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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

This paper aims to review the latest management developments across the globe and pinpoint practical implications from cutting‐edge research and case studies.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to review the latest management developments across the globe and pinpoint practical implications from cutting‐edge research and case studies.

Design/methodology/approach

This briefing is prepared by an independent writer who adds their own impartial comments and places the articles in context.

Findings

Change is a constant factor in today's business world. Technology continues to play an important role in driving change and in helping organizations operate successfully in the wake of ever‐intensifying competition. The demand for talent has naturally soared as a result, making it imperative to identify, nurture and manage top‐performing employees more effectively. In many firms, the response has been to increase the emphasis on mentoring. Leaders are increasingly utilizing this strategy in their quest to achieve knowledge transfer, leadership development and succession planning objectives. Of course, it's rarely that simple. Setting up any mentoring program involves the often arduous job of finding suitable applicants, then matching them with the right mentors. Program content must be appropriate. Ditto its goals. Then there's the necessary evaluation to ascertain the program's effectiveness. And all this must be customized to fit the requirement of the company in question. Sure sounds a pretty daunting challenge.

Practical implications

The paper provides strategic insights and practical thinking that have influenced some of the world's leading organizations.

Originality/value

The briefing saves busy executives and researchers hours of reading time by selecting only the very best, most pertinent information and presenting it in a condensed and easy‐to digest format.

Details

Human Resource Management International Digest, vol. 21 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0967-0734

Keywords

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