by their management approach, expectations, or preferences (Lievens et al., 2010).  Likewise, suppose the information is solely gathered from incumbents. In that case, they may emphasise the aspects of the job they find most significant or gratifying while understating more demanding or less appealing tasks (Dierdorff & Wilson, 2003).

To mitigate biases and obtain a more comprehensive understanding of a job, it is vital to collect job analysis data from various sources, including job incumbents, supervisors, and subject matter experts (Sackett et al., 2012).  This approach promotes a more balanced and precise job portrayal, which is essential for effective selection and assessment processes (Arthur et al., 2003).


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  • Cascio, W.F., & Aguinis, H. (2008). Industrial and organizational psychology research from 1963 to 2007: Changes, choices, and trends. Journal of Applied Psychology, 93(5), 1062-1081. https://doi.org/10.1037/0021-9010.93.5.1062
  • Dierdorff, E.C., & Wilson, M.A. (2003). A meta-analysis of job analysis reliability. Journal of Applied Psychology, 88(4), 635-646. https://doi.org/10.1037/0021-9010.88.4.635
  • Lievens, F., Sanchez, J.I., Bartram, D., & Brown, A. (2010). Lack of consensus among competency ratings of the same occupation: Noise or substance? Journal of Applied Psychology, 95(3), 562-571. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0018035
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Q2.  What are 'competencies' according to the original McClelland (1973) definition and the Hoffman (1999) definition (also see Campion et al., 2011; Jackson et al., 2010; Lievens et al., 2004)?

According to McClelland's (1973) original definition, competencies consist of underlying individual characteristics, such as knowledge, skills, motives, and traits, contributing to effective or superior job performance (Schippman et al., 2000).  Though not directly observable, these characteristics can be inferred from behaviours that result in successful job performance (Spencer & Spencer, 1993).

Hoffman (1999) expanded on competencies, emphasising that they encompass knowledge, skills, abilities, and personal attributes, collectively enabling individuals to perform effectively in specific jobs or roles (Hoffman, 1999).  This definition underscores the significance of job-related skills and broader personal attributes in determining job performance (Dubois & Rothwell, 2004).

Both definitions emphasise the importance of competencies as fundamental factors contributing to an individual's success in a given job or role (Rodriguez et al., 2002).  Recognising these competencies can facilitate the selection and assessment process, assisting organisations in identifying the most appropriate candidates and designing practical training and development programmes (Bartram, 2005).


  • Bartram, D. (2005). The great eight competencies: A criterion-centric approach to validation. Journal of Applied Psychology, 90(6), 1185-1203. https://doi.org/10.1037/0021-9010.90.6.1185
  • Dubois, D.D., & Rothwell, W.J. (2004). Competency-Based Human Resource Management. Davies-Black Publishing.
  • Hoffmann, T. (1999). The meanings of competency. Journal of European Industrial Training, 23(6), 275-286. https://doi.org/10.1108/03090599910284650
  • Rodriguez, D., Patel, R., Bright, A., Gregory, D., & Gowing, M.K. (2002). Developing competency models to promote integrated human resource practices. Human Resource Management, 41(3), 309-324. https://doi.org/10.1002/hrm.10043
  • Schippman, J.S., Ash, R.A., Battista, M., Carr, L., Eyde, L.D., Hesketh, B., Kehoe, J., Pearlman, K., Prien, E.P., & Sanchez, J.I. (2000). The practice of competency modelling. Personnel Psychology, 53(3), 703-740. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1744-6570.2000.tb00220.x
  • Spencer, L.M., & Spencer, S.M. (1993). Competence at Work: Models for Superior Performance. Wiley.
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