What sorts of problems would an employer encounter in asking a job incumbent to write a task statement?

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The most important problem that might be encountered comes from the fact that the job incumbent will have his or her own biases.  The job incumbent may not have a good overall view of all the possible ways in which the job might be done.

For example, a good task statement must state what sorts of outputs the employee is to produce.  In some cases, the job incumbent might not think that his or her job should include producing certain outputs that the firm would like produced.  The incumbent might think that those outputs should be the responsibility of someone else.

Task statements also need to say how the job is to be done.  Here, the potential for problems is even greater.  The job incumbent is likely to write a statement saying only how he or she does the job.  This could result in a statement that gives only one possible way of doing the job when there are actually a number of ways in which the job could be done.

Overall, then, the danger is that the firm will get a statement that reflects only the attitudes and beliefs of the job incumbent.  Such a statement might be limited and might not reflect what the firm wants the job to entail.

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