Research Publications

  • Talent Management in an Age of Digital Disruption-Implications for Skills Policy

    Prof Philip Brown, Prof Hugh Lauder, Prof Johnny Sung, Dr Manuel Souto-Otero, Sahara Sadik and Eric Lee

    Observations of talent shortage at the higher end of Singapore’s labour market often lead to the assumption that there are particular skill gaps or ‘talent deficit’ in locals. This comparative research on talent management in 30 corporations in Singapore, China and India puts forth an alternative explanation. Rather than any actual ‘talent deficit’ of Singaporeans, the study found that the perceived talent shortage is linked to companies’ ‘War for Talent’ recruitment strategies that rely on elite university systems. Singapore’s fairly flat university system does not signal to companies the elite base that companies can target, leading to Singapore graduates not being favourably positioned as talent in companies.  India and China, on the other hand, have a small pool of elite universities that companies can target easily using their ‘War for Talent’ strategies, creating the pipeline of sponsored talent on a trajectory to top jobs. Moreover, local knowledge commands a significant premium in India and China, in contrast to Singapore’s plug-and-play business environment. An expedient but short-sighted response to a ‘War for Talent’ corporate talent strategy is to shift the university system in Singapore towards higher levels of elitism, as is the case with the university systems in India and China. However, this flies in the face of creating a more inclusive society and shared economic prosperity that sit at the heart of SkillsFuture. A sustainable way forward for Singapore is to give due focus to transformational strategies that shift the local corporate landscape towards more inclusive talent approaches. There is now an excellent window of opportunity to do so, as rapidly changing contexts have undermined the efficacy of ‘War for Talent’ strategies.

     

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  • Business Performance and Skills Survey (BPSS)

    Jazreel Tan, Simon Freebody, Chia Ying, and Prof Johnny Sung

    The Business Performance and Skills Survey (BPSS) is a study of skills utilisation from the perspective of the commercial establishment. The analyses and findings from this study provide relevant and timely data on skills demand and skills utilisation at the establishment level for tracking and diagnostic purposes as well as to inform skills policies at the sectoral level.

     

     

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  • Moving from Fragmented to Seamless Learning Experience in Blended Learning Environments

    Dr Bi Xiaofang, Dr Helen Bound and Fadhil Mohamed

    This practitioner note offers a look at the different types of blended learning and their impact on learners’ sense-making. It is meant to aid instructional and curriculum designers of blended learning in better understanding how learners make sense of their learning to help inform decisions on curriculum design, including how and when to use the different learning environments in blended learning, and some useful tips in implementing blended learning to enable the better translation of learning across different learning environments. Read the full research note here.

     
     
     
     

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  • The Right Servicing Approach to Social Services Delivery

    Dr Ruby Toh

    The right servicing model is a practical framework that aims to assist not-for-profit organizations that serve a social objective to achieve a level of service that is ‘just right’ for the ‘right’ individual, one that is neither ‘over-servicing’ the majority nor ‘under-servicing’ the minority. It offers an alternative framework to the traditional uniform, first-come-first served, appointment-based approach to social service delivery. It takes into account the complexity of heterogeneous public-private-people relationships in social service delivery, and permits continuous assessment for evolving organization-specific objectives, resource availability and client needs. Through enhanced responsiveness to citizen preferences and resource availability in service delivery, the model can contribute towards better resource allocation which is especially relevant in the light of rising costs of service provision and higher consumer expectations.

     
     
     

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  • Assessment Heuristics

    Dr Arthur Chia

    This report provides an account of the development of a set of assessment heuristics. The aim of the assessment heuristics is to aid curriculum developers and instructors in their thinking and assumptions about assessment in the contexts of work, and work-based and/or work-place learning.

    The assessment heuristics may also be used to create dialogues among stakeholders about the writing of (assessment) standards, accreditation processes, and curriculum and assessment design. Included in this report are findings of one workshop and two focus group discussions (FGDs) where participants tested and validated the assessment heuristics. These activities generated insights into assessment of, for and as learning, and highlighted opportunities for intervention and change in key areas of assessment as well as provisions for further improvement of the assessment heuristics.

