Work Sampling and Other Work Measurement Methodologies
Often work sampling is compared with time-motion methodology. Time-motion is performed by a trained observer, who continuously follows and monitors multiple trials of selected activity, registering time for every part of the activity.
The main difference between the two methods resides in the degree of intrusion perceived by the subject. Work sampling is less invasive being defined by momentary observations, compared to the continuous observation done in time-motion studies.
Work sampling can offer cross-sectional analysis performed over an extended period of time (weeks or even months), while time-motion would imply higher cost levels by studying large time frames. By including a diverse sample of subjects, work sampling results can be segregated by team, department, shift, down days vs. operating days, week days vs. week-end days or by any other information specific to the organizational structure.
Through numerous researches, statisticians have shown that the results obtained through work sampling methodology are statistically similar to the corresponding 100% behavioral observation data.
The usage of sampling technique can now be extended even further to larger groups of individuals. Until now, this type of studies was thought to be too expensive even if sampling inferences were used. Also, the possibility to transfer the data collection task from consultants to the subjects of the evaluation, eliminate the costs of external consultancy.
ISampler demolishes the technical barriers that existed so far, researchers are faced now with the ideal environment for improving the methodology and extending its scope and coverage.
Because of their cost and time attributes,work sampling and other related methodologies, like time study, have been used mainly on evaluating physical tasks. More recent research looks at the possibility to encompass also the application of these methodologies in measuring behavioral, cognitive and affective aspects of work. Assessing the qualitative aspects of processes, such as team work, communication skills, problem solving, professional behavior, design or ethics, often require the examination of behavior from multiple cognitive and affective levels.
The application of work sampling in assessing cognitive and affective aspects allows researchers to evaluate more broadly individual’s contribution to the group’s outcome.