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Considering the talent in talent management: consequences of strategic talent management for the employee psychological contract and individual outcomes

King, Karin (2018) Considering the talent in talent management: consequences of strategic talent management for the employee psychological contract and individual outcomes. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Identification Number: 10.21953/lse.ll9c2ceerlkz


Strategic talent management aims to contribute to organisational competitive advantage through the differentiated management of employees identified as “talent”. However the nascent talent management (TM) literature is under-theorised and little is yet known about the mechanisms through which the path to talent-advantage may occur. While recent research has begun to consider the employee in talent management, a notable lack of conceptual and empirical investigation of the employee perspective persists. Considering the talent in talent management, the focus of this thesis is to examine the employee response to exclusive talent management and individual-level outcomes, bringing the employee perspective into central focus in the literature, a shift from the organisational perspective and organisational-level focus dominant in the literature. This thesis draws on psychological contract, social exchange and human resources attribution theories to investigate the mechanisms through which exclusive TM effectuates outcomes. An exploratory convergent empirical strategy and mixed-methods are used to consider these research questions: How do employees experience talent management? What are the consequences of talent management for the psychological contract and individual outcomes? Two empirical studies are presented. First, a qualitative inductive study. Through interview of a purposeful cross-organisation sample of employees identified as elite talent by their organisations, to capture the “voice of talent”, evidence highlights the consequences of talent status, the complexities of the talent-organisation relationship, and the central, dynamic involvement of the psychological contract. Second, through integration of HR attribution theory into the TM literature, the influence of employee talent management attributions on individual outcomes is examined, finding that psychological contract fulfilment is a central mechanism through which the influence of employee attributions of talent management on outcomes is mediated. A large-scale quantitative study (n=1561) was conducted. Examining the perspectives of both talent-identified employees and the wider workforce, this dissertation contributes a deep empirical investigation of the employee experience of talent management to the rapidly developing literature.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2018 Karin A. King
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Sets: Departments > Management
Supervisor: Soane, Emma and Lee, Hyun-Jung

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