     

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  • Talent Management in Dynamic Times - From 'War for Talent' to 'Wealth of Talent'

    Prof Phillip Brown, Sahara Sadik, Prof Hugh Lauder, Prof Johnny Sung and Simon Freebody

    Is it time to call a ceasefire on the 'War for Talent'? Our research team took to find out through our study, 'Talent Management in Dynamic Times'.

    While a majority of organisations are locked in permanent competition to secure the most eligible candidates from a limited pool of elite talent, some companies are shying away from this 'War for Talent' in favour of a more inclusive 'Wealth of Talent' approach to workplace development.

    Under this model, all employees are considered valuable contributors, and given significant space to demonstrate their talent and capabilities. Read the full research note here

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  • Rethinking Pedagogies to Develop Future Oriented Capabilities

    Dr Yang Silin

    In contemporary societies undergoing rapid changes, educational practices cannot focus solely on reproducing what is already known; they must also develop future oriented capabilities, to prepare people for a future that is largely for work and citizenship. What are these future oriented capabilities and do employees in Singapore found to be ‘book smart’ but lacking in soft skills) have them? If not, how can we as Adult Educators help them develop such capabilities? This article will offer some approaches and specific examples of applied pedagogies (i.e. problem based learning, teaching for understanding and project based learning) to help develop learners’ future oriented capabilities.

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  • Supervisors' Key to Unlocking Sense-making at Workplace

    Dr Bi Xiaofang and Vanessa Cai

     

    This practitioner note aims to provide workplace supervisors with some key practical tips to overcome challenges in guiding and facilitating workers to make sense of their work-related tasks in order to improve the quality of their performance. These useful tips include the types of feedback and reflection that workplace supervisors can provide and facilitate. Useful tips are provided at the end of the note for workplace supervisors to consider and apply in their daily practices. Read the full note here.

     

     
     
     

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  • “Whose IDeA is this?” Facilitating Professional Reflection and Communication Through The IAL Design Approach (IDeA) Model

    Dr Helen Bound and Dr Michael Choy

    This project builds on a model of curriculum developed by Peter Rushbrook (see Bound, Rushbrook & Sivalingam, 2013) that in this report we call the Institute for Adult Learning (IAL) Design Approach (IDeA) Model. The present researchers (Bound and Choy, in consultation with Rushbrook) envisage the Model as a tool for designers and facilitators of learning to reflect on their assumptions about curriculum, learning and learners.

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  • Assessment For The Changing Nature Of Work: Cross-Case Analysis

    Dr Helen Bound, Dr Arthur Chia and Annie Karmel

    In this comprehensive report, we examine assessment in relation to the changing nature of work and policy thrusts such as SkillsFuture, analyse across six cases relating to different professions and learning contexts, highlight the challenges of leveraging assessment to enable learning and work, and suggest recommendations for assessment practice and policy making.

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  • Assessment For The Changing Nature Of Work: Workplace Learning Facilitator

    Dr Helen Bound, Annie Karmel and Dr Arthur Chia

    This is ONE of the six cases on assessment practices and the changing nature of work, undertaken by the Centre for Work and Learning (CWL). The case draws on findings from the Workplace Learning Specialist course - an ambitious certification programme designed to develop a new role for practitioners in the Continuing Education and Training sector (CET). The case offers a number of rich learning points in designing and implementing assessment for learning and in developing and supporting new roles.

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  • Assessment For The Changing Nature Of Work: Training Cooks For Menu Change In A Restaurant Chain

    Dr Arthur Chia, Dr Helen Bound and Annie Karmel

    This is ONE of the six cases on assessment practices and the changing nature of work, undertaken by the Centre for Work and Learning (CWL). The case draws on findings from the learning and assessment practices in a restaurant kitchen setting of a restaurant- chain operator based in Singapore. The case highlights the challenging conditions of workplace learning, describes the formation of learning experiences about “taste” for example, and suggests ways to enable formative assessment practices.

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  • Assessment For The Changing Nature Of Work: IT Network Engineers

    Dr Helen Bound, Annie Karmel and Dr Arthur Chia

    This is ONE of the six cases on assessment practices and the changing nature of work, undertaken by the Centre for Work and Learning (CWL). This case is an analysis of a five-day classroom-based, instructor-led IT network course that has authentic work-based assessment designed into formative and summative assessment. Here, we examine the course outcomes and framework of learning and assessment, and highlight possibilities for the future for this course in relation to assessment for, as and of learning.

