Advertisement

Talent Management: Gestation, Birth, and Innovation Diffusion

  • Stephen SwailesEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter summarizes how the term ‘talent’ gradually became incorporated into mainstream thinking about business operations in the twentieth century leading up to the ‘birth’ of a new management meme: talent management. Socio-economic conditions prevailing at the time of the birth are summarized. Using ideas from memetics, the chapter focuses on explaining why the talent meme has been so effective (and infective). Five features of the meme are identified that explain why it has found so many hosts. These are similarities with other, related, memes; the lack of a competing meme; ambiguity in what talent and talent management mean; the appeal of celebrity in times of attention deficits; and the promise of power and status to those behind talent programmes.

Keywords

Memetics History Innovation diffusion Celebrity Talent management 

References

  1. Abrahamson, M. (1973). Talent complementarity and organizational stratification. Administrative Science Quarterly, 18(2), 186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Abrahamson, E., & Rosenkopf, L. (1997). Social network effects on the extent of innovation diffusion: A computer simulation. Organization Science, 8, 289–309.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Adamsen, B. (2016). Demystifying talent management: A critical approach to the realities of talent. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Adler, M. (1985). Stardom and talent. The American Economic Review, 75, 208–212.Google Scholar
  5. Adler, M. (2006). Stardom and talent. In V. A. Ginsburgh & D. Throsby (Eds.), Handbook of the economics of art and culture (Vol. 1, pp. 895–906). Amsterdam: North Holland.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Atadil, H. A., Sirakaya-Turk, E., Baloglu, S., & Kirillova, K. (2017). Destination neurogenetics: Creation of destination meme maps of tourists. Journal of Business Research, 74, 154–161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bach, S. (2010). Human resource management in the public sector. In A. Wilkinson, N. Bacon, T. Redman, & S. Snell (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of human resource management (pp. 561–577). London: SAGE.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Barley, S. R., & Kunda, G. (1992). Design and devotion: Surges of rational and normative ideologies of control in managerial discourse. Administrative Science Quarterly, 37, 363–399.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Barrett, H. C. (2015). The shape of thought: How mental adaptations evolve. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Becker, B. E., & Huselid, M. A. (1998). High performance work systems and firm performance. Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management, 16, 53–101.Google Scholar
  11. Becker, B. E., & Huselid, M. A. (2006). Strategic human resource management: Where do we go from here. Journal of Management, 32, 898–925.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Benders, J., & van Veen, K. (2001). What’s in a fashion? Interpretive viability and management fashions. Organization, 8, 33–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Borland, J. H. (2005). Gifted education without gifted children: The case for no conception of giftedness. In R. J. Sternberg & J. E. Davidson (Eds.), Conceptions of giftedness (2nd ed., pp. 1–19). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Bray, D. W. (1954). Issues in the study of talent. New York: Kings Crown Press.Google Scholar
  15. Brodie, R. (2009). Virus of the mind: The new science of the meme. London: Hay House.Google Scholar
  16. Cappelli, P. (2009). What’s old is new again: Managerial ‘talent’ in an historical context. Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management, 28, 179–218.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Cappelli, P., & Keller, J. R. (2014). Talent management: Conceptual approaches and practical challenges. Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, 1, 305–331.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Cappelli, P., & Keller, J. R. (2017). The historical context of talent management. In D. G. Collings, K. Mellahi, & W. F. Cascio (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of talent management (pp. 23–42). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Chambers, E. G., Foulon, M., Handfield-Jones, H., Hankin, S., & Michaels, E. (1998). The war for talent. The McKinsey Quarterly, 3, 1–8.Google Scholar
  20. Chen, Y., & Fang, W. (2008). The moderating effect of impression management on the organizational politics-performance relationship. Journal of Business Ethics, 79, 263–277.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Collings, D. G. (2015). The contribution of talent management to organizational success. In K. Kraiger, J. Passmore, N. Rubelo dos Santos, & S. Malvezzi (Eds.), The psychology of training, development and performance (pp. 247–260). Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
