Managing Talent: A Critical Appreciation

ISBN: 978-1-83909-094-3, eISBN: 978-1-83909-093-6

Publication date: 2 October 2019


(2019), "Prelims", Swailes, S. (Ed.) Managing Talent: A Critical Appreciation (Talent Management), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. i-xvi.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020 Emerald Publishing Limited

Half Title

Managing Talent

Series Page

Talent Management

Series Editors: Vlad Vaiman and David Collings

This series focusses on talent management, one of the fastest growing areas of research in the areas of business and management. As a topic, it bridges a number of core management areas, including HRM, Organisational Psychology, Strategy, and International Business.

The series features monographs and edited collections exploring both research and practical perspectives on contemporary talent management. The main aim of the series is to provide a key outlet for scholars wishing to publish novel perspectives on talent and talent management from across disciplinary divides. It also provides an opportunity for those seeking to explore new and innovative issues and topics in this area in greater depth. The series will bring together emerging theoretical approaches with real-world practitioner perspectives from across a range of subjects in this field, including (but not limited to):

  • Employer branding

  • Talent analytics

  • Global talent management

  • Talent turnover

  • Talent retention

  • Talent development

  • Talent and teams

  • Distribution of performance

  • Transferability of performance

  • Contextual performance

  • Performance and potential

  • Talent management in SMEs

  • Talent management in the public sector

  • Talent management in developing economies

Titles in the series:

Talent Management in Small Advanced Economies, Snejina Michailova and Dana L. Ott

Title Page

Talent Management

Managing Talent: A Critical Appreciation

Edited by

Stephen Swailes

University of Huddersfield, UK

United Kingdom – North America – Japan – India – Malaysia – China

Copyright Page

Emerald Publishing Limited

Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley BD16 1WA, UK

First edition 2020

Copyright © 2020 Emerald Publishing Limited

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No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without either the prior written permission of the publisher or a licence permitting restricted copying issued in the UK by The Copyright Licensing Agency and in the USA by The Copyright Clearance Center. Any opinions expressed in the chapters are those of the authors. Whilst Emerald makes every effort to ensure the quality and accuracy of its content, Emerald makes no representation implied or otherwise, as to the chapters’ suitability and application and disclaims any warranties, express or implied, to their use.

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

ISBN: 978-1-83909-094-3 (Print)

ISBN: 978-1-83909-093-6 (Online)

ISBN: 978-1-83909-095-0 (Epub)


List of Figures vii
List of Tables ix
Contributors to this Volume xi
ForewordVlad Vaiman and David G. Collings xv
IntroductionStephen Swailes 1
Chapter 1 Arbitrariness, Individuality, and the Absence of Work Identity in Talent ManagementBilly Adamsen 7
Chapter 2 Social and Natural Constituents of Talent: A Critical AppreciationStephen Swailes 13
Chapter 3 Some Critical Reflections on the Relevance of Talent Management ResearchEva Gallardo-Gallardo 33
Chapter 4 The Rhetoric, Politics and Reality of Talent Management: Insider PerspectivesBarbara Zesik 51
Chapter 5 Leadership Derailment: A Neglected Field in Talent ManagementSuzanne Ross 71
Chapter 6 The Missing Link: The Role of Line Managers and Leadership in Implementing Talent ManagementPeter Bos, Marian Thunnissen and Katja Pardoen 87
Chapter 7 How Inclusive Can Exclusive Talent Management Be?Lotte Holck and Iben Sandal Stjerne 107
Chapter 8 Critical Feminist Organisation Studies and Talent Management: Re-imagining Transnational, Intersectional and Postcolonial AgendasBeverly Dawn Metcalfe, Yasmeen Makarem and Fida Afouni 125
Chapter 9 The Paradox of Attracting Key Talent in the Canadian Cannabis Industry: Turning Over a New LeafDeborah M. McPhee and Francine Schlosser 145
Index 163

