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Critical incident technique

1. Definition of critical incident technique Definition of critical incident technique (CIT model) What is critical incident technique ( CIT...

1. Definition of critical incident technique

Definition of critical incident technique (CIT model)

What is critical incident technique (CIT model)?

CIT model is method used for collecting observations of human behavior that are judged to be "effective" or "ineffective" in work, activities.

Definition of critical incident by Computer Science at Virginia Tech

“Critical incident is an event that has a significant effect, either positive or negative, on task performance or user satisfaction, thus affecting usability.”

Definition of  CIT model by wikipedia:

“The Critical Incident Technique (or CIT) is a set of procedures used for collecting direct observations of human behavior that have critical significance and meet methodically defined criteria”

Definition of CIT method / technique by Flanagan, J. C. (1954).

“The critical incident technique of job analysis is used to identify work behaviors that classify in good and poor performance“

Definition of CIT method / technique by Abbott & Schuster, 1984.

“Simply, critical incident involves the collection of observations of employee behaviors that are both effective and ineffective”

Example of critical incident:

if a fashion salesman comments on the customer's skin and the customer leaves the store in a huff, the behavior of the salesman may be judged as ineffective in fashion company.

2. History of CIT method / technique:

This method was developed by Flanagan during World War II (Director of the Division of Aviation Psychology, United States Army Air Forces).
He described critical incident technique as a set of procedures used to collect observations of human behavior. These observations are used to solve practical problems and develop psychological principles.

3. Application of CIT method / technique:

The critical incident technique has been applied in studying some sector as follows:
• Organizational development
• Large scale tasks and activity analysis of numerous occupations
• Health care.
• Market research etc.

4. Purpose of CIT method / technique:

• Built job descriptions, job specification and job standard.
• Create a list of good and bad behaviors which can then be used for performance appraisal.
• Testing the effectiveness of the job description and job specification.

5. Information source of CIT method / technique:

Sources for critical incidents include:
• Workers
• co-workers
• supervisors,
• managers,
• Customer
• External and internal suppliers
• And others.

6. Related documents:

18 methods of job analysis
Observation methods
Process of critical incident technique
Advantage and disadvantage of critical incident technique
Questions of critical incident technique
HR career ebooks (you can download free and ref all ebooks related HR career…)

Author: Davi Ngo,


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