Assessment Centres: Unlocking Potential for Growth (PDF E-book)

  • ID: 2903328
  • Book
  • 386 pages
  • Knowledge Resources
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It is a generally accepted fact that South Africa has a dire need for suitably qualified and experienced managers Assessment Centre technology has the potential to provide a platform for firstly, diagnosing potential candidates’ management potential and secondly, training these candidates and developing their management capabilities Assessment Centre technology has the advantage of simultaneously providing training and development and hands-on management experience based on realistic simulations Assessment Centres are widely underestimated as a vehicle for providing needs-based management training and developing

The book is primarily aimed at the Assessment Centre practitioner market There is currently no South African book on the market in this area Although the book is aimed at the practitioner market, it is also based on the logic and sound theoretical principles of the Design Model The Design Model provides the basis for systematically covering the analysis, design, implementation and the evaluation stages in the Assessment Centre development process The Design Model is also superimposed on program evaluation principles where each stage of the model can be evaluated against predetermined criteria These aspects give the book a unique approach and content

The book has the following unique features:

- It follows the logic and structure of the Design Model – analysis, design, implementation and evaluation
- Program Evaluation principles applied at the end of each stage
- Focuses on a range of critical practical considerations for running an Assessment Centre
- A chapter on the SA historical development of Assessment Centres
- Chapters on international current practices and future trends by renowned international authors (Thornton and Krause)
- Inclusion of a set of Guidelines from the Assessment Centre Study Group to Assessment Practitioners
- A ‘how to’ book that focuses on practical execution
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List of figures and tables xiii
About the authors xvii
Preface xix

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION TO ASSESSMENT CENTRES (Sandra Schlebusch
and Gert Roodt)

1 INTRODUCTION – WHAT ASSESSMENT CENTRES ARE
2 WHAT AN AC IS
21 Demarcation of terminology
3 TYPES OF ACs
31 Traditional ACs
32 Assessment ACs
33 Diagnostic ACs
34 Development ACs
35 Learning ACs
36 Collaborative ACs
37 Functional ACs
4 FEATURES OF ACs
41 Job analysis
42 Multiple simulations and assessment instruments
43 Multiple observers
44 Behavioural observation
45 Noting and classifying behaviour
46 Data integration
47 Competent observers and role-players
48 Feedback
49 Deliverables of an AC
5 STAKEHOLDERS OF ACs
51 Stakeholders directly involved in ACs
52 Stakeholders indirectly involved in ACs
6 AC APPLICATIONS
61 Selecting in
62 Selecting out
63 Development
64 Diagnostic purposes
7 THE DESIGN MODEL
71 Steps and stages
8 THE RATIONALE FOR USING A DESIGN MODEL
81 Following a systematic approach
82 Keeping the focus on the initial design objectives of the AC
83 Following an integrated process
84 Adding marketing value
85 Ensuring validity, reliability and fairness
9 CONCLUSION

CHAPTER 2: ASSESSMENT CENTRES IN SOUTH AFRICA (Deon Meiring)
1 A BRIEF HISTORY OF ACs IN SOUTH AFRICA
2 FOUNDING OF THE ASSESSMENT CENTRE STUDY GROUP
3 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE ACSG
4 AC GUIDELINES FOR SOUTH AFRICA
41 1991 Guidelines
42 1999 Guidelines
43 2007 Guidelines
5 FUTURE CHALLENGES PRESENTED BY ACs IN SOUTH AFRICA

INTRODUCTION TO STAGE ONE – ANALYSIS
1 WHAT THE ANALYSIS STAGE IS ALL ABOUT
2 THE PURPOSE OF THE ANALYSIS STAGE
21 Growing a systematic understanding of the organisational context
22 Understanding the organisation, its dynamics and its specific needs
23 Having clarity about the job/role and its demands
3 CRITICAL DELIVERABLES OF THIS STAGE
31 Competency profiles and competency elements
32 Establishing validation criteria
4 THE INTENDED OUTCOME OF THIS STAGE

CHAPTER 3: NEEDS ANALYSIS (Gert Roodt)
1 INTRODUCTION – THE PURPOSE OF A NEEDS ANALYSIS
2 SOUTH AFRICA’S DISTINCTIVE SOCIAL CONTEXT
21 Understanding South Africa’s diverse context
22 South Africa’s unique legal context
23 Ethical conduct demands in South Africa
3 A COMPANY-SPECIFIC NEEDS ANALYSIS
31 Sources of information for a needs analysis
4 ANALYSIS FOR PREPARING AN AC BUSINESS CASE
41 Critical assumptions and constraints
42 Analysis of available options
43 Cost-benefit analysis
44 Considerations in respect of the implementation strategy
5 CREATING THE APPROPRIATE CLIMATE AND CONTEXT
51 Participants
52 Project sponsors and ambassadors
53 Corporate climate and culture
6 CRITICAL DECISIONS RELATING TO, AND OUTCOMES OF, THIS STEP
61 Analysis of the broad business context
62 A company-specific needs analysis
63 Creating an appropriate climate or context
64 Building a business case or project plan

