The perceived dimensions of jobs: a multidimensional scaling approach

TR Number



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


Recent research has revealed ambiguous evidence for the validity of the cognitive complexity (CC) construct. Some authors (Bieri, Atkins, Briar, Leaman, Miller, & Tripodi, 1966; Scott, Osgood, & Peterson, 1979) have suggested that a potentially useful method for examining CC is multidimensional scaling. The present study examined such an operational definition. The present study also examined the perceptual dimensions that underlie individuals' perceptions of jobs.

Three hundred and five subjects rated the similarity of pairs of job titles, completed the Role Construct Repertory Test (REP), and later rated videotaped vignettes in a performance appraisal simulation. Multidimensional scaling extracted the subjects’ dimensionality. Due to an unstable solution, the study’s first three hypotheses (that dimensionality would predict rater accuracy, that dimensionality would predict rater accuracy better than the traditional Role Construct Repertory test, and that dimensionality and the REP would be correlated) were untestable. Multidimensional scaling was not a useful approach in this context.

The fourth hypothesis stated that the present data would replicate the three-dimensional job characteristics model of Stone and Gueutal (1985). Results indicated that the Stone and Gueutal configuration was not supported. Thus, job design efforts predicated on their model appear premature.