Adebola, Sunday (2017) Talent Management: Perspectives, Practices and Evaluation in UK Private Sector Organisations. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

Talent management continues to attract attention in both the practitioner and the academic literature. However, despite its ascendency and popularity, there are many gaps left for further theoretical development because it remains a fairly new concept. Thunnissen (2016) noted that one of the key challenges that scholars have experienced over the past decade has been some unanswered questions regarding the definition, scope and goals of talent management. Moreover, there is little empirical research into the ways that organisations evaluate their own programmes or into the impacts that talent management has on people and organisations. This study seeks to contribute to the conceptual and empirical understanding of the nature of talent management and its evaluation.

Interpretivist philosophy was adopted involving four qualitative case studies in private sector organisations. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with HR/talent managers, senior managers and employees in each organisation. Findings show that the identification, development and retention of talented employees were key features of the talent management processes observed. Findings also reveals that the conceptualization and operationalization of talent management varies between organisations but in a way that each variation and its accompanying philosophy can be described in terms of a core driver namely succession planning, valuable goods, pivot points and inclusion. Although evaluation is seen as a very important aspect of the talent management process, the impacts of talent initiatives on the organisation are not measured.

Furthermore, this study identifies a number of emergent factors that practitioners should be aware of and account for in the talent management process including managing the expectations of employees in the talent scheme, transparency of the talent management process, issues relating to gender diversity, allowing employees to develop at their own pace as well as issues relating to direct line managers having the sole responsibility of identifying talent.

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