Paralysing Rebellion: Figurations, Celebrity, and Power in Elite Talent Management

  • John Lever
  • Stephen SwailesEmail author


The extensive literature on talent management is relatively silent when it comes to understanding power relations, and this chapter explores power dynamics in elitist talent programme. The argument draws heavily on Norbert Elias’s ideas of figurations and his analysis of Court Society which are coupled with Robert van Krieken’s recent analysis of celebrity society. After considering how power manifests in human resource development (HRD), the chapter unfolds connections between ancient court behaviour and contemporary organization. Behaviour in elite talent pools is likely to be self-regulating in ways that suit both ambitious individuals and senior managers. The analysis suggests that elite talent pools act in ways that paralyse rebellion from within by pitting ambitious individuals against each other.


Figurations Celebrity society Talent management Power Control 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Huddersfield Business SchoolUniversity of HuddersfieldHuddersfieldUK

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