Ethical challenges in assessment centres in South Africa

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 17
  • Abstract:

    Abstract: Assessment Centres (ACs) are used globally for the selection and development of candidates. Limited empirical evidence exists of the ethical challenges encountered in the use of ACs, especially in South Africa (SA). Research purpose: Firstly, to explore possible ethical challenges related to ACs in SA from the vantage point of the practitioner and, secondly, to search for possible solutions to these. Motivation for the study: Decisions based on AC outcomes have profound implications for participants and organisations, and it is essential to understand potential ethical challenges to minimise these, specifically in the SA context, given its socio-political history, multiculturalism, diversity and pertinent legal considerations. Research design, approach and method: A qualitative, interpretative research design was chosen. Data were collected by means of a semi-structured survey that was completed by 96 AC practitioners who attended an AC conference. Content analysis and thematic interpretation were used to make sense of the data. The preliminary findings were assessed by a focus group of purposively selected subject-matter experts (n = 16) who provided informed insights, which were incorporated into the final findings. The focus group suggested ways in which specific ethical challenges may be addressed...