International Journal of Human Resource Management and Research (IJHRMR) ISSN 2249-6874 Vol. 3, Issue 4, Oct 2013, 33-40 © TJPRC Pvt. Ltd.

A MODEL FOR ASSESSING COMPETENCY LEVEL RATAN CH. CHAKRABORTY Directorate of Commercial Taxes, West Bengal, India

ABSTRACT In order to simplify the system for assessing competency or competency level, this paper is aimed to establish a mathematical relation of competency level with relevant knowledge, skill and attitude levels. The hypotheses stated for this purpose have been verified with Null Hypothesis Statistical Testing method for a model activity of solving the ordinary problems of the ‘Applications of Trigonometry in Real Problems’ exercise of trigonometry syllabus of class ten under the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education (WBBSE), West Bengal, India. Total 726 students of tenth standard from ten different secondary schools under the WBBSE had undergone the test. Competency level has been found as a product of relevant knowledge, skill and attitude levels. The relation would provide a uniform measure of competency level irrespective of scales where the components of competency are assessed. This paper is first in its category to develop a mathematical relation of competency level with relevant knowledge, skill and attitude levels which would help Human Resource professionals to design more effective training programmes and employers to make more effective recruitment processes, etc.

KEYWORDS: Assessment of Competency, Competency Level, Performer, Probability of Success INTRODUCTION The research studies on competency have gained a momentum after it had been proved to be a better differentiator for success than intelligence (McClelland, 1973). The concept of competency is being increasingly used in different private as well as public sector organisations for the last four decades to recruit efficient human personnel, make optimum use of them and prepare effective planning for acquiring the advantages in the competitive world. In the due course of time, the term competency has been defined by the human resource scholars from different points of views. Some of these definitions are based on observable performances or quality of outcomes and rests are based on underlying attributes of performers (Hoffman, 1999). In spite of much progress in the field of competency concept, developing a valid and reliable system for assessing competency has remained to be a challenging task. Although developing a system for assessing competency based on the observable performance or quality of outcomes is easier than that based on internal attributes, the ratings on such observable performances or quality of outcomes may vary with raters (Theron, & Roodt, 1999). In addition to this, a real situation may not be always possible to simulate for assessing competency. So a system based on the internal attributes of performers is necessary for assessing competency. The necessary internal attributes to perform any activity may be related to mental, intellectual, cognitive, social, emotional, attitudinal, physical, psychomotor etc aspects of the performer (Dubois, 1993; Lucia, & Lepsinger, 1999). In this regard, a generic definition of competency was given by a group of human resources scholars in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1995: ‘A competency is a cluster of related knowledge, skill, attitude (K, S, A) that affects a major part of one’s jobs (a role or responsibility), that correlates with performance on the job, that can be measured against well-accepted standards, and that can be improved via training and development’ (Parry, 1996). Here the knowledge and skill are visible attributes and attitude represents all other hidden attributes of the Iceberg model of competency (Spencer, & Spencer, 1993) and the cluster of relevant knowledge, skill and attitude is a measure of competency in terms of internal attributes. But a mathematical relation representing competency in

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Ratan CH. Chakraborty

terms of knowledge, skill and attitude is yet to be established. An effort is made here in this paper to establish a mathematical relation of competency with relevant knowledge, skill and attitude and thereby to derive the same for competency level.

COMPETENCY FUNCTION Instead of a cluster of knowledge (K), skill (S) and attitude (A), the term competency (C) may be expressed as a function of its components knowledge (K), skill (S) and attitude (A). (1) Here f is a function of the variables knowledge (K), skill (S) and attitude (A) and f is a rule that assigns to every ordered triples (K, S, A) a unique number

. Thus the domain of the function is a subset of 3-dimensional

space. Further, for the purpose of assessing competency, all of the relevant knowledge (K), skill (S) and attitude (A) are to be assessed in terms of nonnegative real numbers. Thus the values of all the variables of the competency function are nonnegative real numbers.

