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Title: Disentangling the "talent" concept as applied to the world of work
Author: Gallardo-Gallardo, Eva
Director: Dries, Nicky
Valls Pasola, Jaume
Keywords: Gestió del talent
Talent management
Identificació de talents
Talent identification
Issue Date: 9-Sep-2013
Publisher: Universitat de Barcelona
Abstract: [eng]In this dissertation a critical review of talent and the talent management (TM) literature is provided. Three key questions for TM research are covered within three chapters, defined as three different papers, with the aim to help fill the gap in solid theoretical foundations for TM research. Hence, it can be defined as mainly a conceptual dissertation. In chapter one, we deal with the question that marks the starting point for our research: What is meant by talent in the world of work? We questioned the meaning of talent, since it is critical in order to know how to manage it. By doing so, we offer an in-depth review of the talent concept within the specific context of the world of work, and we propose a framework for its conceptualization. We group different theoretical approaches to talent into ‘object’ (i.e., talent as natural ability; talent as mastery; talent as commitment; talent as fit) and ‘subject’ approaches (i.e., talent as all people; talent as some people) and identify dynamics existing within and between them, as well as implications for TM theory and practice. Finally, we discuss different avenues for further research aimed at developing the talent—and consequently, the talent management—construct further. Chapter two goes on to deal with the next challenging question: How is talent identified? Despite all the talk about talent and its importance for achieving new sources of competitive advantages, most companies report great difficulty in operationalizing and measuring talent accurately, reflecting the lack of theoretical foundations for talent identification. Building on from insights from different literature streams (giftedness, vocational psychology, and positive psychology literature), this chapter contributes to the establishment of a stronger theoretical basis for TM by discussing two components of talent (an ability and an affective component) that are complementary. Moreover, we identify three central characteristics of talent (manifestation in excellent performance, developed innate abilities and passion) that will help us to distinguish between talent, competence and potential; terms that are usually misused as interchangeable within the TM field. In addition, we argue how this distinction will help in talent identification. We also provide a summary with different discussed measures and methods to identify talent. By discussing managerial implications in terms of measures and methods, we provide practical guidelines for designing talent identification practices grounded in sound theory. Finally, in chapter three, we concentrate our efforts on the talent management construct through a proxy research question: How much do we know about talent management? Hence, we used a bibliometric method to both analyze the structure of the TM research and to define its boundaries and trends. Based on 703 peer-reviewed publications in English that appeared between 1990 and 2013, the analysis covers the following issues: productivity (e.g., number of papers published by author, country of origin, and author’s affiliation), visibility and impact (e.g., ranking of authors and documents according to citations, documents published in indexed journals), and collaboration (i.e., co-authorship). Our study shows underlying patterns in scientific outputs and academic collaborations and serves as an alternative and innovative way of revealing global research trends in TM. It should be noted that this bibliometric analysis is the first to address a complete and in-depth analysis of the structure of the field of TM as an academic discipline. It will allow new researchers in the field to be fully aware of seminal authors and must-read articles, as well as identifying those journals and institutions most closely related to this subject.
Appears in Collections:Tesis Doctorals - Departament - Economia i Organització d'Empreses

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