1. Definition of observation method:
What is observation method? Observation method is a technique in which the behavior of research subjects is watched and recorded without any direct contact.
2. Types and using of observation methods:
This method can be used independently or in combination with other methods of job analysis. There are three methods of job analysis based on observation are: direct observation, work methods analysis, critical incident technique.
a> Direct observation .
This method observes employees in the performance of their duties, recording observations as they are made.
Everything is observed:
• What is the worker accomplishes?
• What is equipment is used?
• What the work environment is like?
• Any other factors relevant to the job? etc
This method is used to describe manual and repetitive production jobs and is used by industrial engineers to determine standard rates of production, to set pay rates.
Work methods analysis includes time and motion study and micro-motion analysis.
Though they employ the same method, these methods differ in terms of who does the observing, what is observed, and how it is observed.
3. Advantages of observation method
• Firsthand information.
• Simple to use.
• Verifies data from other sources.
• Useful for manual and psycho-motor tasks.
4. Disadvantages of observation method
• Time consuming.
• May bias worker performance.
• Small sample size.
• Requires skilled observer.
• Validity & reliability may be problematic.
• Not useful for jobs consisting of mostly mental tasks.