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Title: Is having talent enough? : how leadership talent enacts success and why some leaders derail
Author: Ross, Suzanne
ISNI:       0000 0004 7228 9210
Awarding Body: Nottingham Trent University
Current Institution: Nottingham Trent University
Date of Award: 2018
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Evident in leadership derailment literature is that the promise of leadership talent and potential does not always manifest as success. Talented leaders derail at an alarming rate and at significant cost. Through this study, how leadership talent enacts success or derails is explored. The aims of the study are firstly, to extend understanding of the attributes of leadership talent adopting a multi-disciplinary approach. Secondly, to investigate how leaders enact their talents into success and finally, to understand why some talented leaders derail from their career path. Qualitative data is used from twenty-six interviews with senior leaders categorised as successful, opted out or derailed forming a typology of three leadership talent types. A qualitative interview approach gives leaders a voice currently lacking in both talent management and derailment literature. Through thematic analysis, nine themes and twenty-eight attributes of importance to theory building were identified from which talent profiles were created for each talent type. These comprised inputs (characteristics) and mechanisms (actions and behaviours). It was found successful leaders were more likely to want to break new ground, be resilient, decisive, driven and ambitious, set high standards, deliver results, proactively develop business management skills and demonstrate greater career decision-making self-efficacy. Higher levels of resilience contributed to their ability to manage career setbacks and failures. Derailed leaders appeared less resilient, to suffer crisis of confidence, deliver inconsistent results, over emphasise their expert knowledge and remain in roles where they were failing. The resilience of leaders is contextualised in resilience literature contributing to knowledge in an area of increasing academic and practitioner interest. The study also contributes to talent management and leadership derailment literature. It will be of relevance to academics, practitioners and leaders. A theoretical framework of leadership talent type profiles offers clarity on the attributes of each leadership talent type. Emphasis on the 'mechanisms' for enacting talent into success is advocated and has implications for future research and practice by focussing more on acquired than innate characteristics, providing hope for leaders who feel they have derailed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available