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Article

Carole Tansley, Ella Hafermalz and Kristine Dery

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between the use of sophisticated talent selection processes such as gamification and training and development…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between the use of sophisticated talent selection processes such as gamification and training and development interventions designed to ensure that candidates can successfully navigate the talent assessment process. Gamification is the application of game elements to non-game activities through the adoption of gaming tools, and little is known about how candidates (“talent”) struggle to learn about the structural mechanics of gamification as they engage with the hidden rules of talent selection, such as goals, rules, “levelling up”, feedback and engagement in competitive – collaborative activities. The term “talent development gamification” is coined and used as an analytical tool to consider how young talent are supported by development interventions in their inter-subjectivity as they learn how to survive and win in talent selection games.

Design/methodology/approach

Studying hidden dynamics in development processes inherent in gamified talent selection is challenging, so a cult work of fiction, “Ender’s Game”, is examined to address the questions: “How do candidates in talent selection programmes learn to make sense of the structural mechanics of gamification”, “How does this make the hidden rules of talent selection explicit to them?” and “What does this mean for talent development?”

Findings

Talent development in selection gamification processes is illustrated through nuanced theoretical accounts of how a multiplicity of shifting and competing developmental learning opportunities are played out as a form of “double-consciousness” by potential organizational talent for them to “win the selection game”.

Research limitations/implications

Using novels as an aid to understanding management and the organization of work is ontologically and epistemologically problematic. But analysing novels which are “good reads” also has educational value and can produce new knowledge from its analysis. In exploring how “Characters are made to live dangerously, to face predicaments that, as readers, we experience as vicarious pleasure. We imagine, for example, how a particular character may react or, more importantly, what we would do in similar circumstances” (Knights and Willmott, 1999, p. 5). This future-oriented fictional narrative is both illustrative and provides an analogy to illuminate current organisational development challenges.

Originality/value

The term “talent development gamification in selection processes” is coined to allow analysis and provide lessons for talent development practice in a little studied area. Our case study analysis identifies a number of areas for consideration by talent management/talent development specialists involved in developing talent assessment centres incorporating gamification. These include the importance of understanding and taking account of rites of passage through the assessment centre, in particular the role of liminal space, what talent development interventions might be of benefit and the necessity of appreciating and managing talent in developing the skill of double consciousness in game simulations.

Details

European Journal of Training and Development, vol. 40 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-9012

Keywords

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Article

Carole Tansley

The purpose of this article is to consider the ways the notion of “talent” has developed over many years, both historically and linguistically, in a number of European and

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to consider the ways the notion of “talent” has developed over many years, both historically and linguistically, in a number of European and non‐European languages and in use in organisations, and its use in talent management.

Design/methodology/approach

The information was gained from a literature review of key reports on talent management and a major review of ten organisations across sectors and by interviewing over 100 individuals involved in talent management programmes in the UK and abroad. Holden and Tansley also conducted a philological analysis of the word “talent” from both an historical and a linguistic‐comparative perspective analysing publications by consultancies and articles in the management press considering both literal (denotative) definitions and metaphoric (connotative) associations of the term talent in English, noting contrasting usages of the word in other languages.

Findings

There is no single or universal contemporary definition of “talent” in any one language; there are different organisational perspectives of talent. Current meanings of talent tend to be specific to an organisation and highly influenced by the nature of the work undertaken. A shared organisational language for talent is important. There is high level of influence of management consultants in the development of the term in managing people with unique knowledge and skills.

Practical implications

Organisational talent, in order that it can be identified and developed, must be visible, stimulated and nurtured, and the first step to this is to have an agreed organisational definition of talent.

Social implications

Talent management that only recognises a narrow definition of talent negatively impacts on the full utilisation of a nation's talents.

Originality/value

There are no other articles currently published which attempt to define talent from such a historical, linguistic, organisational and individual perspective.

Details

Industrial and Commercial Training, vol. 43 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0019-7858

Keywords

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Article

Carole Tansley, Susan Kirk, Hazel Williams and Harry Barton

The purpose of this paper is to examine and conceptualise the ways in which a balance can be achieved between optimising the efficiency and effectiveness of electronic…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine and conceptualise the ways in which a balance can be achieved between optimising the efficiency and effectiveness of electronic human resource management (e-HRM) systems for human resource management (HRM) and enabling innovation to occur during the system implementation.

Design/methodology/approach

An interpretive case study of a UK local authority e-HRM system implementation is examined using the notion of ambidexterity as an analytical device. Ambidexterity relates to how an organisation develops the ability to operate efficiently in the now, while at the same time being able to adapt to environmental changes around and ahead of them in order to grow into the future.

