The talent paradox: Talent management as a mixed blessing

Daubner-Siva, Dagmar, Ybema, Sierk, Vinkenburg, Claartje J. and Beech, Nic (2018) The talent paradox: Talent management as a mixed blessing. Journal of Organizational Ethnography, 7 (1). pp. 74-86. ISSN 2046-6749

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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide an inside-out perspective on the practices and effects of talent management in a multinational organization. Design/methodology/approach – The study adopts an autoethnographic approach focusing on the experiences of the first author during her employment in a multinational organization. This approach contributes to the literature by providing an insider talent perspective that thus far has not been presented in talent management research. Findings – Applying autoethnography as a means to address the inside-out perspective in talent management reveals a tension. We label this phenomenon the ‘talent paradox’, defined as the mix of simultaneously occurring opportunities and risks for individuals identified and celebrated as a talent. Originality/value – The paper may be of value to talent management scholars and practitioners, as well as to employees who have been identified as high potentials or talents in their organizations. In contrast with the talent management literature’s optimism, the findings illuminate that being identified as a talent may paradoxically produce both empowerment and powerlessness. Attending to personal aspects of talent management processes is relevant for organizations as well as for individuals as it enables reflection and sensemaking.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Talent management, Organizational autoethnography, Paradox, High potentials, Organizational change
Faculty: ARCHIVED Lord Ashcroft International Business School (until September 2018)
Depositing User: Prof Sierk Ybema
Date Deposited: 24 Jan 2018 15:37
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2022 14:54

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