Sanchez and Levine Summary

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In the article titled, ‘What is (or should be) the difference between competency modeling and traditional job analysis?’ authors Sanchez and Levine attempt to shed light on the apparent ambiguity that exists between these two forms of human resource (HR) methods. The authors acknowledge that these two methods pursue fundamentally different goals and should be implemented in a manner that does not displace but supplement each other. In making the distinction between competency modeling (CM) and traditional job analysis (TJA), the authors articulate that the latter concerns itself with describing and measuring day-to-day operations of specific roles in an organization while the former relates to desired behavioral competencies that transcend various roles and in doing so contribute to an overarching organizational strategy. The authors compare CM and TJA along six dimensions: purpose, view of the job, focus, time orientation, performance level and measurement approach. While all dimensions are equally important in making a clear distinction between the two concepts, for the purpose of this summary I will be focusing on what is in my opinion the three most relevant distinctions between the two HR methodologies namely, focus, time orientation and performance level.

The authors argue that TJA focuses solely on the job and in doing so fails to recognize that job behavior could be influenced by factors other than formal responsibilities. CM on the other hand, builds itself around notions of ‘employer brand’ and ‘employee value proposition’ that include behavioral themes and unique performance characteristics that derive directly from the organizational identity itself. The focus of CM is particularly important because it has significant practical implications when communicating management expectations to employees. An employer brand should identify with a business strategy and communicating strategic competencies as a component of management expectations is more...
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