Findings

As an intra-organisational capability, ambidexterity is found to derive from the simultaneous interplay and balancing of dual capabilities: exploitation and exploration. e-HRM exploitation concerned the capability to generate new knowledge with innovatory effects, created through the everyday practices performed by practitioners at all levels in the organisation. e-HRM exploration, rather than being a purposeful act, was found to be an accidental consequence of engaging in exploitation to maintain the status quo.

Research limitations/implications

The notion of ambidexterity was originally constructed within strategic management and studies in the field have previously been confined to this area. This makes this study theoretically and empirically experimental, making it a challenging research endeavour. Another limitation is that the authors only sought views from the interviewees on how external forces might limit or facilitate their ambidexterity, as opposed to actually studying those forces themselves.

Practical implications

The authors suggest that those in organisations who are responsible for strategic HRM need to consider ways in which “intentional” opportunities for ambidexterity in e-HRM systems implementation can be identified and harnessed to ensure better balances between exploitation and exploration in such endeavours and to guard against innovation only occurring through chance.

Originality/value

There is a lack of detailed investigation of how organisations actually achieve ambidexterity, particularly in three under-researched areas: ambidexterity in the public sector, at human resourcing functional level and e-HRM systems implementation. Bundling these three areas into an integrated examination allows us to both identify how exploitation and exploration play out in the ambidextrous practices of an e-HRM project and also to identify the dimensions of ambidexterity in balancing e-HRM work.

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 36 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

Keywords

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Article

Carole Tansley and Sue Newell

The purpose of this article is to consider how project leadership knowledge and behaviour influence project team trust and social capital development and use in the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to consider how project leadership knowledge and behaviour influence project team trust and social capital development and use in the context of a global HR information systems project.

Design/methodology/approach

A comparative interpretive case study approach was used, including interviews (n=45) and participant observation with members at all levels of the two examined projects. Interpretive patterns from situated activities enabled inferences to be drawn about different types of project leader (PL) knowledge and behaviours and trust and the bridging and bonding aspects of social capital.

Findings

PLs need to apply knowledge in three areas in order for trust to develop within the project team (external leadership, internal leadership and hybrid leadership), which in turn is a necessary pre‐condition for the development and exploitation of social capital, a significant influence on project success.

Research limitations/implications

The choice of two extreme cases (one where trust did not develop and one where trust did) means that further research is needed to corroborate the findings in order to make generalisations.

Practical implications

The study highlights ways in which a PL can foster the development of trust in the context of complex cross‐cultural, cross‐functional IS project teams. The study identifies how there are different types of trust that need to be generated and how this depends on good internal, external and hybrid PL leadership.

Originality/value

The study highlights the importance of different types of trust for being able to exploit social capital at the project level that has not been studied explicitly in the literature.

Details

Journal of Managerial Psychology, vol. 22 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-3946

Keywords

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Article

Carole Tansley, Susan Kirk and Colin Fisher

The purpose of this study is to identify how ethical stances can be used to develop a frame set in the design of a web-based decision support system (DSS) for ethical…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to identify how ethical stances can be used to develop a frame set in the design of a web-based decision support system (DSS) for ethical decision-making and to test both the efficacy of these frames and the potential of such a tool for individuals and groups in both leadership development situations and organisational practice. Unethical behaviour by executives is a frequently cited reason for erosion of trust with other stakeholders.

Design/methodology/approach

Utilising action research, by choosing ethics frames such as heuristics, a web-based ethics DSS designed to enable users to explore ethical issues from multiple perspectives was constructed and this was beta-tested with a major UK bank and a global oil company.

Findings

In orchestrating constant revisions of the ethics frames in the tool, learning from each research cycle was identified, a new form of action research, a design action research, which emphasises the importance of collaboration in the design of such decision-making tools, was offered and the tool for management development and other applications was successfully beta-tested.

Originality/value

It was demonstrated to management developers how web-based systems might be designed by non-information technology professionals; the framing literature was added by demonstrating the value of engaging in dialogue about ethical issues of concern to managers and their organisations and thus improving decision-making; and additions were made to the literature on ethics and Information systems (IS) and contribution toward action research in the fields of IS and ethics was done.

Details

European Journal of Training and Development, vol. 38 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-9012

Keywords

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Article

Carole Tansley, Sue Newell and Hazel Williams

In examining attempts to move towards HRM‐style practices in organisations, the term “greenfield” helps to conceptualise the break with existing employee relations…

Abstract

In examining attempts to move towards HRM‐style practices in organisations, the term “greenfield” helps to conceptualise the break with existing employee relations practices, either on new or on existing sites, or to undertake a philosophical break with the past. Focuses on one stimulus to such transformational change – the development of human resource information systems (HRIS) as an opportunity structure that can enable a break with the past. Considers a case study of a large company implementing an HRIS integrated with other functional systems, to examine whether an e‐greenfield site exists. This is defined as a break with the past in the design and use of a computerised HRIS at either new or old organisational locations, to facilitate a greenfield HR philosophy and enable a more strategic role for HR specialists.

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