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Open Access
Book part
Publication date: 19 September 2022

Nicky Dries

In this chapter, I propose an integrative framework for theorizing and empiricizing about talent management, based on the notion of “talent philosophies.” I believe that…

Abstract

In this chapter, I propose an integrative framework for theorizing and empiricizing about talent management, based on the notion of “talent philosophies.” I believe that current debates about whether talent management should be inclusive or exclusive create the risk that our field will become fragmented, thereby undermining its social-scientific legitimacy. Nonetheless, this debate is absolutely correct in identifying the tensions between inclusive and exclusive approaches to talent management as a phenomenon. This, however, creates issues for talent management as a construct for scientific inquiry, as we need clear definitions and measures to create a cumulative body of research as a community. I propose that the solution lies in an expansion of our vocabulary as talent management researchers and identify four constructs that can help us structure and categorize our collective work: giftedness, talent, potential, and strength. Each of these constructs map logically onto different talent philosophies and talent management practices. In establishing “unity in diversity,” I believe talent management could finally make the transition into a more mature field of academic inquiry – although clearly phenomenon driven – characterized in equal parts by construct clarity, rigor, and relevance.

Article
Publication date: 8 July 2014

Nicky Dries, Anneleen Forrier, Ans De Vos and Roland Pepermans

The purpose of this paper is to study the relationship between self-perceived employability resources and perceived psychological contract (PC) obligations. To examine the…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study the relationship between self-perceived employability resources and perceived psychological contract (PC) obligations. To examine the extent to which organizational ratings of potential, through their “signaling” function, might serve as a buffer between employability and PC perceptions that are undesirable from an employer's point of view.

Design/methodology/approach

Both self-report data (i.e. self-perceived employability resources and perceived PC obligations) and data reported by the HR departments of the participating organizations (i.e. organizational ratings of potential) were collected in a case-control design (n=103).

Findings

Self-perceived employability resources are not related to lower intentions to stay with one's current employer. High-potential employees did not perceive themselves as particularly obliged to reciprocate their organizations’ additional investments in them by expressing longer term loyalty, or a higher performance level.

Practical implications

Organizations should not be hesitant to assist their employees in enhancing their employability resources. In addition, they should engage in deliberate PC building with their high-potential employees so as to align their perceived PC obligations with the organizational agenda.

Originality/value

The relationship between self-perceived employability resources and perceived PC obligations has been underexamined; hardly any PC research has taken organizational variables into account; hardly any research exists on the psychological implications of being identified as a high potential; and the study draws both on self-report data and data reported by the HR departments of the participating organizations.

Details

Journal of Managerial Psychology, vol. 29 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-3946

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 April 2012

Nicky Dries, Tim Vantilborgh and Roland Pepermans

A survey study was conducted in seven best practice organizations in the field of talent management. By cross‐checking their existing high potential lists, the authors…

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Abstract

Purpose

A survey study was conducted in seven best practice organizations in the field of talent management. By cross‐checking their existing high potential lists, the authors aimed to examine to which extent assessments of learning agility were able to predict being identified as a high potential or not above and beyond a baseline prediction by job performance. Furthermore, they aimed to investigate whether learning agility increased with career variety.

Design/methodology/approach

The study had a case‐control design, comparing supervisor ratings of employees recently identified as high potentials (n=32) with supervisor ratings of a carefully matched control group of non‐high potentials (n=31).

Findings

Learning agility (mediated by job content on‐the‐job learning) was found to be a better predictor of being identified as a high potential than job performance. Career variety was found to be positively associated to learning agility.

Research limitations/implications

This study's design did not allow for the demonstration of causal effects. Longitudinal studies are needed to further clarify the causality of these findings and their implications for organizational performance.

Practical implications

Organizations should do well to incorporate measures of learning agility into their high potential identification and development processes. Furthermore, they need to reflect on how HRM practices might enhance their high potentials' career variety and commitment.

