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Talent management and academic context: a comparative study of public and private universities

Abdallah Mohammad Taamneh (Human Resource Management, City University College of Ajman, Ajman, United Arab Emirates) (Human Resource Management, Jadara University, Irbid, Jordan)
Mohammad Taamneh (Faculty of Economics and Business, Jadara University, Irbid, Jordan)
Abdallah Alsaad (Faculty of Economics and Business, Jadara University, Irbid, Jordan)
Manaf Al-Okaily (Accounting Department, Jadara University, Irbid, Jordan)

EuroMed Journal of Business

ISSN: 1450-2194

Article publication date: 4 November 2021

Issue publication date: 22 November 2022




The aims of this research are to present a comprehensive and holistic view of talent management (TM) at universities by exploring the current practices of TM among private and public universities in Jordan and make a comparison between the two sectors in regard to how they recruit, retain, train and develop, and measure the performance of talented people. Moreover, the practice of recruitment and selection, or so-called reflective or process-oriented practices, has given special attention to see how both public and private universities differ in regard to this process in particular.


A structured questionnaire was utilized to elicit responses from participants on five selected constructs, recruitment and selection reflective or process-oriented practices, retention, training and development, and performance management. A convenient sampling approach was used to source participants for the study. The data has been analyzed, structured and organized utilizing SPSS software to analyze the results. Frequency tests have been used to test the demographic variables. Descriptive analysis was used to check the standard deviation and mean for total items. The reliability, discriminate validity, convergent validity and correlation matrix of all the questions have been tested using various methods. Moreover, exploratory (EFA) and confirmatory (CFA) tests were performed. For testing the hypothesis and to examine whether or not there is a significant difference in TM practices between public and private universities in Jordan, independent sample t-tests have been employed.


The results show that the means of TM practices differ slightly between public and private universities. The public universities demonstrate a higher level of TM practices compared to private universities in all practices except that of performance management. However, while there are visible differences in TM practices between public and private universities, these differences were not statistically significant. On the other hand, we revealed a significant difference in the reflective or process-oriented practices between public and private universities. The results show that HR departments in public universities are more likely to have less power in performing the recruitment and selection processes as compared to private universities. We also compared the extent to which elite academics in public universities select candidates congruent with their own personal and scientific preferences to the extent their counterparts do so in private universities and the results indicate that this practice differs significantly between public and private universities being far more common in private universities. Finally, we compared the practice of academic talents being recruited through informal networks of scouts between private and public universities. The results show a slight and insignificant difference between private and public universities concerning this practice.


This study is built on the concept of “new managerialism” in higher education, which supports collaboration between HRM professionals and academics to enhance TM practices. This research contributes to the body of knowledge by combining “reflective or process-oriented practices” with other TM practices in an attempt to make a comparison of public and private institutions’ practices and provide a more comprehensive view of the TM process. However, the overwhelming majority of study on TM has been carried out in Western countries, with limited attention paid to non-Western contexts. Even though this growing body of research has advanced our theoretical and empirical knowledge of TM, there is still a need to comprehend TM practices in the rest of the globe, particularly when one considers the cultural and institutional disparities that exist between countries. Moreover, according to the researcher’s best knowledge, no previous studies have compared public and private universities regarding talent management, and it would be of great importance to investigate the implementation of TM practices in this vital sector.



Taamneh, A.M., Taamneh, M., Alsaad, A. and Al-Okaily, M. (2022), "Talent management and academic context: a comparative study of public and private universities", EuroMed Journal of Business, Vol. 17 No. 4, pp. 731-751.



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