  22. Collings, D. G. (2017). Workforce differentiation. In D. G. Collings, K. Mellahi, & W. F. Cascio (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of talent management (pp. 299–317). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Davis, K., & Moore, W. E. (1944). Some principles of stratification. American Sociological Review, 10(2), 242–249.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Dawkins, R. (1976). The selfish gene. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  25. De Boeck, G., Meyers, M. C., & Dries, N. (2018). Employee reactions to talent management: Assumptions vs evidence. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 39(2), 199–213.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Edwards, M. R., & Bartlett, T. E. (1983). Innovations in talent identification. S.A.M. Advanced Management Journal, 48(4), 16–24.Google Scholar
  27. Elias, N. (1983). The court society. Oxford, UK: Basil Blackwell.Google Scholar
  28. Faris, R. (1936). Sociological factors in the development of talent and genius. Journal of Educational Sociology, 9, 538–544.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Fegley, S. (2006). 2006 talent management survey report. Alexandria, VA: Society for Human Resource Management.Google Scholar
  30. Fischer, V. (1904). Ein Beitrag zur definition von Genie und Talent [A contribution to the definition of genius and talent]. Annalen der Naturphilosophie, 3, 233–237.Google Scholar
  31. Fleetwood, S., & Hesketh, A. (2010). Explaining the performance of human resource management. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Gagne, F. (2013). Yes, giftedness (aka “innate” talent) does exist. In S. B. Kaufman (Ed.), The complexity of greatness (pp. 191–221). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Ghiselli, E. E. (Ed.). (1971). Explorations in managerial talent. Santa Monica, CA: Goodyear Publishing.Google Scholar
  34. Glaister, A., Karacay, G., Demirbag, M., & Tatoglu, E. (2018). HRM and performance – The role of talent management as a transmission mechanism in an emerging market context. Human Resource Management Journal, 28(1), 148–166.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Gospel, H. (2010). Human resources management: A historical perspective. In A. Wilkinson, N. Bacon, T. Redman, & S. Snell (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of human resource management (pp. 12–30). London: SAGE.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Greenway, D. (2002). Henry of Huntingdon. The history of the English people 1000–1154. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  37. Hadley, A. T. (1888). Some difficulties of public personnel management. Political Science Quarterly, 3(4), 572–591.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Hinrichs, J. R. (1966). High-talent personnel: Managing a critical resource. New York: American Management Association.Google Scholar
  39. Husen, T. (1972). Talent, opportunity and career. Stockholm: Almqvist and Wiksell.Google Scholar
  40. Iles, P., Preece, D., & Chuai, X. (2010). Talent management as a management fashion in HRD: Towards a research agenda. Human Resource Development International, 13, 125–145.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Istvan, D. (1991). Coming full circle in practice management. Journal of Accountancy, 171(5), 142–148.Google Scholar
  42. Kaplan, R. (1978). Is beauty talent? Sex interaction in the attractiveness halo effect. Sex Roles, 4(2), 195–204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Kaufman, S. B. (Ed.). (2013). The complexity of greatness: Beyond talent or practice. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  44. Lamertz, K., & Aquino, K. (2004). Social power, social status and perceptual similarity of workplace victimizations: A social network analysis of stratification. Human Relations, 57, 795–822.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Landy, D., & Sigall, H. (1974). Beauty is talent: Task evaluation as a function of the performer’s physical attractiveness. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 29(3), 299–304.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Lepak, D. P., & Snell, S. A. (1999). The human resource architecture: Toward a theory of human capital allocation and development. Academy of Management Review, 24(1), 31–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Lorsch, J. W., & Tierney, T. J. (2002). Aligning the stars: How to succeed when professionals drive results. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.Google Scholar