HYPOTHESES In order to establish a mathematical relation of the competency with the knowledge, skill and attitude, two hypotheses are formulated in the following way: ď‚ˇ

A performer with no relevant knowledge or skill or attitude (positive attitude) for performing an activity is not supposed to do any relevant action for the same. In other words, a performer with no relevant knowledge or skill or attitude (positive attitude) for performing an activity will not have any competency for the same. Therefore a hypothesis may be stated as:

Hypothesis 1 If either one of the knowledge, skill or attitude is zero then the corresponding competency will be zero. i.e. if or ď‚ˇ

or

then C = 0. Again a performer with all possible relevant knowledge, skills and attitudes (positive attitudes) for performing an activity is supposed to do all possible relevant actions for the same. In other words, a performer with all possible relevant knowledge, skills and attitudes (positive attitudes) for performing an activity will have the highest possible competency for the same. Therefore another hypothesis may be stated as:

Hypothesis 2 If all of the knowledge, skill and attitude be the maximum then the corresponding competency will also be the maximum. i.e. if

,

and

then C =

. Where

,

,

and

are the maximum knowledge,

skill, attitude and competency respectively.

TESTING THE HYPOTHESES The hypothesis 1 and hypothesis 2, stated above, are needed to be verified. Null Hypothesis Statistical Testing method has been used here for the purpose of testing the hypotheses. One tailed Null Hypothesis Statistical Testing is applicable here because the value of the competency may vary from 0 (zero) to

.

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A Model for Assessing Competency Level

Statements of Null and Alternative Hypotheses Three pairs of Null and Alternative hypotheses are necessary for testing hypothesis 1 while one pair of Null and Alternative hypothesis is sufficient for testing hypothesis 2. Statements of Null and Alternative Hypotheses for the Testing of the Hypothesis 1

Null Hypothesis for Zero Knowledge: If knowledge be zero then the corresponding competency will be zero. i.e. Ho1: C = 0 for

Alternative Hypothesis for Zero Knowledge: If knowledge be zero then the corresponding competency will be greater than zero. i.e. Ha1: C > 0 for

Null Hypothesis for Zero Skill: If skill be zero then the corresponding competency will be zero. i.e. Ho 2: C = 0 for

Alternative Hypothesis for Zero Skill: If skill be zero then the corresponding competency will be greater than zero. i.e. Ha2: C > 0 for

Null Hypothesis for Zero Attitude: If attitude be zero then the corresponding competency will be zero. i.e. Ho 3: C = 0 for

Alternative Hypothesis for Zero Attitude: If attitude be zero then the corresponding competency will be greater than zero. i.e. Ha3: C > 0 for

Statements of Null and Alternative Hypothesis for the Testing of the Hypothesis 2

Null Hypothesis for all of the Knowledge, Skill and Attitude be the Maximum: If all of the knowledge, skill and attitude be the maximum then the corresponding competency will be the maximum. i.e. Ho 4: for

,

and

Alternative Hypothesis for all of the Knowledge, Skill and Attitude be the Maximum: If all of the knowledge, skill and attitude be the maximum then the corresponding competency will be less than the maximum. i.e. Ha4:

for

,

and

Methodology of the Test Selection of Activity The activity of solving the ordinary problems of the ‘Applications of Trigonometry in Real Problems’ exercise of trigonometry syllabus of class ten under the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education (WBBSE), West Bengal, India is chosen here as a model activity for testing the hypotheses. Selection of Participants Ten government aided secondary schools under the WBBSE were randomly selected from the different places in West Bengal, India. All the tenth standard students of the selected schools, present at the time of the test conduction were chosen as subjects. A test had been administered on the selected students. Total 726 tenth standard students had undergone the test.

36

Ratan CH. Chakraborty

Design of the Test The test paper consisted of two sections namely section-A and section-B. There were 12 (twelve) items in the section-A for assessing knowledge, skill and attitude of the students for solving the ordinary problems of the ‘Applications of Trigonometry in Real Problems’ exercise of trigonometry syllabus of class ten under the WBBSE. Out of the twelve items 4 (four) items were designed for assessing relevant knowledge of trigonometry; 5 (five) items were designed for assessing relevant skill for solving the problems of trigonometry and the rest 3 (three) items were designed for assessing attitude (positive attitude) in terms of behavioural, cognitive and emotional components for solving the problems of the ‘Applications of Trigonometry in Real Problems’ exercise in the class room at that time. Each of the items designed for assessing the knowledge and skill was allotted 1 (one) marks for correct answer and 0 (zero) marks for incorrect answers. Each of the items designed for assessing the attitude (positive attitude) was assessed in self rating scale with allotted marks 0, 1 and 2 respectively for the selection of false, partially true and true in the case of the positive items and reverses in the case of the negative item. In addition to this 0 (zero) was allotted for all items which would not be attempted. On the other hand, the section-B comprised of one the ordinary problem from the said exercise carrying 5 (five) marks. The evaluation process of the answer papers of the problem of the section-B were designed to be rated with:

