Work Analysis in the Knowledge Economy

Documenting What People Do in the Workplace for Human Resource Development

  • Ronald L. Jacobs

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Part I

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Ronald L. Jacobs
      Pages 3-21
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      Pages 23-33
    4. Ronald L. Jacobs
      Pages 35-50
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      Pages 51-60
  3. Part II

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 61-61
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      Pages 63-79
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      Pages 81-99
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      Pages 101-112
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      Pages 129-143
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      Pages 145-163
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      Pages 165-178
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      Pages 179-194
  4. Part III

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 195-195
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      Pages 197-203
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      Pages 205-208
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      Pages 209-221
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      Pages 223-233
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      Pages 235-241
  5. Part IV

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 243-243
    2. Ronald L. Jacobs
      Pages 245-252
    3. Ronald L. Jacobs
      Pages 253-256
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 257-284

About this book


Work analysis seeks to breakdown the work behaviors that people do and the characteristics of people who successfully perform the work, and then to reassemble the information in a form that has many uses in practice.  The information can be used to specify job expectations, establish quality standards, develop training programs, document work processes, and anticipate safety risks, among many other uses.  This book is a practical guide to using the work analysis process for improving performance in the workplace, particularly with the emergence of knowledge work.  Work has undergone much change, and the trend is towards increased complexity, demanding employees to use their cognitive abilities to a greater extent.  Work analysis has often been criticized for its historical focus on documenting simple, observable, and routine behaviors performed by individuals involved in low-skilled production work.  But it doesn’t have to be so, as readers will discover.  Indeed, the demands of organizations and societies in the digital age has placed greater emphasis on documenting the changing nature of work.

This practical book addresses the questions of how does one perform a work analysis?  How can complex work be documented?  How can the information be used by organizations, technical schools, and government agencies?  Readers will find detailed descriptions of numerous work analysis techniques, along with case studies and example documents from actual organizational and national workforce development situations. 

This book serves as a relatively comprehensive resource for human resource development professionals in range of settings.  The book should also be useful for human resource managers, line managers and supervisors, and other professionals such as quality and safety staff.    Readers will value the information in the book, based on the author’s extensive experience, which is presented in a clear and concise approach. 


work analysis job analysis occupational analysis task analysis process analysis competency development DACUM Work Processes system theory Structured On-the-Job Training SOJT performance management change management workflow analysis business process improvement business process re-engineering

Authors and affiliations

  • Ronald L. Jacobs
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Illinois at Urbana ChampaignChampaign, ILUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2019
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Business and Management
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-94447-0
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-94448-7
  • Buy this book on publisher's site