Multidimensionality

Despite the emphasis on defining and predicting job performance, it is not a single unified construct. There are vastly many jobs each with different performance standards. Therefore, job performance is conceptualized as a multidimensional construct consisting of more than one kind of behavior. Campbell (1990) proposed an eight factor model of performance based on factor analytic research that attempts to capture dimensions of job performance existent (to a greater or lesser extent) across all jobs.

1. The first factor is task specific behaviors which include those behaviors that an individual undertakes as part of a job. They are the core substantive tasks that delineate one job from another.
2. On the other hand, non-task specific behaviors, the second factor, are those behaviors which an individual is required to undertake which do not pertain only to a particular job. Returning to the sales person, an example of a task specific behavior would be showing a product to a potential customer. A non-task specific behavior of a sales person might be training new staff members.
3. Written and oral communication tasks refer to activities where the incumbent is evaluated, not on the content of a message necessarily, but on the adeptness with which they deliver the communication. Employees need to make formal and informal oral and written presentations to various audiences in many different jobs in the work force.
4. An individual’s performance can also be assessed in terms of effort, either day to day, or when there are extraordinary circumstances. This factor reflects the degree to which people commit themselves to job tasks.
5. The performance domain might also include an aspect of personal discipline. Individuals would be expected to be in good standing with the law, not abuse alcohol, etc.
6. In jobs where people work closely or are highly interdependent, performance may include the degree to which a person helps out the groups and his or her colleagues. This might include acting as a good role model, coaching, giving advice or helping maintain group goals.
7. Many jobs also have a supervisory or leadership component. The individual will be relied upon to undertake many of the things delineated under the previous factor and in addition will be responsible for meting out rewards and punishments. These aspects of performance happen in a face to face manner.
8. Managerial and administrative performance entails those aspects of a job which serve the group or organization but do not involve direct supervision. A managerial task would be setting an organizational goal or responding to external stimuli to assist a group in achieving its goals. In addition a manager might be responsible for monitoring group and individual progress towards goals and monitoring organizational resources.

Another taxonomy of job performance was proposed and developed for the US Navy by Murphy (1994). This model is significantly broader and breaks performance into only four dimensions.

1. Task-oriented behaviors are similar to task-specific behaviors in Campbell’s model. This dimension includes any major tasks relevant to someone’s job.
2. Inter personally oriented behaviors are represented by any interaction the focal employee has with other employees. These can be task related or non-task related. This dimension diverges from Campbell’s taxonomy because it included behaviors (small talk, socializing, etc.) that are not targeting an organization’s goal.
3. Down-time behaviors are behaviors that employees engage in during their free time either at work or off-site. Down-time behaviors that occur off-site are only considered job performance when they subsequently affect job performance (for example, outside behaviors that cause absenteeism).
4. Destructive/hazardous behaviors.

In addition to these models dividing performance into dimensions, others have identified different types of behaviors making up performance.

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