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  • Assessment For The Changing Nature Of Work: Fire-Fighting Rota Commander Course

    Dr Arthur Chia, Annie Karmel and Dr Helen Bound

    This is ONE of the six cases on assessment practices and the changing nature of work, undertaken by the Centre for Work and Learning (CWL). The case focuses on the assessment practices of a fire-fighting commander course that foregrounds the nature of a demanding profession, and raises discussion about forms of knowledge and skills such as “leadership” and effective use of simulators. Here, the discussion seeks to advance an understanding of the learning and assessment of fire-fighting as a body of professional knowledge and skills.

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  • Assessment For The Changing Nature Of Work: Aircraft Engineering Programme

    Dr Arthur Chia and Dr Helen Bound

    This is ONE of the six cases on assessment practices and the changing nature of work, undertaken by the Centre for Work and Learning (CWL). The case examines the assessment practices of an aircraft engineering programme. It reports on the hands-on laboratory sessions and students’ Final Year Projects, highlights how assessment for learning has been provided by instructors who facilitate the training and guide students in class, and suggests ways to support sustainable assessment that meet assessment of learning, and for learning. 

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  • Assessment For The Changing Nature Of Work: Resident Doctors

    Dr Arthur Chia and Dr Helen Bound

    This is ONE of the six cases on assessment practices and the changing nature of work, undertaken by the Centre for Work and Learning (CWL). The case looks at the assessment design and practices of a three- year residency programme for internal medicine resident doctors. Here, we examine the different features of the assessment design and structure in this programme as well as practices on the ground in order to understand those challenges and tension, and conclude with possibilities for the future.

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  • Developing Non-permanent Workers In Singapore

    Dr Helen Bound, Sahara Sadik and Annie Karmel

    This report seeks to address the question of how to support the learning and development of non-permanent workers by analysing across earlier studies that were part of a multi-sector study by the Institute for Adult Learning (IAL) on the identity and learning of non-permanent workers in Singapore.

     

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  • Haphazard Occupational Narratives: The Work and Developmental Experiences of Non-permanent Workers In Low-wage Occupations In Singapore

    Dr Helen Bound, Sahara Sadik and Annie Karmel

    This research report is the fourth in a multi-sector study on non-permanent workers in Singapore. Specifically, this report discusses the identity, learning and development of non-permanent workers in lowwage occupations in Singapore.

     

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  • Towards A New Understanding of Workplace Learning: The Context of Singapore

    Dr Helen Bound, Dr Peter Rushbrook, Dr Karen Evans, Prof Anneli Eteläpelto, Prof Stephen Billett, Prof Lee Yew Jin, Renée Tan, Dr Gog Soon Joo, Sahara Sadik, Annie Karmel, Lai Poi San and Lee Wee Chee

    The chapters in this book contribute to a new understanding of workplace learning. Using a socio-cultural approach, the editors and authors explore the idea of context as a pivotal influence on learning through its entwinement within everyday activity in, at and through work. This positioning is inclusive of the societal, cultural, historical, economic, political and situational factors that mediate learning. It is necessarily a complex picture as it explores the shifting agency and identity of individuals and groups as their biographies and dispositions variously enable them to make sense of and engage in meaningful work.

     

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  • Skills Strategies for An Inclusive Society

    Prof Johnny Sung, Catherine Ramos, Prof Dominique Anxo, Prof Margarita Estévez-Abe, Prof Wilmer Salverda, Vincent Chua, Dr Gog Soon Joo, Sim Soo Kheng, Simon Freebody, Assoc Prof Irene Ng, Ong Ye Kung

    The book explores policy options for a more inclusive society where skills, education and training of the workforce may have a greater role in enabling workers in achieving a larger share of economic growth.
     

    Chapters include Gog et al's argument that policy changes need to support the sectoral approach to skills development in each industry sector, and others examine the link between skills and inequality, as well as policy practices in Singapore and other countries.
     

    The book is co-edited by Johnny Sung and Catherine Ramos with contributions from Dominique Anxo, Margarita Estévez-Abe, Wilmer Salverda, Irene Ng, Vincent Chua, Ong Ye Kung, Gog Soon Joo, Sim Soo Kheng, and Simon Freebody.

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