Date of Award

Spring 1993

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Urban Services - Management

Committee Director

Wolfgang Pindur

Committee Member

Terry L. Dickinson

Committee Member

Pan S. Kim

Committee Member

William H. Wallace


The research question for this study asked if the Job Specifications Inventory (JSI) had acceptable internal reliability and an ability to differentiate among occupational groups. The JSI was designed to have subject matter experts rate the importance of skill, content, context, relationship and work focus requirements of jobs or occupations. The JSI used a taxonomy of 268 behavioral elements derived from the content analyses of satisfying achievements reported by a large, diverse clientele. A clinical-type behavioral consistency method was used to extract performance dimensions from clients' achievements to build the taxonomy. The achievement-based taxonomy was seen as potentially enhancing productivity for employers and job satisfaction for employees.

The JSI was intended to be used in conjunction with behavioral consistency methods to address individual and organizational problems associated with person-job fit. The relationship between persons and jobs was viewed as having important consequences for individuals, organizations and society. Person-job fit has been linked to employment outcomes associated with productivity, job satisfaction, and work-related stress. A content validity strategy guided JSI development to support fairness and to avoid adverse impact in employment decisions.

The JSI was administered to 614 subject matter experts in seven occupational groups--certified public accountants, civil engineers, elementary teachers, insurance sales agents, musicians, personnel managers, and secretaries. Internal reliability estimates ranged from.96 to.98 across occupational groups and from.72 to.96 for JSI parts by occupation. Ward's cluster analysis method suggested a seven-cluster solution against the seven occupational groups used as external classification criteria, but occupational overlap did occur within clusters. The 268 JSI variables were reduced to 38 scales and examined by factor analysis for structural properties. Seven factors were identified with loadings above.40 and used in further evaluation. Analysis of variance found significant differences in scores among occupational groups, clusters and JSI parts. Multiple comparison tests showed significant interaction effects among occupations and clusters by JSI parts and by JSI factors.

Results suggested that the JSI displayed acceptable internal reliability and showed discriminating ability to differentiate occupational groups. The statistically significant differences in ratings among groups and clusters were attributable to the structural properties of the inventory and provided evidence for construct validity.

The JSI could have utility for managers in behavioral description interviewing to enhance selection and placement decisions. Additionally, individuals could use the JSI to analyze job specifications for strengthening career decisions. Future use could involve the definition of important worker specifications in occupations to enhance mobility for workers and transportability of skills for employers.