Originality/value

The current study responds to urgent calls in the literature for more empirical research on the identification and development of high potentials, as well as on career variety.

Article
Publication date: 28 January 2014

Nicky Dries and Sara De Gieter

The purpose of this paper is to examine the implicit beliefs both high potentials and HR directors hold about the terms of the exchange relationship between high potential…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the implicit beliefs both high potentials and HR directors hold about the terms of the exchange relationship between high potential employees and their organizations. The paper positions the study within the framework of the psychological contract, exploring specifically whether strategic ambiguity and information asymmetries in high potential programs create a heightened risk of psychological contract breach.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 20 high potentials and 11 HR directors from nine different organizations were interviewed. Open and axial coding of the qualitative data was performed by three raters.

Findings

Information asymmetry in high potential programs, indeed, poses a potential risk for psychological contract breach. Although strategic ambiguity can be an effective communication strategy in that it creates a power imbalance in favor of the organization, at all times a delicate balance must be maintained between leaving room for flexibility and intuitive decision making, and creating perceived promises in high potential employees that are subsequently broken. In fact, through information asymmetry organizations run the risk of achieving the exact opposite of the goals they had for their high potential programs in the first place.

Originality/value

Hardly any research has been done on the psychological effects of identifying a very small proportion of an organization's workforce as high potentials. In addition, research contrasting employee and employer beliefs about psychological contract terms is scarce.

Article
Publication date: 16 August 2011

Nicky Dries

The purpose of this paper is to examine the extent to which the concept of career success has been subject to reification, and identify potential implications for…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the extent to which the concept of career success has been subject to reification, and identify potential implications for individuals, organizations, and societies.

Design/methodology/approach

The current paper offers an in‐depth analysis of the different contextual forces contributing to the reification of careers (i.e. history, culture and ideology), and how these have impacted on the social reality of career and the definitions of career success held by different relevant actors.

Findings

In total, eight research propositions are identified that need to be addressed in future research in order to advance knowledge and understanding of career success in context.

Social implications

One manifest outcome of career reification is the establishment of collective norms prescribing what a “normal”, “successful” career is – and what is not. Consequently, all careers not conforming to these norms are devaluated, which is inappropriate given the present‐day climate of workplace diversity.

Originality/value

Career theory, in general, has been criticized for overemphasizing individual agency while neglecting contextual issues. Furthermore, more conceptual development is necessary in relation to the career success construct. The current paper aims to address both of these gaps by presenting in‐depth analyses of the historical, cultural, and ideological contexts impacting on the meaning of career and career success.

Details

Career Development International, vol. 16 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1362-0436

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 August 2013

This paper aims to review the latest management developments across the globe and pinpoint practical implications from cutting‐edge research and case studies.

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to review the latest management developments across the globe and pinpoint practical implications from cutting‐edge research and case studies.

Design/methodology/approach

This briefing is prepared by an independent writer who adds his own impartial comments and places the articles in context.

Findings

There was a time when employees who had worked for many different organizations over various industries might have had their rich experience counted against them when applying for a new position. “Seems he/ she can't stick at a job” or “They don't seem to have made up their mind what they want to do” are typical of those blinkered attitudes.

Practical implications

The paper provides strategic insights and practical thinking that have influenced some of the world's leading organizations.

Originality/value

The briefing saves busy executives and researchers hours of reading time by selecting only the very best, most pertinent information and presenting it in a condensed and easy‐to digest format.

Details

Development and Learning in Organizations: An International Journal, vol. 27 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7282

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 January 2008

Nicky Dries and Roland Pepermans

The purpose of this empirical study is to make a contribution to career theory in general, and to the literature on high‐potential careers in particular, by examining the…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this empirical study is to make a contribution to career theory in general, and to the literature on high‐potential careers in particular, by examining the careers of real high potentials, taking place in the twenty‐first century world of work, from the perspectives of the high potentials themselves as well as those of their organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 34 interviews were conducted within three study samples: high potentials (n=14), organisational representatives employed by the same organisations that provided the high‐potential participants (n=8), and organisational representatives employed by organisations that did not allow for interviewing of their high potentials (n=12).

