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Title: Exploring the social and political aspects of talent management in organisations
Author: Zesik, Barbara
ISNI:       0000 0004 5918 8386
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2016
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Talent management has been an area of significant organisational focus since 1997 when McKinsey and Company first introduced the concept of the ‘war for talent’. What appears to have been neglected in many subsequent talent management publications, however, is the tension between the rhetoric and reality of talent management. The objective of the research is to explore this tension in the context of the social and political aspects of managing talent in organisations and to gain a deeper understanding of how talent management really works in organisations. The empirical, qualitative study, which is based on a social constructivist perspective, involved a cross-sectional study of 14 semi-structured interviews with a key informant sample comprising 14 Human Resources and Talent Management professionals from 11 industry sectors. Participating organisations ranged in employee number from 85 to 114,000 globally. Interviews were personally transcribed and, following an extended period of inductive thematic analysis, three aggregate dimensions emerged from 27 first order codes and eight second order themes. The findings, summarised in the three aggregate dimensions of 1) The challenge of maintaining objectivity in talent management; 2) The desire for more structure and follow-through in talent management; and 3) Disappointment and unfulfilled promises, highlight the discrepancy which exists between the literature on talent management and the everyday experience of practitioners in the field. The data provide evidence that talent decisions are heavily influenced by the degree to which senior executives know and hence support an individual discussed in talent review sessions. The study also illuminates the significant frustration felt by HR and talent professionals about the ‘real’ talent management process in their respective firms. Another key finding concerns the anxiety line managers experience in the talent management process out of fear of raising (false) expectations and not being able to manage these appropriately.
Supervisor: Tosey, Paul ; Sadler-Smith, Eugene Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.B.A.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available