CHAPTER 4: ORGANISATIONAL EFFECTIVENESS ANALYSIS (Gert Roodt)
1 INTRODUCTION – THE PURPOSE OF AN ORGANISATIONAL EFFECTIVENESS ANALYSIS
2 DIFFERENT VIEWS ON ORGANISATIONAL EFFECTIVENESS
21 The effectiveness criteria model
22 The goal model
23 The multiple-constituency model
24 The balanced-scorecard model
3 MANAGEMENT DEFINED
31 Different management levels and management functions
32 Key functions and deliverables of each management level
33 ACs are designed for different management levels
4 EXAMPLES OF “GENERIC” MANAGEMENT COMPETENCY PROFILES
41 Generic management competencies
42 Competency elements
5 ESTABLISHING VALID EFFECTIVENESS CRITERIA
51 The difficulty in selecting valid criteria
52 What to look for in selecting a criterion
53 Developing valid criteria
6 CRITICAL DECISIONS RELATING TO, AND OUTCOMES OF, THIS STEP
61 Identify and develop appropriate competencies
62 Identify and develop evaluation criteria

CHAPTER 5: JOB ANALYSIS (Sandra Schlebusch)
1 INTRODUCTION – WHERE DOES JOB ANALYSIS FIT IN?
2 THE PURPOSE OF A JOB ANALYSIS
21 What is the target job all about and what is needed to perform the job?
22 What are the critical competencies leading to success?
3 JOB ANALYSIS TECHNIQUES
31 Shelf information
32 Process mapping
33 Interviews
34 Focus-group discussions
35 Questionnaires
36 Critical incidents
37 Competency profile instruments
38 Information gathered during the job analysis
4 JOB ANALYSIS DELIVERABLE: INDIVIDUAL COMPETENCY PROFILES
41 Singular competencies
42 Combined competencies
43 Situation-related competencies
44 Competency levels
45 Hints on designing competency definitions
5 HINTS FOR CONDUCTING A JOB ANALYSIS FOR AC DESIGN PURPOSES
51 Use a representative sample
52 Obtain sign-off from those involved with the job analysis techniques
53 Document everything
54 Get the steering committee’s sign-off
6 CRITICAL DECISIONS RELATING TO, AND OUTCOMES OF, THIS STEP
61 Competency profiles per job level
62 Clear competency definitions
63 Competency elements
64 Understanding the target job context and organisational trends

SYNTHESIS OF STAGE ONE – ANALYSIS
1 THE PURPOSE OF THE ANALYSIS STAGE
11 Growing a systematic understanding of the organisational context
12 Understanding the organisation, its dynamics and its specific needs
13 Having clarity about the job/role and its demands
2 CRITICAL DELIVERABLES OF THIS STAGE
21 Competency profiles and competency elements
22 Establishing criteria for validation and evaluation
3 THE FINAL OUTCOME OF THIS STAGE

INTRODUCTION TO STAGE TWO – DESIGN
1 WHAT THE DESIGN STAGE IS ALL ABOUT
2 PURPOSE OF THE DESIGN STAGE
21 To translate the information from the analysis stage into an operational AC
blueprint that will guide simulation and AC design
22 To design simulations and the support documentation that allow observers to make valid and reliable assessments of the behaviour
23 To design an AC process that effectively combines the various simulations
24 To design an AC that is ready for implementation
3 CRITICAL DELIVERABLES OF THIS STAGE
31 An AC manual
32 A technical AC manual
4 THE INTENDED OUTCOME OF THIS STAGE

