Mastering Talent Management: The Uncertainties, Lack of Clarity and Misunderstandings

Mastering Talent Management: The Uncertainties, Lack of Clarity and Misunderstandings

Nana Yaw Oppong (University of Cape Coast, Ghana)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1961-4.ch003
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Although companies around the world have made talent management a top priority, most human resource professionals and senior executives believe their organizations have not fully resolved the talent management puzzle. The chapter investigates if there are any indicators that suggest that talent management is a puzzle. Applying mainly review of academic and popular literature, the assessment is done under five headings including talent and talent management definitions; the need for talent management; the root of talent management; talent management strategies and processes, and talent management-diversity integration. It is revealed that albeit being differentiator between organizations that succeed and those that do not, talent management is saddled with uncertainties, lack of clarity, and misunderstanding, which are hurdles that need to be cleared to pave way for more effective talent programs. To overcome these, organizations should avoid one common blueprint to all talent situations, but develop approaches that suit individual talent requirements.
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Talent And Talent Management Definitions

Many authors/researchers, a few being Cappelli (2008); Harris, Craig & Light (2011); Caravan, Barbery & Rock (2012);Swailes, Downs & Orr (2014) have written about talent management, with a few who have tried to define ‘talent’. Notwithstanding, the definition of talent has been unclear. Literature suggests fundamental lack of clarity about what is meant by talent. This needs to be clarified because if organizations cannot compete successfully without talented people, then it becomes an unavoidable task to clarify who these talented people are. It is cited by Barlow (2006) that some organizations do forced ranking of people (not talent) into ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ as categories of talent but only the few rated ‘A’ grade are prioritized. Earlier, Michaels, Handfield-Jones & Axelrod (2001) had categorized talent as valuable, rare and hard-to-imitate. They however find it difficult to prescribe who talented employees are. More recently, Swailes et al. (2014) view talent from positive psychology perspective.

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