In recent years, talent management has grown into a global concern for companies seeking to compete effectively in the global marketplace, particularly as the economy becomes more and more knowledge-based. The search for top talent now comprises a significant majority of the competition between companies in addition to competition for market share. Organizations are increasingly interested in quantifying the relationship between recruitment techniques and organizational performance.
The principal factors that drive an organization’s concentration on talent retention and talent mobility include “a growing skills shortage and [an] aging population” (Pace 18). In some studies, talent management and human resource management practices demonstrate the ability to retain top tier employees. Therefore, as Pace notes, “because retention results in shorter time to productivity, lower recruitment costs, and higher employee engagement due to pathways for employee growth and development, talent mobility has come to the forefront” of research into the relationship between talent management and human resource management and the prosperity and productivity of firms (18).
Equally, the retention of stellar talent continues to prove challenging to top management teams. As a result of the crucial role that human capital management plays in aiding organizations to secure a competitive advantage in the hyper-competitive business environments of the 21st century, talent management has developed into a dominant area of study among human resource scholars and practitioners alike. Indeed, several human resource researchers assert that talent management has become the “new cornerstone” of human resource scholarship (Frangou and Kontoghiorghes 29).
Several studies demonstrate that top executive and leadership teams in some of the world’s most successful companies view talent management as one of the main drivers of organizational performance. Among senior executives, in particular, talent management stands as the principal distinguishing factor among companies (Durgin 9; Frangou and Kontoghiorghes 29; Lockwood 2; Menefee and Murphy 13).
Therefore, talent management is fast becoming one of the most vital strategic weapons in the arsenal of companies that operate and compete globally. Several global organizations now devote an ever-growing percentage of their annual financial gains to become a magnet for, put to use, and hold on to their existing talent (Frangou and Kontoghiorghes 29). In the current global business arena of fierce and unyielding competition on a global scale, talent can represent the key leverage a company needs to best its competitors.
Top talent is especially relevant in the realm of creating and sustaining high-performance leadership teams. In recent decades, several technological and economic trends have spearheaded significant, global, and lasting change and completely transformed the way companies conduct business today. The trends that have asserted the most sizeable influence include the speed of conducting business operations in a global environment that runs 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and the intricacy of company transactions in this economic universe that essentially never closes. Businesses must develop integrated processes and solutions and put them into operation in a global context, and these processes must be constantly upgraded.
Finally, talent management and the study of human resources is itself a subject that is constantly in flux. The simple notion of human resources study is that it is a developing area of academic study that focuses on the investigation of the relationship between employers and employees and concerns itself with the management of people in the work and business context. However, just as the above-mentioned factors have driven tremendous change in business over the last decade, so too have the same drivers affected the study and practice and talent management and human resource management.
As Paauwe explains, the arrival of network associations, the increasing number of knowledge workers, and the advent of out of the ordinary employment contracts have all had serious implications on the methods in which employees are overseen in the organizations of today (129). This means that the essence of the object under scrutiny – the core study of human resource management – is itself continually changing (Paauwe 129).
As a result of the intensity of the modern business, the senior executives and leadership teams of most companies are concerned that organization may lack the ability to find, catch the attention of, hire, train, and keep hold of the qualified talent their organizations require to operate effectively in this new global business context. Senior business leaders, human resource scholars, and talent management professionals have the same opinion that in this challenging business context, incorporating the most vital components of talent management demonstrates the potential to improve organizational performance and generate durable and long-lasting competitive advantages for a business organization and all of its stakeholders.
Statement of the Problem
Even though senior business leaders, human resource scholars, and talent management professionals all agree in regards to the crucial role successful talent management plays in the health, prosperity, and performance of a business, at present very little evidence exists to support the belief that organizations are successfully integrating talent management practices into their existing competitive operations (Green 58; Paauwe 129). In addition, significant and viable methods of measuring the results of effective talent management in terms of organizational performance are still lacking (Green 58; Paauwe 129).
To guarantee the presence of stable, sustainable, and valuable leadership for the current and future business context, most corporations make every effort to appeal to and retain high-level talent (Durgin 9; Frangou and Kontoghiorghes 29; Lockwood 2; Menefee and Murphy 13). However, high-level talent remains exceedingly hard to find, difficult to retain, and costly to reinstate. In addition, once highly skilled talent has finally been onboarded, holding on to them remains a constant challenge for organizations. Skilled employees remain very much in demand; therefore, opportunities abound for them to jump ship.
As Frangou and Kontoghiorghes note “it is easier for talented employees to change jobs or seek a better place of employment” (29). High-level talent is actively and constantly recruited, even once they are on board, and some of these opportunities are too enticing to overlook.
In addition, some high-level talent offers a rare set of skills that cannot be duplicated, and the organization’s performance and productivity can suffer if it is unsuccessful at retaining its top tier talent. As Frangou and Kontoghiorghes note, as a result of the unique skills and attributes that top tier talent bring into the mix, the loss of these critical employees can harm the organization’s productivity, trigger customer displeasure or disappointment, and set off the deterioration of the morale of the employees left behind (30). When a competitor manages to poach high-level talent, the loss can be devastating.
As Frangou and Kontoghiorghes note, employees can often depart with precious knowledge, skills, and client relationships that prove costly and difficult to replace (30). Thus, high-level talent turnover and loss can substantially weaken an organization’s competitive edge, as well as its market share, not to mention its ability to attract and retain a suitable replacement for the departed employee.
