Advertisement

Why Do Organisations Run Talent Programmes? Insights from UK Organisations

  • Sunday AdebolaEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter reports a case study approach to understanding the reasons why private sector companies implement talent programmes. Workforce differentiation, institutional theory, and human capital theory are summarised as theoretical backgrounds. Based on four case companies in contrasting sectors, cross-case comparison reveals that, while all companies had accompanying high-level narratives around the importance of talented employees to competitive advantage, each company had a distinctive talent driver that shaped the structure and content of their talent programme. The four drivers were inclusivity, succession planning, categorisation of employees, and categorisation of key roles.

Keywords

Talent management Talent philosophy Private sector Institutional theory Human capital 

References

  1. Aliaga, A. O. (2001). Human capital, HRD and the knowledge organization. In O. A. Aliaga (Ed.), Academy of Human Resource Development: Conference proceedings (pp. 427–434). Baton Rouge, LA: AHRD.Google Scholar
  2. Axelrod, B., Handfield-Jones, H., & Michaels, E. (2002). A new game plan for the C players. Harvard Business Review, 80(1), 80–88.Google Scholar
  3. Basri, E., & Box, S. (2008). The global competition for talent: Mobility of the highly skilled. Paris: Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.Google Scholar
  4. Becker, B., Huselid, M., & Beatty, R. (2009). The differentiated workforce: Transforming talent into strategic impact. Boston: Harvard Business Press.Google Scholar
  5. Becker, G. S. (1993). Human capital: A theoretical and empirical analysis with special reference to education (3rd ed.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Beechler, S., & Woodward, I. (2009). The global war for talent. Journal of International Management, 15(3), 273–285.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Benhabib, J., & Spiegel, M. M. (1994). The role of human capital in economic development: Evidence from aggregate cross-country data. Journal of Monetary Economics, 34, 143–173.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Björkman, I., Fey, C. F., & Park, H. J. (2007). Institutional theory and MNC subsidiary HRM practices: Evidence from a three-country study. Journal of International Business Studies, 38(3), 430–446.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Blass, E. (2007). Talent management: Maximizing talent for business performance. London: Chartered Management Institute.Google Scholar
  10. Boon, C., Paauwe, J., Boselie, P., & Den Hartog, D. (2009). Institutional pressures and HRM: Developing institutional fit. Personnel Review, 38(5), 492–508.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Boudreau, J. W., & Ramstad, P. M. (2005). Talentship, talent segmentation, andsustainability: A new HR decision science paradigm for a new strategy definition. Human Resource Management, 44(2), 129–136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Buckingham, M., & Vosburgh, R. (2001). The 21st century human resources function: It’s the talent, stupid! Human Resource Planning, 24(4), 17–23.Google Scholar
  13. Cappelli, P. (2008). Talent on demand: Managing talent in an age of uncertainty. Boston: Harvard Business Press.Google Scholar
  14. Cappelli, P. (2010). The rise and decline of managerial development. Industrial and Corporate Change, 19(2), 509–548.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. CIPD. (2007). Talent: Strategy, management, measurement. London: CIPD.Google Scholar
  16. CIPD. (2012). Learning and talent development survey. London: CIPD.Google Scholar
  17. Collings, D., & Mellahi, K. (2009). Strategic talent management: A review and research agenda. Human Resource Management Review, 19(4), 304–313.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 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: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Creswell, J. W. (2014). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods approaches (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  20. D’Aunno, T., Sutton, R. I., & Price, R. H. (1991). Isomorphism and external support in conflicting institutional environments: A study of drug abuse treatment units. Academy of Management Journal, 34, 636–661.Google Scholar
  21. De Boeck, G., Meyers, M. C., & Dries, N. (2018). Employee reactions to talent management: Assumptions versus evidence. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 39(2), 199–213.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. DeLong, T. J., & Vijayaraghavan, V. (2003). Let’s hear it for the B players. Harvard Business Review, 81(6), 96–102.Google Scholar
  23. DiMaggio, P. J., & Powell, W. W. (1983). The iron cage revisited: Institutional isomorphism and collective rationality in organizational fields. American Sociological Review, 48(2), 147–160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. DiMaggio, P. J., & Powell, W. W. (1991). The iron cage revisited: Institutional isomorphism and collective rationality in organizational fields. In W. W. Powell & P. J. DiMaggio (Eds.), The new institution in organizational analysis (pp. 63–82). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  25. Dowling, P. J., Festing, M., & Engle, A. D. (2013). International human resource management. London: Cengage.Google Scholar
