Advantages and disadvantages of critical incident technique

1. Advantages of critical incident technique

• Data is collected directly from the respondent in his or her own words (users’ views, NOT designers’).
• Focus on unusual or extraordinary may be more helpful than routine data
• Does not force the respondents into any given framework.
• Flexible method.
• Inexpensive and provides rich information.
• Identifies even rare events that might be missed by other methods which only focus on common and everyday events.
• Useful when problems occur but the cause and severity are not known.
• Emphasizes the features that will make a system particularly vulnerable and can bring major benefits

2. Disadvantages of critical incident technique

• Everyday issues may be missed.
• Critical incidents often rely on memory, incidents may be equivocal.
• Reliability weak.
• The method has a built-in bias towards incidents that happened recently, since these are easier to recall.
• It will emphasize only rare events; Everyday issues may be missed.

3. Common problems of critical incident technique

• Respondents may be reluctant to express incidents that reflect badly on themselves.
• The critical incidents are recorded after the events have already taken place – both routine and non-routine.
• The process of collecting a fairly good number of incidents is a lengthy one.
• The analysts overseeing the work must have analytical skills and ability to translate the content of descriptions into meaningful statements.
• Respondents may reply with stereotypes, not actual events (using more structure improves this).
• The meaning of “critical incident” must be clear to participants.

4. Related documents:

Methods of job analysis
Observation methods
Critical incident technique (CIT model)
Process 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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