For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"Skill: Meanings, Methods, and Measures"

by Spenner, Kenneth I (1990)


This article reviews concepts and measures of skill in the social sciences. Conceptual positions differ in the ultimate origin of bases for skill, the locus and nature of skill valuation mechanisms, the extent of social constructionist influences, and the dimensionality of skill. An emerging consensus posits two organizing dimensions: substantive complexity and autonomy control. The major research designs that include the study of skill are highly varied and complementary in their knowledge yield. The major measurement strategies have shifted in recent years from nonmeasures and indirect measures of skill to direct measures of two types: expert systems and self-report measures. The review considers in detail the major expert system, the Dictionary of Occupational Titles, in terms of population coverage, aggregation bias, reliability, validity, and relationship to self-report measures.


Skill, Knoweldge, Understanding, Expertise



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