This chapter presents case studies that show how three organizations have used assessment centers for very different purposes. Following our theme of continuity and change, the goals of this chapter are to (a) demonstrate the traditional components of an assessment center, and (b) illustrate the many ways in which organizations are incorporating innovations and new technologies into the method. We describe:

a selection/promotion assessment center a diagnostic assessment center a developmental assessment center

In these case studies, we give special attention to technology used, the consideration of multinational/cross-cultural issues, the integration of assessment centers into the larger human resource management function, outsourced assessment centers, nonmanagerial assessment centers, and the assessment of abilities and personality within an assessment center. The cases chosen for this chapter are examples of how organizations have approached these issues for defined purposes. Alternative samplings of cases could have illustrated these issues in different combinations. The important thing is to remember that an assessment center is a general method which offers a great deal of flexibility in facilitating an organization’s goals.