  26. Duttagupta, R. (2005). Identifying and managing your assets: Talent management. London: PricewaterhouseCoopers.Google Scholar
  27. Economist, The. (2006). The CEO’s role in talent management: How top executives from ten countries are nurturing the leaders of tomorrow. London: The Economist Intelligence Unit. Available at https://www.economist.com/node/7961894
  28. Eisenhardt, K. M. (1989). Building theories from case study research. Academy of Management Review, 14(4), 532–550.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Engelbrecht, H. (2003). Human capital and economic growth: Cross-section evidence for OECD countries. Economic Record, 79(Special Issue), 40–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Ewerlin, D., & Suss, S. (2016). Dissemination of talent management in Germany: Myth, facade or economic necessity. Personnel Review, 45(1), 142–160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Festing, M., Kornau, A., & Schäfer, L. (2014). Think talent – Think male? A comparative case study analysis of gender inclusion in talent management practices in the German media industry. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 26(6), 707–732.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Gelens, J., Dries, N., Hofmans, J., & Pepermans, R. (2013). The role of perceived organizational justice in shaping the outcomes of talent management: A research agenda. Human Resource Management Review, 23(4), 341–353.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Guthridge, M., Komm, A., & Lawson, E. (2008). Making talent a strategic priority. The McKinsey Quarterly, 1, 49–59.Google Scholar
  34. Harrison, R. (2009). Learning & Development (5th ed.). London: CIPD.Google Scholar
  35. Hartmann, E., Feisel, E., & Schober, H. (2010). Talent management of western MNCs in China: Balancing global integration and local responsiveness. Journal of World Business, 45(2), 169–178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Hofer, A., Hofer, C., Eroglu, C., & Waller, M. (2011). An institutional theoretic perspective on forces driving adoption of lean production globally. The International Journal of Logistics Management, 22(2), 148–178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Huang, J., & Tansley, C. (2012). Sneaking through the minefield of talent management: The notion of rhetorical obfuscation. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 23(17), 3673–3691.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Huselid, M., Beatty, R., & Becker, B. (2005). A players or a positions? The strategic logic of workforce management. Harvard Business Review, 83(12), 110–117.Google Scholar
  39. Huselid, M. A. (2011). Bridging micro and macro domains: Workforce differentiation and strategic human resource management. Journal of Management, 37(2), 421–428.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Iles, P., Chuai, X., & Preece, D. (2010). Talent management and HRM in multinational companies in Beijing: Definitions, differences and drivers. Journal of World Business, 45, 179–189.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Lawler, E. E. (2008). Talent: Making people your competitive advantage. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  42. 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
  43. Lewis, R. E., & Heckman, R. J. (2006). Talent management: A critical review. Human Resource Management Review, 16(2), 139–154.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Lucas, R. (1988). On the mechanics of economic development. Journal of Monetary Economics, 22, 3–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Lucas, R. E. (1990). Why doesn’t capital flow from rich to poor countries? American Economic Review: Papers and Proceedings, 80, 92–6.Google Scholar
  46. McDonnell, A. (2009). Delineating multinational companies and their engagement in talent management: Addressing an empirical deficit (Unpublished PhD Thesis). University of Limerick.Google Scholar
  47. McDonnell, A., Lamare, R., Gunnigle, P., & Lavelle, J. (2010). Developing tomorrow’s leaders. Evidence of global talent management in multinational enterprises. Journal of World Business, 45(2), 150–160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Merkens, H. (2004). Selection procedures, sampling, case construction. In U. Flick, E. Kardorff, & I. Steinke (Eds.), A companion to qualitative research. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  49. Meyer, J. W., & Rowan, B. (1977). Institutionalized organizations: Formal structure as myth and ceremony. American Journal of Sociology, 83(2), 340–363.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Meyer, J. W., Scott, W. R., & Deal, T. (1983). Institutional and technical sources of organizational structure. In H. D. Stein (Ed.), Organization and the human services (pp. 151–178). Philadelphia: Temple University Press.Google Scholar
