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Talent management in practice

Organizations are increasingly experiencing challenges around attracting and retaining their most valuable employees. This has led to an increased focus on Talent Management. This project examines how Swedish organizations work with Talent management and what consequences this work has.

Background and research questions:

While the literature offers many models for how talent management should be conducted, there is a lack of knowledge about how organizations actually “do” Talent Management and what consequences this has. We are thus interested in the following questions:

  • What practices are carried out under the label "talent management" in large organizations today?
  • How does designating someone as “talent” affect the identity and identification of employees and what consequences will it have?
  • How is talent of employees assessed?

Research approach:

These questions have been studied through interviews and surveys in both private and public organizations. HR managers and "Talent managers" in Swedish organizations have been interviewed about how they work with Talent Management.

We have also interviewed managers and employees – both talents and non-talents – about how one become a talent and what it means to be talent.

A survey among managers and employees in a Swedish municipality provides insights into the relationship between talent status and identification.

Key findings:

  • Organizations do talent management in many different ways. Four basically different models have been identified in this journal article.
  • Identification with a profession reduces the effects of talent management on individuals. Read more in this journal article.
  • Employees' reactions to the introduction of a new performance management system are affected by how well it fits their professional identity. Read more in this book chapter.

Further information:

The project has been funded by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond and Handelsbankens forskningsstiftelser.

Read more about the project on ResearchGate.

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