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What do we mean by the term “talent” in talent management?

What do we mean by the term “talent” in talent management? Purpose – The purpose of this article is to consider the ways the notion of “talent” has developed over many years, both historically and linguistically, in a number of European and non‐European languages and in use in organisations, and its use in talent management. Design/methodology/approach – The information was gained from a literature review of key reports on talent management and a major review of ten organisations across sectors and by interviewing over 100 individuals involved in talent management programmes in the UK and abroad. Holden and Tansley also conducted a philological analysis of the word “talent” from both an historical and a linguistic‐comparative perspective analysing publications by consultancies and articles in the management press considering both literal (denotative) definitions and metaphoric (connotative) associations of the term talent in English, noting contrasting usages of the word in other languages. Findings – There is no single or universal contemporary definition of “talent” in any one language; there are different organisational perspectives of talent. Current meanings of talent tend to be specific to an organisation and highly influenced by the nature of the work undertaken. A shared organisational language for talent is important. There is high level of influence of management consultants in the development of the term in managing people with unique knowledge and skills. Practical implications – Organisational talent, in order that it can be identified and developed, must be visible, stimulated and nurtured, and the first step to this is to have an agreed organisational definition of talent. Social implications – Talent management that only recognises a narrow definition of talent negatively impacts on the full utilisation of a nation's talents. Originality/value – There are no other articles currently published which attempt to define talent from such a historical, linguistic, organisational and individual perspective. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Industrial and Commercial Training Emerald Publishing

What do we mean by the term “talent” in talent management?

Industrial and Commercial Training , Volume 43 (5): 9 – Jul 12, 2011

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References (34)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0019-7858
DOI
10.1108/00197851111145853
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this article is to consider the ways the notion of “talent” has developed over many years, both historically and linguistically, in a number of European and non‐European languages and in use in organisations, and its use in talent management. Design/methodology/approach – The information was gained from a literature review of key reports on talent management and a major review of ten organisations across sectors and by interviewing over 100 individuals involved in talent management programmes in the UK and abroad. Holden and Tansley also conducted a philological analysis of the word “talent” from both an historical and a linguistic‐comparative perspective analysing publications by consultancies and articles in the management press considering both literal (denotative) definitions and metaphoric (connotative) associations of the term talent in English, noting contrasting usages of the word in other languages. Findings – There is no single or universal contemporary definition of “talent” in any one language; there are different organisational perspectives of talent. Current meanings of talent tend to be specific to an organisation and highly influenced by the nature of the work undertaken. A shared organisational language for talent is important. There is high level of influence of management consultants in the development of the term in managing people with unique knowledge and skills. Practical implications – Organisational talent, in order that it can be identified and developed, must be visible, stimulated and nurtured, and the first step to this is to have an agreed organisational definition of talent. Social implications – Talent management that only recognises a narrow definition of talent negatively impacts on the full utilisation of a nation's talents. Originality/value – There are no other articles currently published which attempt to define talent from such a historical, linguistic, organisational and individual perspective.

Journal

Industrial and Commercial TrainingEmerald Publishing

Published: Jul 12, 2011

Keywords: Talent; Talent management; High potential; High performance; Strengths; Human resource development; Skills

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