Paired Comparison

This article covers meaning, importance & example of Paired Comparison from HRM perspective.

Published by MBA Skool Team in Human Resources Terms Last Updated: August 16, 2024Read time:

What is Paired Comparison?

Paired comparison method is a methodology in HRM which helps quantify, compare & rank various parameters. It is a very cost efficient, low-cost method to do a comparison and evaluate the best option quantitatively from various parameters. In HRM, this process can be used to compare and rank types of job, evaluate appraisals by ranking employees etc.

Importance of 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. 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.

Example for Paired Comparison

For performance appraisal, the following steps can be used:

a) If there are 5 employees A-E, A will be compared individually to B, to C and similarly to the remaining employees.

b) 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.

c) The total number of decisions in this case will be 10.

d) The number of decisions can be calculated by the formula N(N-1)/2, where N represents the total number of employees being evaluated.

e) 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.

a) 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”.

b) 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.

The above is an illustration of paired comparison for employee performance appraisal & job evaluation.

Advantages of Paired Comparison Method

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.

Hence, this concludes the definition of Paired Comparison along with its overview.

This article has been researched & authored by the Business Concepts Team which comprises of MBA students, management professionals, and industry experts. It has been reviewed & published by the MBA Skool Team. The content on MBA Skool has been created for educational & academic purpose only.

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