  51. Meyer, M. C., & van Woerkom, M. (2014). The influence of underlying philosophies on talent management: Theory, implications for practice, and research agenda. Journal of World Business, 49(2), 192–203.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Nafukho, F., Hairston, N., & Brooks, K. (2004). Human capital theory: Implications for human resource development. Human Resource Development International, 7(4), 545–551.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Noaks, L., & Wincup, E. (2004). Criminological research—Understanding qualitative methods. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  54. O’Boyle, E., & Aguinis, H. (2012). The best and the rest: Revisiting the norm of normality of individual performance. Personnel Psychology, 65(1), 79–119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Paauwe, J., & Boselie, P. (2003). Challenging ‘strategic HRM’ and the relevance of the institutional setting. Human Resource Management Journal, 13(3), 56–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Patton, M. Q. (2002). Qualitative research & evaluation methods (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  57. Raynard, M., Johnson, G., & Greenwood, R. (2016). Institutional theory and strategic management. In M. Jenkins, V. Ambrosini, & N. Mowbray (Eds.), Advanced strategic management (3rd ed.). London: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Schuler, R. S., Jackson, S. E., & Tarique, I. (2011a). Framework for global talent management: HR actions for dealing with global talent challenges. In H. Scullion & D. G. Collings (Eds.), Global talent management (pp. 17–36). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  59. Schuler, R. S., Jackson, S. E., & Tarique, I. (2011b). Global talent management and global talent challenges: Strategic opportunities for IHRM. Journal of World Business, 46, 506–516.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Schultz, T. W. (1961). Investment in human capital. American Economic Review, 51(1), 1–17.Google Scholar
  61. Schultz, T. W. (1971). Investment in human capital. The role of education and research. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  62. Scott, W. R. (1987). The adolescence of institutional theory. Administrative Science Quarterly, 32, 493–511.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Sidani, Y., & Al Ariss, A. (2014). Institutional and corporate drivers of global talent management: Evidence from the Arab gulf region. Journal of World Business, 49(2), 215–224.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Silzer, R., & Dowell, B. E. (Eds.). (2010). Strategy-driven talent management: A leadership imperative. San Francisco: John Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
  65. Stahl, G. K., Björkman, I., Farndale, E., Morris, S., Paauwe, J., Stiles, P., et al. (2012a). Six principles of effective global talent management. MIT Sloan Management Review, 53(2), 25–32.Google Scholar
  66. Stahl, G. K., Björkman, I., & Morris, S. (2012b). Handbook of research in international human resource management (2nd ed.). Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing.Google Scholar
  67. Stanger, S., Wilding, R., Hartmann, E., Yates, N., & Cotton, S. (2013). Lateral trans shipments: An institutional theory perspective. International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, 43(9), 747–767.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Swailes, S. (2013a). The ethics of talent management. Business Ethics: A European Review, 22(1), 32–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Swailes, S. (2013b). 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
  70. Swailes, S., & Blackburn, M. (2016). Employee reactions to talent pool membership. Employee Relations, 38(1), 112–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Swailes, S., Downs, Y., & Orr, K. (2014). Conceptualising inclusive talent management: Potential, possibilities and practicalities. Human Resource Development International, 17(5), 529–544.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Tansley, C., Turner, P., Carley, F., Harris, L., Sempik, A., & Stewart, J. (2007). Talent: Strategy, management, measurement. London: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.Google Scholar
  73. Tarique, I., & Schuler, R. S. (2010). Global talent management: Literature review, integrative framework, and suggestions for further research. Journal of World Business, 45(2), 122–133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Vaiman, V., Scullion, H., & Collings, D. G. (2012). Talent management decision making. Management Decision, 50, 925–941.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Yin, R. K. (2009). Case study research: Design and methods. London: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  76. Yost, P. R., & Chang, G. (2009). Everyone is equal, but some are more equal than others. Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 2(4), 442–445.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Zucker, L. G. (1983). Organizations as institutions. In S. B. Bacharach (Ed.), Research in the sociology of organizations (pp. 1–42). Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Huddersfield Business SchoolUniversity of HuddersfieldHuddersfieldUK

Personalised recommendations