CHAPTER 6: DESIGN SIMULATIONS (Sandra Schlebusch)
1 INTRODUCTION – SIMULATION DESIGN
2 TRANSFORMING THE ANALYSIS STAGE INFORMATION INTO AN OPERATIONAL
AC BLUEPRINT
21 Various matrices
22 Maximum or typical performance
23 Simulation duration
24 Use of technology
25 Approach to the design of the AC: separate or integrated simulations
26 The extent to which the simulation content resembles the target job
27 Simulation specifications
28 Approval of the AC blueprint
3 IMPORTANT VALIDITY CONSIDERATIONS
4 RATING SCALE
41 Rating scale for a DAC
42 Rating scale for an AC used for selection purposes
5 SIMULATION DEFINED
6 TYPES OF SIMULATION
61 Typical simulations
62 Limitless types of simulation
7 SIMULATION DESIGN HINTS
8 STARTING POINT
9 SIMULATION DOCUMENTATION
91 Participant
92 Observer
93 Role-player
94 Simulation administration guide
10 PRE-PILOT
11 CRITICAL DECISIONS RELATING TO, AND OUTCOMES OF, THIS STEP
111 Simulations that elicit enough behaviour linked to the competencies
being evaluated
112 Simulation documentation that is easy to use and is clear and comprehensive
113 Simulation administration guidelines that will ensure that the simulation is
administered in a standard format

CHAPTER 7: DESIGN CENTRE (Sandra Schlebusch)
1 INTRODUCTION – THE PURPOSE OF DESIGNING A CENTRE
2 AC DESIGN HINTS
3 VARIOUS PROGRAMMES
31 Participant programme
32 Observer programme
33 Administrator programme
4 THE ADMINISTRATOR
41 Role of the AC administrator
42 Administrator documentation
5 ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTATION
51 DAC participant final report
52 Final report for an AC for selection purposes
53 Development plans
54 Hand-outs
55 Pre-AC documents
56 Participants and observers: AC evaluation form
57 Spreadsheets and other data-capturing forms
6 AC MANUAL
7 CRITICAL DECISIONS RELATING TO, AND OUTCOMES OF, THIS STEP
71 A logical, cost- and time-effective AC
72 An AC where everyone performs optimally
73 An easy-to-use AC manual

CHAPTER 8: PILOT CENTRE (Sandra Schlebusch)
1 INTRODUCTION – PILOT THE AC
2 PURPOSE OF PILOTING AN AC
21 Double-check
22 Test the AC
3 IMPORTANT CONTENT AND FACE VALIDITY CONSIDERATIONS
4 SELECTION CRITERIA IN RESPECT OF PEOPLE ATTENDING THE AC PILOT
41 Observers and role-players
42 Participants
5 IMPORTANT ASPECTS TO CONSIDER
51 Aspects before the AC pilot
52 Aspects during the pilot
53 Aspects at the end of the pilot
54 Aspects after the AC pilot
6 HINTS ON IMPROVING THE AC PILOT’S EFFECTIVENESS
7 CRITICAL DECISIONS RELATING TO, AND OUTCOMES OF, THIS STEP

SYNTHESIS OF STAGE TWO – DESIGN
1 THE PURPOSE OF THE DESIGN STAGE
11 Transforming the information from the analysis stage into an operational
AC blueprint
12 Designing simulations that comply with the specifications set out in the
AC blueprint
13 Designing an AC that sequences the various AC actions effectively
2 CRITICAL DELIVERABLES OF THIS STAGE
21 An AC manual
22 An AC technical manual
3 THE FINAL OUTCOME OF THIS STAGE

INTRODUCTION TO STAGE THREE – IMPLEMENTATION
1 WHAT THE IMPLEMENTATION STAGE IS ALL ABOUT
2 CRITICAL DELIVERABLES OF THIS STAGE
21 A pool of readily available, competent process owners
22 An AC practice that adheres to the AC manual
23 Post-AC processes that ensure positive action and a sustained AC process
3 THE INTENDED OUTCOME OF THIS STAGE
31 An AC that is part of the target organisation’s culture
32 An AC system, process and practice that ensure a reliable and valid AC

CHAPTER 9: BEFORE THE CENTRE (Sandra Schlebusch)
1 INTRODUCTION – PURPOSE OF THIS STEP
2 OBSERVER SELECTION
21 Internal versus external observers
22 Observer selection criteria
3 OBSERVER TRAINING
31 Purpose of observer training
32 The training process
33 Content of the lecture-room training
34 Continued training
4 ADMINISTRATOR TRAINING
41 Training content
5 POSSIBLE SPECIALIST CAREER PATH IN ACs
6 LOGISTICS AND AC PAPERWORK
7 PARTICIPANT AND OBSERVER PRE-AC WORK
8 CRITICAL DECISIONS RELATING TO, AND OUTCOMES OF, THIS STEP
81 Competent AC process owners
82 Logistical, material, venue and equipment arrangements effectively made
83 Participants informed and ready to participate in the AC