List of Figures

Fig. 4.1. The Basic Logic of Talent Management 55
Fig. 4.2. The Reality of Talent Management 64
Fig. 6.1. The Role of Line Managers and Leadership in Implementing Talent Management 93
Fig. 6.2. Full Model 101
Fig. 9.1. Nested Model of Macro–Micro Talent Management Factors 146

List of Tables

Table 5.1. Comparison of Derailment Potential Characteristics 76
Table 5.2. Gender Comparisons in Derailment Potential Characteristics 80
Table 6.1. Means, SDs, and Correlations for All (Control) Variables Included in This Study 97
Table 6.2. Standardised Coefficients and Significance Levels for Each Path Within Fig. 6. 199
Table 6.3. R2 Values of the Variables in Fig. 6.1 100

Contributors to this Volume

Billy Adamsen is Associate Professor and Head of the Talent Lab for Crowdsourcing, Management & Collective Intelligence in Denmark. He has published on a variety of subjects including management, sport and talent management, cognition and media, politics and media, the psychology of language, and knowledge management. In addition to his academic experience, he has worked as a manager and director in both national and international companies within the business and sports industries, as well as having been an Advisor for the Danish Prime Minister and Minister for Economics & Business Affairs. He is author of Demystifying Talent Management – A Critical Approach to the Realities of Talent Management published by Palgrave in 2016 and Joint Editor of Managing Talent: Understanding Critical Perspectives published by Palgrave in 2019.

Fida Afouni is Associate Professor of Human Resource Management at the Olayan School of Business (OSB), American University of Beirut, Lebanon. She is also the Convenor of the Management, Marketing, and Entrepreneurship track at OSB. She obtained her PhD in Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations from Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University and was the recipient of the Sharjah award for the best doctoral thesis in administrative sciences in the Arab world for 2005. Her current research focusses on the interplay of human resource management, careers, and gender in the Arab Middle East with a particular interest in critically examining talent management practices in the region, HR policies in support of women’s career development, as well as individuals’ chosen career patterns and conceptualisations of career success. Her publications have appeared in several outlets, the most recent being in the Journal of Vocational Behavior, Human Resource Management Journal, and Business Research Quarterly.

Peter Bos, after graduating, worked at Utrecht University on the role of the social environment of long-term welfare recipients. Since 2012, he has been a Lecturer and Researcher at the School of Human Resource Management and Applied Psychology at Fontys University of Applied Sciences. His recent research focus is on leadership, in particular the role of line managers and how their actions (in)directly influence the development of employees.

Eva Gallardo-Gallardo is Associate Professor of Management at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya-BarcelonaTech, and Co-founder of the TechTalent-Lab. She previously held academic appointments at the Universitat de Barcelona, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, and visiting appointments at University of Minho, Universitat de València, and HU Applied Sciences, Utrecht. Her research focusses on talent management, with a particular interest in understanding the formation and evolution of the field, its dynamics, and its conceptual boundaries. She has published papers in leading international outlets, such as Human Resource Management Review, International Journal of Human Resource Management, and the Journal of World Business. She has co-authored several chapters in international textbooks and one book.

Lotte Holck is Associate Professor at the Department of Organization, Copenhagen Business School. Her research explores the organisation of work and collaboration in different organisational settings and cultural contexts. With this as a general framework, her research pursues a critical approach to human resource management, human resource development, and talent management, exploring the impact of demographic, professional, and hierarchical differences. Methodologically, she applies longitudinal studies using intervention-based methods inspired by feminist activism in research as well as affective ethnography.

Yasmeen Makarem is Assistant Professor of Human Resource Development at the S. Olayan School of Business at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon. She received her doctorate from Texas A&M University (TAMU) in May 2019 and was the recipient of the Distinguished Honor Graduate Award from TAMU for her academic achievements and leadership throughout her four-year doctoral studies. Her research explores human resource development practices in developing economies, with a particular focus on the theory and practice of career development. Her work has been published in several journals and academic conferences, including Human Resource Management Journal and Business Research Quarterly.