  48. Mabey, C., & Finch-Lees, T. (2010). Management and leadership development. In A. Wilkinson, N. Bacon, T. Redman, & S. Snell (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of human resource management (pp. 173–190). London: SAGE.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. McClelland, D. L., Baldwin, A. L., Bronfenbrenner, U., & Strodtbeck, F. L. (1958). Talent and society: New perspectives in the identification of talent. Princeton, NJ: van Nostrand.Google Scholar
  50. Michaels, E., Handfield-Jones, H., & Axelrod, B. (2001). The war for talent. Boston: Harvard Business Press.Google Scholar
  51. Mills, C. W. (1956). The power elite. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press Reprinted in 2000.Google Scholar
  52. Miner, J. B. (1969). Personnel and industrial relations: A managerial approach. New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  53. Miner, J. B. (1974). The human constraint: The coming shortage of managerial talent. Washington, DC: The Bureau of National Affairs.Google Scholar
  54. Nippa, M. (2011). On the need to extend tournament theory. In J. L. Pearce (Ed.), Status in management and organizations (pp. 118–152). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  55. Nuesch, S. (2008). The economics of superstars and celebrities. Wiesbaden, Germany: Springer.Google Scholar
  56. O’Mahoney, J. (2007). The diffusion of management innovations: The possibilities and limitations of memetics. Journal of Management Studies, 44, 1324–1348.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Patton, A. (1967). The coming scramble for executive talent. The McKinsey Quarterly, 4(1), 2–16.Google Scholar
  58. Paull, J. (2009). Meme maps: A tool for configuring memes in time and space. European Journal of Scientific Research, 31(1), 11–18.Google Scholar
  59. Rosen, S. (1981). The economics of superstars. American Economic Review, 71, 845–858.Google Scholar
  60. Scarborough, H., Robertson, M., & Swan, J. (2015). Diffusion in the face of failure: The evolution of a management innovation. British Journal of Management, 26, 365–387.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Schweyer, A. (2004). Talent management systems: Best practices in technology solutions for recruitment, retention and workforce planning. Toronto, Canada: J. Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
  62. Siegel, J. P., & Ghiselli, E. E. (1971). Managerial talent, pay and age. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 1(2), 129–135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Stahl, M. J. (1983). Achievement, power and managerial motivation: Selecting managerial talent with the job choice exercise. Personnel Psychology, 36(4), 775–789.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Silzer, R. (2010). Critical research issues in talent management. In R. Silzer & B. Dowell (Eds.), Strategy driven talent management (pp. 767–780). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  65. Sternberg, R. J., & Davidson, J. E. (2005). Conceptions of giftedness (2nd ed.). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Swailes, S. (2013). Troubling some assumptions: A response to “The role of perceived organizational justice in shaping the outcomes of talent management: A research agenda”. Human Resource Management Review, 23, 354–356.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Swailes, S. (2016). The cultural evolution of talent management: A memetic analysis. Human Resource Development Review, 15(3), 340–358.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Swailes, S., & Blackburn, M. (2016). Employee reactions to talent pool membership. Employee Relations, 38(1), 112–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Twedt, D. W. (1967). Is the talent pool for marketing managers drying up? Journal of Marketing, 31(3), 65–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Van den Brink, M., Fruytier, B., & Thunnissen, M. (2013). Talent management in academic: Performance systems and HRM policies. Human Resource Management Journal, 23, 180–195.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Van Krieken, R. (2012). Celebrity society. Abingdon, UK: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Vetter, E. (1967). Manpower planning for high talent personnel. Ann Arbor, Michigan: Bureau of Industrial Relations, University of Michigan.Google Scholar
  73. Waddock, S. (2015). Reflections: Intellectual shamans, sensemaking, and memes in large system change. Journal of Change Management, 15(4), 259–273.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Washington, M., & Zajac, E. J. (2005). Status evolution and competition: Theory and evidence. Academy of Management Journal, 48, 282–296.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Wood, S., & De Menezes, L. M. (2011). High involvement management, high performance work systems and well-being. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 22(7), 1586–1610.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Huddersfield Business SchoolUniversity of HuddersfieldHuddersfieldUK

Personalised recommendations