CHAPTER 10: DURING THE CENTRE (Sandra Schlebusch)
1 INTRODUCTION – PURPOSE OF THIS STEP
2 CONDUCTING AN EFFECTIVE CENTRE
3 ORIENTATION SESSIONS
31 Participant orientation session
32 Observer and role-player orientation session
4 PER-SIMULATION DEBRIEFING SESSIONS
5 DATA INTEGRATION
6 PITFALLS TO AVOID DURING AN AC
61 Cutting time on the programme
62 Observers are in a rush to finish
63 Not conducting debriefings owing to time pressure
64 Participants not openly sharing their experiences during debriefing sessions
7 PRACTICAL HINTS
71 Ensure that the AC programme is followed
72 Ensure that all documentS are completed correctly, comprehensively and on time
73 The administrator must assist observers where possible
74 All the process owners must interact socially with participants where possible
75 Note any deviation from the programme and any incident at the AC
76 All process owners must model the behaviour, “Walk the talk”
77 Arrange feedback discussionS with the participants while still at the AC
8 CRITICAL DECISIONS RELATING TO, AND OUTCOMES OF, THIS STEP
81 Valid and reliable participant profiles
82 AC participants are positive towards the AC
83 The ACs are conducted consistently according to the AC manual

CHAPTER 11 AFTER THE CENTRE (Sandra Schlebusch)
1 INTRODUCTION – PURPOSE OF THIS STEP
2 POST-AC PROCESSES RELATED TO THE PARTICIPANT
21 Feedback
22 Development plan
23 Growth model and related human resource processes
3 POST-AC PROCESSES RELATED TO THE FUTURE AND MAINTENANCE OF THE AC
31 Data capturing
32 Storing the participant’s simulations and other AC information
33 Reconciliation of all costs
34 Maintaining the AC
4 CRITICAL DECISIONS RELATING TO, AND OUTCOMES OF, THIS STEP
41 Insight into participants’ AC performance
42 Comprehensive development plans
43 Supportive processes
44 An AC that is relevant to the current needs of the organisation

SYNTHESIS OF STAGE THREE – IMPLEMENTATION
1 PURPOSE OF THE IMPLEMENTATION STAGE
11 Train process owners and prepare for the AC
12 Conduct ACs
13 Give post-AC feedback
14 Implement processes to ensure future ACs
2 CRITICAL DELIVERABLES OF THIS STAGE
21 A pool of competent AC process owners
22 ACs conducted in a consistent manner
23 AC results accepted by the various stakeholders
24 DAC participants actively developing the identified development areas
25 Data sets for research purposes
26 AC information and material safely stored
27 The AC maintained
3 THE FINAL OUTCOME OF THIS STAGE

INTRODUCTION TO STAGE FOUR – EVALUATION AND VALIDATION
1 WHAT THE EVALUATION AND VALIDATION STAGE IS ALL ABOUT
11 The content-evaluation step
12 The reliability and validity evaluation step
2 CRITICAL DELIVERABLES OF THIS STAGE
21 A content-valid AC programme and process
22 A reliable and valid AC programme and process
3 INTENDED OUTCOME OF THIS STAGE

CHAPTER 12: DESCRIPTIVE (CONTENT) ANALYSIS (Gert Roodt)
1 INTRODUCTION – THE PURPOSE OF A CONTENT ANALYSIS
2 THE AC PROCESS OWNERS’ EVALUATIONS AND INPUT
21 Ensuring content relevance
22 Ensuring process rigour
23 In conclusion
3 PARTICIPANTS’ EVALUATIONS AND INPUT
31 Experience of the content
32 Experience of the process
33 In conclusion
4 SUBORDINATES’ PRE- AND POST-AC OBSERVATIONS
41 Pre- and post-evaluations of manager behaviours in respect of content
42 Pre- and post-evaluations of managers’ behaviours in respect of process
43 In conclusion
5 MANAGERS’ EVALUATIONS AND INPUT
51 Strategic relevance of the content
52 Strategic relevance of the process
53 In conclusion
6 HR SPECIALISTS’ EVALUATIONS AND INPUT
61 A critical competency perspective on the content
62 A critical compliance perspective on the process
63 In conclusion
7 OTHER SOURCES OF INFORMATION
71 Contextual and company needs analyses
72 Job and job-family analyses
8 CRITICAL DECISIONS RELATING TO, AND OUTCOMES OF, THIS STEP