0 (zero) for no relevant step or 5 (five) for the complete solution without any error;

A score, as deemed fit by the evaluator, greater than 0 (zero) but less than 5 (five) for any other relevant effort. One single evaluator was employed here to evaluate all the answer papers because the ratings for any relevant

effort other than the complete solution without any error might vary with evaluators. Here the competency score of the tenth standard students in solving the ordinary problems of the ‘Applications of Trigonometry in Real Problems’ exercise of trigonometry syllabus of class ten under the WBBSE may vary from 0 to 5. Twenty five minutes time was given to the students for answering all the items of section-A and section-B. Four sets of such questionnaires, namely I, II, III and IV, were prepared differing in description, sequence and quantitative value of each item and systematically distributed among the students for avoiding biased responses from the students.

Results of the Test The obtained scores of each student in all the items of section-A were added separately in the respective knowledge, skill and attitude components. The answers of the section-B of the test were evaluated for those students who had scored either the maximum possible scores in all of the knowledge, skill and attitude components or 0 (zero) in either one of them. The comparisons between the expected and experimental scores of competencies for all the categories of the performers having K = 0, S = 0, A = 0 and the combination of

and

are shown in the Table 1.

Discussions and Conclusions of the Test Although in the test results, the average experimental scores of competency were found deviated from the corresponding expected scores of competency for all categories of the performers having K = 0, S = 0, A = 0 and the combination of and the combination of

and

, the p-values of all the categories of the performers having K = 0, S = 0, A = 0 and

were found to be greater than 0.05 (see Table 1). Thus, in spite of

the deviations, all the four null hypotheses are correct and may be accepted for the activity of solving the ordinary problems of the ‘Applications of Trigonometry in Real Problems’ exercise of trigonometry syllabus of class ten under the WBBSE because 0.05 levels of significance is acceptable for one tailed Null Hypothesis Statistical Testing in humanities.

37

A Model for Assessing Competency Level

Therefore the hypothesis 1 and hypothesis 2 are true for the activity of solving the ordinary problems of the ‘Applications of Trigonometry in Real Problems’ exercise of trigonometry syllabus of class ten under the WBBSE. If knowledge, skill and attitude are the components of competency for every activity it can be said, in generalising, the hypothesis 1 and hypothesis 2 are true for all activities.

RELATION OF COMPETENCY WITH RELEVANT KNOWLEDGE, SKILL AND ATTITUDE According to the hypothesis 1, competency will be zero if either one of the relevant knowledge, skill or attitude is zero. Hence the equation (1) may be transformed to, (2) In the equation (2),

will be a constant because the domain of the f{K,S,A} is a subset of 3-dimensional space.

Again according to the hypothesis 2, competency will be the maximum i.e. attitude be the maximum, i.e.

,

and

respectively. Then the value of

, if all of the relevant knowledge, skill and , derived from the equation (2), can be

written as, (3) The relation of competency with the relevant knowledge, skill and attitude, derived from the equation (2) and (3), can be written as, (4) The equation (4) represents the mathematical relation of competency with relevant knowledge, skill and attitude and the value of competency of any performer in an activity can be assessed by using this relation when the value of ,

,

,

, K, S and A are known.

RELATION OF COMPETENCY LEVEL WITH KNOWLEDGE, SKILL AND ATTITUDE LEVELS It’s noteworthy that a score of competency does not carry any useful meaning unless it is being compared with a benchmark. Such comparison gives rise to an idea of competency level. Originally, the concept of different categories of performers (Dryfus and Dryfus, 1980) paved the way for development of the concept of competency level. But the concept of such graded scale of competency levels is not effective for distinguishing performers with same competency level but different in competency scores. In order to eliminate such difficulties, competency level of a performer in an activity can be expressed ‘as the ratio of the competency of the performer in the activity to the highest possible competency by any performer in the same’ (Chakraborty, 2012). Therefore competency level, ;

Using the equation (4) and (5),

(5)

can be expressed as,

(6)

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Ratan CH. Chakraborty

If the ratios

,

and

respectively be termed as knowledge level, skill level and attitude level then the terms

may be defined as: ď‚ˇ

Knowledge Level: The ratio of actual relevant score of knowledge of a performer in a scale for an activity to the highest possible relevant score of knowledge in the same scale for the same may be termed as knowledge level of the performer for the activity. Mathematically,

; ď‚ˇ

(7)