Deborah McPhee is Professor and Department Chair at Goodman School of Business at Brock University. She has over 25 years of Senior Human Resources Management (HRM) experience and has authored numerous refereed journal articles, HRM textbooks, book chapters, and case studies. Her research interests focus on HRM policies, attraction and retention of talent, ageing workers, and health and safety. She is currently involved in several funded projects concerning violence against women, the promotion of friendly pet shelter policies, matching immigrant newcomers and family businesses, and the resilience of migrant workers’ health and safety in the cannabis industry. She has received two national awards for teaching and advancing HRM and health and safety as a field of study.

Beverly Dawn Metcalfe is Visiting Professor in the Centre for Inclusive Business and Women’s Leadership at AUB, Lebanon. She has spent most of her academic career at the Global Development Institute at Manchester, and her work is primarily in the developing world especially MENA and Africa. Her research explores (1) human resource development, gender, and international development; (2) Islamic economics, Islamic feminisms, and development; and (3) Women’s entrepreneurship and leadership in the Middle East. She has held Visiting Professor Positions at AUC and Helwan in Cairo, Egypt; Monash and Griffith Universities in Australia; and St. Petersburg State University, Russia. She has published in journals such as Human Relations and The International Journal of Human Resource Management. She has published one book Leadership Development in the Middle East and is completing texts on Responsible Islamic Finance and the SDGS and Women’s Entrepreneurship and Development in the Middle East.

Katja Pardoen studied Strategic Human Resource Management at Tilburg University and is now an HR Consultant at the Fontys University of Applied Sciences. Her professional interest lies in talent development of employees and line managers. Since 2016, she has been affiliated to the Talent Management Research Group at the School of Human Resource Management and Applied Psychology at Fontys. She is also involved in a research project regarding lifelong learning in the context of work. She is an advocate of evidence-based human resource management and uses data from her research projects to improve and to innovate the talent management programme and the leadership programmes at Fontys.

Suzanne Ross is Senior Lecturer in Executive Education at Nottingham Business School, Nottingham Trent University. Her PhD focussed on executive talent, success, and derailment and her research interests span leadership and high performance and include resilience in leadership; women in leadership; and both the ‘light’ and the ‘dark’ sides of leadership from courageous, ethical, authentic leadership to toxicity, narcissism, and psychopathy in leadership. She was previously Talent Manager for a Global FTSE 100 company, and she is founder of 2thrive Consultancy, specialising in talent and leadership development, and is a qualified Executive Coach. Her consultancy work helps organisations to improve talent management practices, organisational, team and individual performance, and leadership effectiveness. At Nottingham Business School she is responsible for the HR Forum, a platform to engage HR and organisational behaviour professionals with latest thinking in the field.

Francine Schlosser is Odette Professor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Windsor, Canada. Her research contributes to understanding how educators, employees, migrants, and employers can stimulate entrepreneurial readiness and innovative knowledge-based strategic involvement and manage mid and late career transitions. She has published in a range of leading journals and focusses on the development of innovative, work-integrated, and multinational experiential student learning experiences engaging students in the business community through multidisciplinary venture teams and consulting projects. She previously held the University of Windsor’s Golden Jubilee Professorship and was Executive Director of the Entrepreneurship Practice and Innovation Centre.

Iben Sandal Stjerne is Assistant Professor at the Department of Organization, Copenhagen Business School. Her primary research interests lay in the intersection between transient forms of organising, temporality, and strategic management. Her research publications venture into topics such as careers in project-based industries, aesthetic selection practices, and the temporality and boundary work of temporary organisations. This has primarily been explored ethnographically, with an empirical focus on creative industries.

