Implementing talent management in a global services company

  • Michael James Staunton

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    This research study is focused on the field of Talent Management (TM) as part of the Portsmouth DBA programme. The study aims to help address existing gaps in the academic and practitioner knowledge around TM. TM is one of the most important areas for Human Resources Management and is also one of the key challenges for organisation and management (Thunnissen, Boselie, & Fruytier, 2013). For the practitioner the study adds the perspectives of the senior executive, line managers, and HR practitioners. From an academic perspective the study looks at emotions, feelings, and understanding of a number of key individuals, with the intent to build a broader focus for TM that has more than a process or outcome focus. The study also looked at the roles and skills of the key stakeholders – senior executives, line managers, and HR practitioners. The study uses a case study method to analyse the VT Group, a multinational corporation and explore the introduction of a TM programme in the Group between 2006 and 2009. The VT Group was also transforming at the time from shipbuilding to a services organisation. The approach was to use VT Group as a case study and utilise semi-structured interviews and Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) to analyse the interview data. The aim was to gain insights into how the different individuals and stakeholder groups saw the introduction and implementation of TM. Little is known about the perspective of the stakeholder groups in terms of their perception and understanding of TM. In addition the study looked at the role and skills required of the different stakeholder groups to implement TM. It was also important to understand TM in relation to strategic human resource management as many organisations have shifted their HR functions towards the “Ulrich” model (Ulrich, 1997), and how this related to the HR function in the case study organisation. The findings of the study were that the concept of TM was ambiguous in its introduction and implementation and that there were multiple understandings of what Talent is, and TM was aiming to achieve. The findings were mirrored in the literature review around TM. In addition the findings pointed to the challenge of managing emotions in the organisation and the need for Emotional Intelligence skills when implementing TM and also the importance of aligning TM to the organisation strategy. It was also found that the different stakeholder groups also had very different views of TM between themselves, and that the HR function especially had broad differences in their views of TM and its implementation. From a roles and skills perspective the different stakeholder identified broad strategic role and strategic skills required and also soft skills like coaching, communication, and facilitating as well as process and project management skills. The results of the study highlights opportunities for further research into leadership and Emotional Intelligence required in implementing TM; closer alignment of TM and business strategy; and also improved understanding of the roles and skills required of the stakeholder groups. There is an opportunity for further research in these areas.
    Date of Award2014
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Portsmouth
    SupervisorValerie Anderson (Supervisor) & Martin Read (Supervisor)

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