A Perspective on Strategies of Shadowmatch

An Evolutionary Focus Within Organization Practice



by Dr. Erik D. Schmikl

South Africa



What is Shadowmatch? Managers, HR practitioners, organizational development specialists, consultants and social science researchers who have not yet encountered this conceptual term may be puzzled. As far as can be traced, the concept Shadowmatch arose out of ideas and collaborative efforts flowing into a series of solutions sought for solving challenging problems around human performance and development centred within organization realities. The entanglement of evolving perspectives and thinking within management and social science revolved around how to create and introduce practical systems application models that allowed for an improved match between an individual’s creative talents, abilities and a job, and choice of a befitting career. Distilled job-criteria are used to match a new potential hire (referred to as the Shadow, or also visitor / employee), to the job.

As can be ascertained, job ‘Shadowmatch’ is a term which made its appearance within the field of the management sciences during the last two decades. When examining what it entails as process, and the diversely associated applications of this concept pertaining to human capital management, the practices involved are not new, but have become more refined over time as information and knowledge building within and between organizations has taken place. This is driven by technology evolution and enabling virtual collaborative network partnering within cyber space.

A survey of diversely available Shadowmatch products, best described as process tools and techniques which are job, team, or career related can be classified into four broad categories, namely: 1) educational institutions (which includes partnering with organizations): – scholars, students and internships; 2) various Shadowmatch programs within organizations themselves; 3) research and development, technology, and IT; and 4) in the arena of sport, art and culture.

The label Shadowmatch is a nifty choice for a variety of process tools and practices found within the field of Human Resources Capital Management stemming from behavioral science and psychology. As organizations learn and evolve, the concept itself and related products and systems tools will keep modifying and expanding into renewed and wider realms of application as individuals come into consort with matching their creativity and unlimited potential into an alignment with choices around a befitting career provided by work and job role opportunities which will allow them to expand and grow in their life’s experiences whilst they contribute towards an evolving world.


The purpose of this paper is to explore some of the practises of Shadowmatch, reviewing and categorising and grouping the developments and shift in thinking into a more expanded conscious realm. Whilst evolutional transformational change is a slow process, a necessary response to an emergent dynamic shifting and evolving environment requires periodic stepping out from the entrapment of conventional linear and 3 D thinking into the multi-dimensional intuitive from which a renewed perspective and thinking is returned and reversed into transforming evolving world practice via newly articulated value adding applications within society specific time frames driven by every incoming successive generation. This is referred to as designing the next generation industry 4.0 and latest 4.1 (Steyn & Semolic, 2018). The business arena of today comprises of many virtual networks of partnerships driven by technology, information, and value chains – or now referred to as the 4th industrial revolution and robotics. As Ginni Rometty, CEO of IBM contends, – this is the era of challenging leaders of organizations how to skilfully refashion (transform) their organization around data protection with evolving technology and software solutions that guarantee confidentiality, integrity, and safe ownership of information (cybersecurity).

The latter aspect furthermore points to a shift of humanity in its steady evolution towards an expanded multi-dimensional level of thinking which is manifesting itself and can be more appropriately described as a confluence of current knowledge leading towards a new wisdom revolution. Some prefer to call it a 4th industrial revolution. As Netanyahu of Israel espouses, “it is the confluence of big data, connectivity, and artificial intelligence that revolutionizes old industries into new ones” (Chanel i24). Dated paradigms within the realms of an expanding human consciousness are shifting into an advanced conceptual way of thinking, bringing about change in a renewed way of generational thinking away from the old energy, life styles, and practices within our evolutional way of learning. Human consciousness is best described as current existing information of what we think and not the new evolutionary way of conceptual thinking.


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How to cite this paper: Schmikl, E. D. (2018). A Perspective on Strategies of Shadowmatch: An Evolutionary Focus Within Organization Practice; PM World Journal, Vol. VII, Issue XII (December). Available online at https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/pmwj77-Dec2018-Schmikl-perspective-on-strategies-of-shadowmatch.pdf

About the Author

Dr. Erik Schmikl

South Africa



Dr Erik Schmikl
, of Austrian descent, was borne in South Africa and matriculated at Pretoria Boy’s High School in 1958. He spent 13 years in government, retailing, and manufacturing before joining the Graduate School of Business Leadership, UNISA in 1972. He completed over a period of 18 years of part-time study two masters degrees and a doctoral degree (MA Psychology; MBL; and D Lit et Phil in Psychology). During his academic period with the SBL at Unisa he took up a one-year contract as Professor of Organisational Behaviour to teach on the PED (Programme Executive Development) and a number of short seminars at Harvard University’s European based business school IMEDE (now IMD). He left the services of Unisa in 1992 to start up his own business consulting firm Synerlead International. He provided consulting, training and management development, and assessment services to a large number of small, medium and large organisations within South Africa, Africa, and Europe.

His specific focus areas are strategic management, organisational development and leadership, profiling and creating high performance project and programme management teams, and executive team building aimed at assisting organisations to enhance and sustain their competitive performance. Currently teaching at Cranefield College of Project and Programme Management and held the position of Vice Principal: Tuition and Programme Delivery at Cranefield College of Project and Programme Management until mid, 2016, and serves currently as a Board Counsel member of the College. In 2017 he formed the ‘ESsynergy e-Learning Business Academy’ which is now rolling out several leading-edge quality e-Learning courses.

Dr. Schmikl can be contacted at [email protected]