The Human Resource Practices Of An Institution

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TheHuman Resource Practices Of An Institution

TheHuman Resource Practices of An Institution


Ananalysis of skill demand can be attained by evaluating numeracy andliteracy skills of the employees by matching the intended skills withthe expected duties of the job to be performed. Occupational needsdepend on the nature of the duties to be performed by an employee.The nature of the task varies depending on the latitude of theemployee, the intensity of abstract reasoning and the interactivityor manual work. The analysis uses task approach to labor economics asexpressed by Gibbs and Lazear to confirm the significant relationshipbetween needs of skills and task complexity. The issue ofheterogeneity in workplace practices stipulates that the policies ofworkplace development are identified as factors facilitate thematching of skills and labor productivity.This paper explores whetherthe demand for skills is correlated with the various descriptors oftask complexity that characterizes the individual’s job such as theextent of autonomy, abstract and interactive tasks (Gibbs &ampLazear, 2009).

Theintroduction of task approach in the analysis of a market economy isgaining prominence in the contemporary society as it is receiving anincreased attention. The gist of task framework is to determine themajor activities an employee is likely to perform in an organizationand the skills required in performing the task. The kind of laborrequired to perform a given duty depends largely on the technologicalchanges occurring in the institution and the comparison of thevarious types of skills required in performing the duty (Gibbs &ampLazear, 2009).

Thisframework constructs a unique theory that accounts for severalempirical facts in a labor market of developed economies. In theanalysis of the US workers, and analytical variance of routine dutiesis carried out to determine the wage differences between occupationsas well as among employees of the same occupation ( Ichniowski, &ampShaw, 2007).

Literatureon the high-performance workplaces indicates a positive relationbetween discretionary employee workplace practices and the variousparameters of job satisfaction, productivity and safety and healthpractices at workplace. Research indicates that there is no clearrelationship between heterogeneity of skills and task design to provethat high levels of human capital create positive effects of taskdiscretion on productivity (Karasek, 2000).

Theissue of job designing and extent of task complexity is a strategicdecision that every organization has to make. Research indicates thathuman resource managers face serious challenges when constituting jobdescriptions that entail the specific tasks to be performed in agiven job, the incentives involved and the discretion given to theemployee. Organizations that lack a well-structured job descriptioncan easily demotivate the employee hence poor productivity (Gibbs &ampLazear, 2009).

Gibbsand Lazear argue that the various jobs can be described using thefour interlinked components. The four components include multitaskingwhere the company explores the number of tasks to be performed, adiscretion which involves the number of decisions an employee canmake, interdependence that stipulates the relationship between thejob in question and other jobs within the firm and the type of skillswhich looks at the abilities and the human capital required by theintended job. They further say that high levels of multitaskingrequire a higher degree of task discretion which depends on higherskills of an employee (Gibbs &amp Lazear, 2009).


Duringthe research, an empirical analysis is used which relies on theskills analyzed and, in this case, the skills comprise of numeracyand literacy. This is because the analysis of identifying thenecessary skills in the contemporary society where technology keepson evolving can be carried out in the selected subgroups that havecomputer know-how. This means that the study will use non-randomselection that is biased (Karasek, 2000).

Indeveloping measures of task complexity, a systematic procedure isdesigned in relation to job tasks that are modeled along thesedimensions: job latitude, abstract reasoning, interaction tasks andphysical work. In identifying the measures of skill demand, the studyutilizes the measure of skill level that is intended to captureemployees who possess the required skills in their various jobs. Thesecond measure is the standard intensity of skill use, which aims atdetermining the in-depth use of the skills within jobs ( Ichniowski,&amp Shaw, 2007).

Indesigning the measure of mismatch, the study relies on the know-howof the employee’s skills which are obtained through the survey ofthe questionnaires distributed to the employees. The questionsrequire them to give the information about the skills possessed andthe skills required for the job (Karasek, 2000).

Thisresearch methodology has its downfalls because it creates some gapsin the study. First, it uses a non-random mode of sampling, which isbiased and this is likely to affect the results obtained since thestudy makes use of a small sample of the population to collect data.Another challenge is that the study makes use of the heterogeneity ofskill demand is assessing jobs of broad categories (Ichniowski, &ampShaw, 2007).

Analysisand Discussion

Inthe analysis of the data collected, the study uses the heterogeneityin the measured levels of skills of matched employees such as thosewith well-utilized skills in their given jobs as a substitute forskill demand in the various occupations. The effectiveness of theprocedure used in the analysis of data is assessed using a variety ofmeasures to determine whether employees’ skills are well-matched totheir occupations. In analyzing literacy and numeracy as thedependent variables, empirical estimates are used in identifying therelationship between skill needs and job complexity. A set ofregression control is also used to assess the number of demands whichmakes use of a number of variables which describe the nature of thejob. Such variables include workplace size, broad occupational groupsand sector of economic activity (Karasek, 2000).

Theresults obtained after analyzing skills well-matched with theiroccupations indicates that an employee/individual is the one whopossess the right information about the skills they have and the jobsthey can handle best. Regression analysis reveals that occupationsthat demand abstract reasoning and offer job latitude are perceivedas jobs that require a higher level of skills. On the other hand,physical jobs require low level of skills (Gibbs &amp Lazear, 2009).

Thefindings of the study show that the issue of job designing can beconnected with other factors of the organization that an employeeworks for. Some of these factors include the kind of technology usedin production, the business strategy used by the organization as wellas the other human resource practices of the organization (Ichniowski, &amp Shaw, 2007).


Inthe analysis of the study, the empirical approach used confirms thatthere is a positive link between the extent of task complexity andthe skills required for a given job. As the analysis reveals that thelevel of payments and the skills required for the job tend to attractemployee in the various categories of occupations is a clearindication that task complexity influences the skill demand forvarious occupations and within an occupation (Gibbs &amp Lazear,2009).


Gibbs,M. &amp Lazear, E.(2009). PersonnelEconomics in Practice.NJ: John Wiley &amp Sons.

Ichniowski,C. &amp Shaw, J. (2007). The Effects of Human Resource ManagementPractices on Productivity: A Study of Steel Finishing Lines. TheAmerican Economic Review. 87, 291-313.

Karasek,R. (2000). Job demands, job decision latitude, and mental strain:Implications for job redesign. AdministrativeScience Quarterly.24, 285 – 308.

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