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 Case Study D 



A Human Resources group within the Establishment identified an up and coming Hi-Tech business person as a candidate for the nation's talent bench or pool.  The candidate was a member of a number of organisations approved by the Establishment, such as the Anglican Church, a Chartered Professional Institution and a well-regarded University.  Discreet enquiries were made in these organisations as well as among work colleagues and the neighbourhood about the candidate's personality, political inclinations and other attributes, such as integrity.  These all proving satisfactory, the candidate was approved for training and development in the unspecified or open-ended category rather than as a successor for a specified appointment.  A Trainer and a small overseeing group were appointed to organise a development programme tailored to the individual candidate.

One universal feature of the development schemes for populating the nation's talent pool is that the trainees must not be directly informed, e.g. in writing or by clear verbal statement, what is happening.  Each trainee may receive hints, sometimes imparted deliberately, or may guess, suspect or become aware of rumours but cannot be sure: indirect communication has been developed to a fine art and sophistication at Establishment level.

On this basis the trainee's network was enhanced by arranging meetings with a range of Establishment and other people he needed to know.  A good word was put in here and there to smooth the path of the trainee and where necessary it was arranged that a person holding up the progress of the trainee was posted elsewhere.

Through all this, testing and surveillance continued.  In the case of an open-ended talent pool trainee, some possible routes of advancement would be made known to the trainee who would then be assisted along a path for which the he had shown preference until he emerges at or near top level in one of the areas of national life - e.g. politics, government, civil service.

Q1  What human rights implications, if any, can you see in the case?

Q2  Is there a national talent pool scheme still in existence?

Q3 How might the democratic process be affected by a national talent scheme

Notes on Case Study D

Enquiries made at the outset and continuing surveillance may disturb his private, social, life - something is bound to rub off from such activities.


Additional Comments

Re going behind the scenes "We have all done this".

"We knew this was going on, we didn't like it but we did nothing about it".

Mind set - the values of an individual in an organisation can be quite different from those the individual believes in and practices in the world outside.

"In some countries the legislative protection of the human rights of an individual in society in general do not apply to that same person as an employee."


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