Stephen Swailes is Professor of Human Resource Management at Huddersfield Business School. His research interests have focussed on organisational commitment, management education, and team performance leading up to his current interests in talent management which focus in particular on ethics and power relations. He has published over 50 papers and several book chapters and is the Co-author of Organizational Change published by Pearson and Joint Editor of Managing Talent: Understanding Critical Perspectives published by Palgrave Macmillan.

Marian Thunnissen is Professor at the Utrecht School of Governance of Utrecht University and also at the School of Human Resource Management and Applied Psychology of Fontys University of Applied Sciences in Eindhoven. Her current research is focussed on the identification, attraction, and development of talent, in particular in the public sector. Her recent interests concern a ‘team-based’ talent management (TM) approach, the role of the line manager in TM, and the dilemmas and tensions organisations experience in developing and implementing TM. She is a leading author on TM and has co-authored several academic- and practice-oriented articles as well as book chapters on TM in knowledge-intensive organisations, the public sector, and academia. She is the Editor-in-Chief of the Dutch Journal of HRM.

Barbara Zesik has over 25 years’ experience in a variety of senior and executive roles in Human Resources and Organisation Development in a number of industry sectors including IT, financial services, FMCG, global mobility, education, and digital marketing. Passionate about people and organisational development, her experience includes culture change, organisation design and restructuring, talent management, learning and development, mergers and acquisitions, as well as coaching and leadership development. She is a certified Master Practitioner and Trainer of NLP, holds an MSc in People and Organisation Development from the University of Sussex, and a Doctorate in Business Administration from the University of Surrey.


Talent Management is a new series of books edited and authored by some of the best and most renowned researchers in the field of talent management. As its name suggests, this Emerald series focusses on talent management, one of the fastest growing areas of research in the areas of business and management. As a topic, it bridges a number of core management areas, including human resource management, organisational psychology, strategy, and international business. This series features monographs and edited collections exploring both research and practical perspectives on contemporary talent management. The main aim of this series is to provide a forum for the publication of novel perspectives on talent and talent management from across disciplinary divides. It also provides the opportunity to explore new and innovative issues and topics in this area in greater depth.

This Emerald series, Talent Management, is intended to serve the growing market of global scholars and practitioners who seek a deeper and broader understanding of the role and importance of talent management in organisations. This series focusses on key areas of talent management practice as well as analyses at different levels from individual to societal. With this in mind, all books in this series provide a thorough review of existing research and multiple examples of companies around the world, wherever applicable. Given the nature of the subject at hand, the authors and editors of the books are global in their scope and the leading scholars in their respective areas. They bring exceptional knowledge of, and expertise in, the issues of talent management they address, and in some instances, the authors are the forerunners of their topics. We feel very fortunate to have such a distinguished group of academics involved in this series.

The second book in the series takes a welcome critical perspective on talent management and specifically provides a critique of the exclusive/elitist perspective which dominates the mainstream talent management literature. It also highlights a variety of pitfalls that the extant literature largely ignores. This book is appropriately titled Managing Talent: A Critical Appreciation, and it unearths and unpacks the most important questions which emerge from viewing mainstream approaches to talent management through a critical lens. In achieving its objectives, this volume takes an in-depth look at approaches to identifying, developing, deploying, and retaining talented employees in an organisation and to understanding the philosophies behind organisational talent management programmes. The contributors to Managing Talent: A Critical Appreciation offer an array of views that are aimed to inform further research and practice in talent management.

It goes without saying that the publisher and editor are vital partners in making this series possible. In particular, we want to express our sincere gratitude for the work of our series editor, Niall Kennedy. He has always been very encouraging of the Talent Management series and instrumental in providing the necessary support to us and the authors and editors in the series. We also would like to thank the Senior Content Editor, Sophie Barr, for her help in making this series a success. Together we are all very excited about the Talent Management series and hope you find an opportunity to use and benefit from Managing Talent: A Critical Appreciation, as well as all other published and upcoming books in the series!

Vlad Vaiman, School of Management, California Lutheran University, USA

David G. Collings, DCU Business School, Dublin City University, Ireland

April 2020