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Title: An institutional analysis of academic talent management in Malawian universities
Author: Jamu, Edister Samson
ISNI:       0000 0004 6423 9598
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis presents an institutional analysis of academic talent management (TM) in Malawian universities. Through this analysis, the thesis adds to our understanding of why organisations adopt (or fail to adopt) TM practices. In particular, the thesis stretches the boundaries of the use of institutional theory in TM studies. It does this by incorporating the role of institutional logics because isomorphic pressures alone do not adequately explain an organisation’s actions and decisions on TM. Using the unique context of Malawi’s higher education (HE) sector which comprises public, religious and private universities, the study has found that institutional logics combine with isomorphic pressures to explain why organisations within the same context may adopt different TM approaches. In addition to the above the thesis addresses the dearth of empirical studies on academic TM in Africa since TM discourse and practices are shaped by USA and European perspectives. A qualitative method is adopted for data collection. Data processing and organisation is done in NVivo while template analysis is employed to make sense of the data. The findings are based on three case studies: public, religious and private universities. Evidence from the cases supports the contextual nature of TM by linking adoption of a particular talent strategy to specific institutional logics and specific pressures faced by differently owned universities. Although it is clear from the cases that TM is not fully developed and entrenched in Malawi’s universities, the level of development and application of practices is influenced by each university’s unique circumstances. It is therefore possible for organisations within the same sector to respond differently and reject the need to appear homogeneous. Specifically, organisations can display diversity in approach, following institutional logics, to the application of TM practices despite the taken-for-granted notion that organisations that share the same context tend to look more similar and adopt similar practices. While TM studies have been dominated by USA and European ideas particularly those in business organisations, the contribution of this research is that it fills a specific literature gap and adds its voice to the debate on the contextual nature of TM practices as well as the extent to which isomorphic pressures explain adoption of TM practices. It contends that isomorphic pressures alone do not adequately explain an organisation’s decisions and actions regarding TM practices.
Supervisor: Cassell, Catherine ; Cook, Hugh Sponsor: Commonwealth Scholarship Commission
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available