A Research Agenda for Human Resource Management
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A Research Agenda for Human Resource Management

Edited by Paul Sparrow and Cary L. Cooper

The book’s expert contributors provide short and succinct reviews of 12 key topics in strategic HRM, including HR strategy and structure, talent management, selection, assessment and retention, employee engagement, workplace well-being, leadership, HR analytics, productivity, innovation, and globalisation. Each chapter identifies the strengths and gaps in our knowledge, maps out the important intellectual boundaries for their field, and outlines current and future research agendas and how these should inform practice. In examining these strategic topics the authors point to the key interfaces between the field of HRM and cognate disciplines, and enables researchers and practitioners to understand the models and theories that help tie this agenda together.
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Chapter 3: Talent management

David G. Collings, Anthony McDonnell and John McMackin


This chapter evaluates the literature on talent management and establishes key trends in the research. It differentiates research that treats talent as a subject (where every individual’s strengths should be harnessed for the organisation’s benefit, the motivational effects associated with being classified as talent, and the attention that must therefore be given to the role of objective, fair, and transparent processes of identification), and research that treats talent as an object (where attention is given to the ability, competence, performance, and behaviours of a subset of the workforce that makes them comparatively more important than everyone else in terms of the value they add to corporate performance). It argues that by looking at the interplay between critical roles and talent in isolation, we can avoid the limitations of early research that segmented employees. It identifies three trends that will drive the talent agenda: the interface of talent management and performance management; the importance of context in talent management research; and how to engage this talent and maximise their contribution and rewards for sustainable organisation performance.

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