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An interesting feature of the labour markets is that many organizations do not specify the type of person they require instead they will give the details of a job in a job specification. The Department of Employment has given the following definitions of a job description and job specification:

Job description: a broad statement of the purpose, scope, duties and responsibilities of a particular job.

Job specification: a detailed statement of the physical and mental activities involved in the job. The specification is usually expressed in terms of behaviour: what the worker does, what knowledge he uses in doing it, the judgments he makes and the factors he takes into account when making them.

The great variety of job specifications which exists in business illustrates the range of specification in occupation. The five categories given below do not cover this wide range, but can become a guide to the role of manpower in organization.

1.Unskilled. Many jobs do not require any training or previous experience, for example manual labour or assembly work. These occupations are often highly repetitive and boring, as well as being poorly paid.

2.Mechanical or motor skills. There are some tasks in business which are performed by machines which require an operator. The more complicated the machine, then generally the more the operator must be.

3.Intelligence and knowledge. Occupations which require a high level of motor skill sometimes also demand a high level of intelligence and aptitude. But there are jobs which do not need mechanical skills but make demand on people’s knowledge.

4.Administrative or managerial skills. The ability to organize other people is a rare skill. It not only requires knowledge and understanding of the functions within an organization, but also the ability to motivate people. In addition managers must be able to organize nonhuman resources using techniques of forecasting, planning, coordinating and controlling. These are techniques which require judgment as well as knowledge.

5.Decision-making skills and initiative. Decision-making is an everyday occurrence for everyone. We decide what to eat, what to wear, where to go, and so on. Similarly, decisions are part of an organization’s everyday activities. The higher one goes up the hierarchy, the more necessary is the skill of decision. The risks which all organizations face mean that that organizations have to be run by people who have the ability to diagnose and assess the risk, and the capacity to decide on the correct strategy. Business is constantly changing and organizations require people with enterprise and initiative in order to survive.


1. Give your own examples of a trade or profession illustrating each category of the job specification.

T E X T 8



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