CHAPTER 13: RELIABILITY AND VALIDITY ANALYSES (Gert Roodt)
1 INTRODUCTION – THE PURPOSE OF RELIABILITY AND VALIDITY ANALYSES
2 WHAT RELIABILITY AND VALIDITY ARE ALL ABOUT
3 BASIC STATISTICAL CONCEPTS FOR UNDERSTANDING AND INTERPRETING RELIABILITY
AND VALIDITY CONSTRUCTS
31 Measure of central tendency (location)
32 Measures of variability
33 Measures of association
4 OPTIONS FOR CALCULATING THE RELIABILITY OF AC RATINGS
41 Test–retest reliability
42 Equivalent-form reliability
43 Split-half reliabilities
44 Kuder-Richardson and Coefficient Alpha reliabilities
45 Inter-rater and intra-rater reliabilities
46 The Standard Error of Measurement (SEM)
47 Potential sources of error variance
5 OPTIONS FOR CALCULATING THE VALIDITY OF AC RATINGS
51 Content (description) validity
52 Construct (identification) validity
53 Criterion (prediction) validity
54 Unitary validity
55 Threats to the validity of a measure
6 AC RATINGS
61 Raw ratings
62 Final (integrated) ratings
7 SPECIAL CASES AND ISSUES
71 Exercise effects
72 Rating distributions
73 Cross-cultural issues
74 Competency redundancies
8 CRITICAL OUTCOMES OF, AND DECISIONS RELATING TO, THIS STEP
81 A reliable AC
82 A content-valid AC
83 A construct-valid AC
84 A predictive-valid AC

SYNTHESIS OF STAGE FOUR – EVALUATION AND VALIDATION
1 THE PURPOSE OF THE EVALUATION AND VALIDATION STAGE
11 Content evaluation
12 Reliability and validity analyses
2 CRITICAL DELIVERABLES OF THIS STAGE
21 A content-valid AC programme and process
22 A reliable and valid AC programme and process
3 FINAL OUTCOME OF THIS STAGE

CHAPTER 14: TRENDS IN ASSESSMENT CENTRES IN NORTH AMERICA
(Diana E Krause & George C Thornton III)
1 INTRODUCTION
2 CONTINUITY AND CHANGE IN AC PRACTICES
21 Purpose of the AC
22 Job analysis methods
23 Dimensions being assessed
24 Exercises
25 Types of assessor
26 Assessor training
27 Methods of data integration
28 Organisational policies
29 Research emphases
210 Use of technology
211 AC guidelines
212 Employment litigation involving ACs
3 CURRENT ISSUES AND FUTURE CHALLENGES AND DEVELOPMENTS
31 Current issues
32 Future challenges and trends

CHAPTER 15: INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES ON CURRENT ASSESSMENT
CENTRE PRACTICES AND FUTURE CHALLENGES (Diana E Krause
and George C Thornton III)
1 BACKGROUND
11 The need to increase our knowledge of the international use of ACs
12 Balancing two opposing demands: the need for a culture-specific AC and the need for a nonspecific standardisation of the AC
13 Brief description of our study
2 PRACTICES IN THE DESIGN OF ACs
21 Objectives of ACs
22 Assessee selection and duration of the AC
23 Job analyses conducted and revision of the AC
24 Assessed dimensions (job requirements)
3 PRACTICES IN THE EXECUTION OF ACs
31 Exercises used
32 Additional diagnostic methods used
4 PRACTICES WITH REGARD TO INFORMATION POLICY, DATA INTEGRATION
AND FEEDBACK
41 Information policy
42 Data-integration process
43 Feedback process
5 FUTURE CHALLENGES

CHAPTER 16: WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS FOR ASSESSMENT CENTRES
IN SOUTH AFRICA (Gert Roodt and Sandra Schlebusch)
1 INTRODUCTION
2 ISSUES PERTAINING TO THE ANALYSIS STAGE
21 A contextual analysis
22 A business analysis
23 Job analysis
3 ISSUES PERTAINING TO THE DESIGN STAGE
31 Pre-pilot simulations and piloting the AC
32 Document everything
33 Comprehensive role-player guidelines
34 Duplication of the virtual world of work in simulations
35 Designing the AC with evaluation and validation in mind
4 ISSUES PERTAINING TO THE IMPLEMENTATION STAGE
41 Continued observer training
42 A career path in ACs
43 Feedback
44 Follow-up on participant development
45 Data capturing
46 Storing and retrieving AC information
5 ISSUES PERTAINING TO THE EVALUATION AND VALIDATION STAGE
51 Stakeholder involvement in the AC content evaluation
52 Prerequisites for predictive validity
53 A nondiscriminatory AC programme and process
54 Systematic collection of AC validity data
6 WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS FOR ACs IN SOUTH AFRICA
61 The nature and duration of ACs
62 The supplementary use of other assessments
63 The costs of ACs
64 The application of technology in ACs
65 The potential for litigation against AC decisions
66 The need for systematic research and validation studies
67 So, what does the future hold for ACs?

GLOSSARY
APPENDIX A – Guidelines for assessment and development centres in South Africa
(4th edition)
APPENDIX to APPENDIX A
References
Index
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