Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Master of Psychology


Faculty of Health and Human Sciences

First Supervisor

Chris Skinner


The dimensions underlying the structure of work in the Western Australian Public sector were analysed and compared with the structure of work as ascertained by Functional Job Analysis and the Position Analysis Questionnaire. A questionnaire was developed by the Skills Resource Management Unit to determine the importance attached to work skills in a variety of public sector occupations. One hundred and ninety four subjects of mixed gender were randomly selected from public sector agencies and were surveyed through workshops. Results were subjected to exploratory factor analyses. Confirmatory factor analysis then investigated the fit of the data to the following contradictory hypotheses as to the structure of work in the public sector. The dimensionality of work resembles three dimensions: Working with People, Working With Information, and, Using Machines and Equipment as based on Sydney Fine's (1971) factors, Data, People and Things. The dimensionality of work resembles six dimensions: Information Input, Mental Processes, Work Output, Relationships with Other People, Job Context, and Other Job Characteristics as based on an information processing model by McCormick, Jeanneret, & Mecham (1972). Results indicated that the structure of work fitted neither model well. However it approximated Fine's (1971) model more closely than the PAQ model. Implications of ascertaining a structure of work in the public sector and future research prospects were suggested.

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