Paired Comparison Method

Posted in Human Resource Terms, Total Reads: 4105

Definition: Paired Comparison Method

Paired comparison involves pairwise comparison – i.e., comparing entities in pairs to judge which is preferable or has a certain level of some property. LL Thurstone first established the scientific approach to using this approach for measurement.

As the illustrative matrix shows, jobs are compared to other jobs respectively to generate a hierarchy of preferences. Equal preference between two jobs may be denoted by 0.5.

The paired comparison method is particularly applicable when the jobs are significantly different from one another and where a relative measurement promises to yield insight. It is therefore useful for business situations which typically involve setting priorities in the context of limited resources.

It is a method of comparing employee and job with another one on  the basis of skill sets, time required to execute tasks, knowledge etc.

If there are 5 employees A-E, A will be compared individually to B, to C and similarly to the remaining employees. If A is better than be a “+” will be marked against his name, and if he is not as good as C, a “-“will be marked. The total number of decisions in this case will be 10. The number of decisions can be calculated by the formula N(N-1)/2, where N represents the total number of employees being evaluated. In the diagram below employee C has the most “+” and hence will receive more incentives.

Job evaluation is done by comparing the worth of one job against that of another. Ranks and grades can be decided depending on the number of points scored by each job. If Job A is worth more than B, it will be rated with a “1”, and if it is not worth as much as Job C it will be rated with a “0”. In the diagram below job E has scored the most number of points and hence will be at a higher rank when compared to the other jobs.

An advantage of using this method is that it is reliable and provides reasoning behind decision making. However it cannot be used in organizations with a large number of employees as it would be too difficult to compare so many people on an individual basis.

The above is an illustration of paired comparison

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