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Managing the flow of talent through organizations – a boundary-less model

Carrie Louise Foster (Business School, Glyndwr University, Wrexham, United Kingdom.)

Development and Learning in Organizations

ISSN: 1477-7282

Article publication date: 5 January 2015




This paper aims to identify overlooked and unrecognized domains of talent management by existing academic and practitioner literature and provide a challenge to current boundaries around the area.


This paper is an exploratory viewpoint based on the extant literature and the conceptual model of Boundary-less Talent Model (BTM) and its potential for practical application.


This paper aims to expand on theoretical or conceptual understandings of talent management which have been surprising under-developed, as well as address the lack of attention in the practitioner community to addressing the talent potential of the wider employee population. The paper introduces the BTM, challenges the current boundaries and discusses how the model can be applied within an organization.

Research limitations/implications

This paper is written from a Western organizational perspective.

Practical implications

In principle, anyone should be able to recognize talent, and anyone can be recognized as having talent, but in practice subjectivity and perception in relation to the assessment, judgement and management of talent, creating a problem of unidentified and/or underutilized talent. The result is that either at an organizational or an individual level, talent becomes an untapped resource, which when ignored may have a negative impact on organizational performance.

Social implications

The identification, recruitment and retention of the right knowledge and skills for the organization’s needs will always outpace traditional talent management methodologies. Adaptability in the Information Age is necessary for organizations to respond to the social structural shifts and the emergence of the boundary-less organization.


This paper provides an examination of the proposed BTM and the encouragement for academics and practitioners to re-think the ways in which various forms of talent are managed.



Foster, C.L. (2015), "Managing the flow of talent through organizations – a boundary-less model", Development and Learning in Organizations, Vol. 29 No. 1, pp. 15-19.



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Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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