Findings

The current study suggests that high potentials still have organisational‐traditional careers. High upward mobility, low inter‐organisational mobility and career self‐management emerged as key features of real high‐potential careers.

Practical implications

Implications are spelled out with respect to the “streaming” of different types of employees in the workforce and the importance of expectations management.

Originality/value

Not only are the viewpoints of individuals largely absent in the literature on high‐potential careers, the majority of publications on the subject‐matter are also non‐empirical and take a rather normative stance. The interview study presented in this paper looks into the assumptions of real high‐potential careers from the perspectives of the high potentials themselves as well as those of their organizations, providing empirical data that are interpretive and descriptive rather than normative.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 37 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 November 2008

Nicky Dries, Roland Pepermans and Evelien De Kerpel

The purpose of this paper is to examine whether four different generations (Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Generation Y) hold different beliefs about…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine whether four different generations (Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Generation Y) hold different beliefs about career. Career type, career success evaluation and importance attached to organizational security are to be scrutinized for each generation.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 750 people completed a vignette task, rating the career success of 32 fictitious people. Each vignette contained a different combination of five career features (functional level, salary, number of promotions, promotion speed, and satisfaction) at two levels (low and high). Furthermore, several items were added in order to determine each participant's career type and the extent to which they attached importance to organizational security.

Findings

The majority of participants still had rather “traditional” careers, although younger generations seemed to exhibit larger discrepancies between career preferences and actual career situation. Overall, satisfaction appeared to be the overriding criterion used to evaluate other people's career success. No significant differences were found between generations. With regard to importance attached to organizational security, the Silent Generation and Generation Y scored significantly higher than the other generations.

Research limitations/implications

The convenience sampling strategy led to large differences in sample size per generation. Using a vignette design limited the amount and richness of information that could be offered to participants. Perhaps other criteria relevant to real‐life career success evaluation should have been incorporated in this study.

Originality/value

The study raises questions about the validity of career success operationalizations frequently used in research. It is the first study to examine career success evaluation by means of vignettes.

Details

Journal of Managerial Psychology, vol. 23 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-3946

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 November 2007

Nicky Dries and Roland Pepermans

This paper aims to demonstrate the utility of using some indication of emotional intelligence (EI) to identify high potential in managers. Presupposed correspondences…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to demonstrate the utility of using some indication of emotional intelligence (EI) to identify high potential in managers. Presupposed correspondences between the EI Personal Factors Model (Bar‐On) and Briscoe and Hall's metacompetency model of continuous learning are elucidated.

Design/methodology/approach

The study sample consisted of 51 high potentials and 51 “regular” managers, matched onto one another by managerial level, gender and age. All participants completed an online survey containing Bar‐On's Emotional Quotient Inventory, Blau's career commitment scale and a self‐anchored performance item.

Findings

EQ‐i subscales: assertiveness, independence, optimism, flexibility and social responsibility appear to be “covert” high‐potential identification criteria, separating between high potentials and regular managers. Furthermore, high potentials display higher levels of job performance and, supposedly, less boundaryless career attitudes.

Practical implications

Using emotional intelligence – or at least some of its subscales – in identifying high potential may well contribute to the validity of such processes. Furthermore, the importance of cultivating positive emotions at work is spelled out in relation to high‐potential identification and development policies and retention management.

Originality/value

In the majority of studies on high potentials, direct supervisors serve as research samples or a non‐empirical, rather normative approach is taken to the matter. The empirical study presented in this paper is rather unique since it departs from the viewpoints of high‐potential individuals, thus delivering added value to the study domain.

Details

Leadership & Organization Development Journal, vol. 28 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7739

Keywords

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 19 September 2022

Abstract

Details

Talent Management: A Decade of Developments
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80117-835-8

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