Towards a valued ICT Department by inducting, developing and retaining talented employees
Shatwell, Martin John
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Permanent link to Research Bank record:http://hdl.handle.net/10652/1510
This research project looked at the factors involved in developing an effective IT graduate or internship programme within a NZ organisation. To determine these factors, it was necessary to gain the perspectives of existing IT employees, IT management and the engineering graduates within the company. There was evidence to suggest that there is a supply and demand issue in the number of student enrolments versus the number of people employed in IT professions (McCullum, 2006). In support of a New Zealand knowledge-based IT workforce, programmes have been developed to link academic graduates with industry. In order to achieve an internally sustainable IT workforce, many organisations promote and run graduate or internship programmes. On the surface, it would seem that the majority of the research carried out in this area is from the perspective of the academic institution or from the perspective of the IT graduate student. Prior research would indicate that there is little known about the capabilities of an organisation in supporting a programme and the graduate participants. This research project looked at the subject area from the perspective of the organisation. This is a qualitative perception-based study using a case study method. IT managers and engineering graduates at a leading New Zealand utility infrastructure organisation shared their experiences and perceptions in regards to graduate and internship programmes. An online survey of IT staff members helped to triangulate and support the findings from the face-to-face interviews. A conceptual framework emerged based on the components and relationships derived from the literature review, IT management and engineering graduate interviews. Using the conceptual framework, participant responses were analysed to determine how mature the organisation was in adopting a graduate or internship programme. The People Capability Maturity Model (P-CMM) process elements served as a basis for measuring the organisation’s graduate and internship maturity. Participants strongly believed that employing an intern or graduate would benefit the organisation, that there were significant learning opportunities, providing the work was on offer and the individual and supervisor were well supported. The study found that the organisation was at an initial maturity level of one in regards to a graduate or internship programme, compared to the existing engineering graduate programme that was nearing a defined maturity level of three. The study found that an organisation needs workforce practices in place in order to ensure the experience is a positive one and to limit the risk of a person leaving the IT discipline.