Skill Level: The ratio of actual relevant score of skill of a performer in a scale for an activity to the highest possible relevant score of skill in the same scale for the same may be termed as skill level of the performer for the activity. Mathematically,

; ď‚ˇ

(8)

Attitude Level: The ratio of actual relevant score of attitude of a performer in a scale for an activity to the highest possible relevant score of attitude in the same scale for the same may be termed as attitude level of the performer for the activity. Mathematically,

;

(9)

The conversion of the scores of knowledge, skill and attitude into knowledge level, skill level and attitude level respectively, may be useful to compare the relevant knowledge, skill and attitude of different performers assessed in different but valid and reliable scales for a same activity. However, in expressing

,

and

as

,

and

respectively, the equation (6) reduces to,

(10)

The equation (10), representing the mathematical relation of competency level with relevant knowledge, skill and attitude levels, shows that the competency level ( ) is a homogeneous function in relevant knowledge level ( level (

) and attitude level (

), skill

) of degree 3 (three) and can be expressed as a product of the relevant knowledge level,

skill level and attitude level. Hence the competency level of a performer in an activity may be assessed from themathematical relation of competency level with relevant knowledge, skill and attitude levels.

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A Model for Assessing Competency Level

In addition to this, the probability of success of a performer in an activity may also be calculated with the value of competency level from the relation determined. Where activity;

and

if the highest and lowest probability of success for the same can be

are respectively the probability of success and competency level of the performer for the

and are constants (Chakraborty, 2012).

CONCLUSIONS In this paper, a mathematical relation of competency level has been developed with relevant knowledge, skill and attitude levels for assessing competency level of any performer in an activity and it has been found that the competency level is a product of the relevant knowledge level, skill level and attitude level. The relation would provide a uniform measure of competency level irrespective of scales where the competency components namely knowledge, skill and attitude are assessed. The quantitative values of competency levels of different performers in different tasks or activities, assessed from the relation, would be useful for all organisations to manage and develop the performance of its human resources more effectively by designing training programmes, non-training interventions and recruitment process.

REFERENCES 1.

Adediwura, A.A., & Tayo, B. (2007). Perception of Teachersâ€™ Knowledge, Attitude and Teaching Skills as Predictor of Academic performance in Nigerian Secondary Schools, Educational Research and Review, 2(7), 165171.

2.

Boyatzis, R.E. (1982). Competency Manager: A Model for Effective Performance. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.

3.

Chakraborty, R.C. (2012). The Relation between Probability of Success and Competency level, Journal of Strategic Human Resource Management, 1(3), 20-24.

4.

Dreyfus, S. E., & Dreyfus, H. L. (1980). A Five-Stage Model of the Mental Activities Involved in Directed Skill Acquisition, (Unpublished report supported by the Air Force Office of scientific Research, Contract # F49620-79C-0063). Berkeley: University of California.

5.

Dubois, D. D. (1993). Competency-based performance improvement: A strategy for organizational change Amherst, MA: HRD Press, Inc.

6.

Hoffmann, T. (1999). The Meaning of Competency. Journal of European Industrial Training, 23(6), 275-285.

7.

Lucia, A. D., & Lepsinger, R. (1999). The art and science of competency models: Pinpointing critical success factors in organizations New York: Pfeiffer.

8.

McClelland, D. C. (1973). Testing for Competence Rather Than for Intelligence. American Psychologist, 28(1), 114.

9.

Parry, S. B. (1996). The Quest for Competencies, Training Magazine, 33(7), 48-56.

10. Spencer, L.M., & Spencer, S.M. (1993). Competence at Work: Models for Superior Performance. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons. 11. Sternberg, R., & Kolligian, J. (1990). Competence Considered. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

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Ratan CH. Chakraborty

12. Theron, D., & Roodt, G. (1999). Variability in Multi-Rater Competency Assessment, Journal of Industrial Psychology, 25(2), 21-27.

APPENDICES Table 1: Howing the Comparisons between Expected and Experimental Scores of Competencies for all the Categories of the Performers Having K = 0, S = 0, A = 0 and the Combination of and Category of Performer K=0 S=0 A=0 K=4,S=5,A=6 i.e. K=K0,S=S0 & A=A0

Expected Score of Competency 0 0 0

Average Experimental Score of Competency 0.030769 0.021277 0.148148

5

4.85713

T-Value

P-Value

0.174036 0.145079 0.601518

Number of Performer s 65 94 27

1.425393 1.421879 1.279764

0.079451 0.079203 0.105965

0.466569

21

1.403122

0.093042

Standard Deviation