A clear gap exists in the research in the area of measuring the impact of talent management on organizational performance, as well as in these aforementioned areas. The current study endeavors to investigate the relationship between talent management and organizational performance in terms of the former’s demonstrable impact on a firm’s competitive advantage, specifically in the areas of leadership, succession, and the effect of high employee turnover on organizational performance.
The following research questions will serve as a guide for the current study:
- What is the relationship between talent management and organizational performance?
- What are the mechanisms used to manage talent?
- What are the main challenges that organizations face in trying to carry out talent management?
- What is the relationship between a firm’s talent management practices and its competitive practices?
- What are some of the core areas of talent management that affect organizational performance?
- To what degree does effective leadership depend on effective talent management?
- To what extent does effective talent management correlate to improvements in a firm’s performance?
- To what extent does effective talent management correlate to effectiveness in a firm’s senior leadership?
- How serious an issue is employee turnover?
- How can talent management effectively address employee turnover?
Purpose of the Study
It has been argued that there is no resource an organization can utilize to its advantage to bring competitiveness to its operations more than its human resources. For that matter recruiting the most talented and qualified personnel goes an extra mile in ensuring that such an organization will experience organizational success and maximize performance (Durgin 9). On the same note, managing talent is a key attribute to ensuring that the staff recruited are motivated and satisfied with their jobs and will thus continue staying within an organization. It is no doubt that one of the serious expenses organization faces is related to high rates of employees’ turnover.
The question of this research triggers the relationship between Talent management and organization performance, which is of interest to the author who is having extensive experience in the field of talent management and recruitment. Furthermore, this study will help practitioners as well as business firms who adopt and implement this concept, to measure and assess the level of impact and the extent to which it contributes to business performance.
The concept of globalization which entails free movement of human capital and labor organizations face very stiff competition from both local and international organizations. This calls for organizations to have plans that will help them stay competitive. It has been suggested that to accomplish this, there is a need to fully focus on talent management and employee retention. Today, more than ever business organizations have strived to have at their disposal a workforce that is highly skilled and talented.
However, it has been noted with concern that leaders in organizations are not sure on the best strategy to aligning talents and the goals of the organization, the relationship between talent management and organizational performance, impact of talent management on organizational success as well as the challenges of managing talent.
Although efforts have been made to make an organization realize the benefits talent management brings to the success of an organization, there is still a need to emphasize the same. It is no doubt that one serious challenge facing organization of any size is to hold and maintain their top talent. Interestingly, in situations where organizations fail to hold their top talent is also impossible for them to continue enjoying the relationship with their troublesome talents.
The latter are brought on board since they exhibit higher levels of competence and skills having a real flair in their areas of expertise with the potential of thinking outside the box. It has been deemed that this group of individuals is capable of providing the organization with a real competitive advantage as well as first-mover status (Bowen, Galang, and Pillai 103).
Many organizations have spent billions of dollars in trying to develop strategies that will help them cut themselves an edge in the competitive business world in vain. The secret of attaining competitive advantage has been coined in the ability of an organization to retain highly skilled and competent workers. This fact has not been appreciated by a few organizations and this lays the ground for this research. A clear understanding of the relationship between talent management and organizational success will help such organizations to rethink their strategies so that they will do business despite the existing market challenges.
This research will help to evaluate the link between talent management and organizational performance. The findings will be of importance to various stakeholders especially business organizations, schools, and other firms that are profitable as well as non- profit-oriented. The research will define what talent management is and organizational performance. The results will help various interested parties such as the human resources stakeholders to come up with acceptable and rational decisions with regards to managing talent.
It is worth noting that this will result in ensuring more business entities adopt the approaches that will aid in managing talent since they will be aware of how it works as well as its impacts on organization performances and success. This is very important in determining the future of organizations that seek to acquire a skilled, talented, and competent workforce to advance on its competitive advantage.
Failure to do this study will make the various contributions of talent management to organizational success and performance to be unappreciated and under-investigated in the academic literature of the present and the future. Similarly, the existing gaps with regards to the link between talent management and organizational success will remain unfilled. In addition, the stumbling block in the quest of organizations to have in place, a workable talent management strategy will also remain unknown.
The research question is relying on several academic debates, such as; the impact of talent management practices in organization performance, taking into consideration what are the complexities of linking talent management with organizational outcomes. Much of these researches that are conducted in the 1990s did find statistical evidence for some linkage or association between sophisticated human resource management and organizational performance. As a conclusion, several authors recommended more studies focusing on the processes by which human resource management contributes to performance.
This research will aim to critically examine the relationship between talent management and organizational success so that the author can draw valuable conclusions and provide recommendations regarding the optimal use of talent management as a means to positively affect organizational performance. The study endeavors to provide sound scholarship and viable research to organizations that seek to have improved performance in the business world by cutting themselves a competitive advantage over their most serious and potentially destabilizing direct competitors.
With regards to overall objectives, the study author endeavors to establish the relationship between talent, recruitment techniques, and organizational performance and investigate this relationship in an in-depth manner. The study author seeks to find out the challenges facing organizations in trying to carry out talent management in the current business environment and beyond.
Background of the Study
The relationship between talent management and organizational performance has been the subject of much scholarly interest over the past two decades. As Paauwe notes, over the past two decades a certain degree of progress has occurred in the area of scholarship and analysis into the association between human resource management and the performance of an organization (130). The practice of human resource management has grown from being viewed as a “record keeping, hiring and firing, maintenance function to being seen as a strategic partner and value added contributor” that supports the overall performance and prosperity of the organization it serves (Paauwe 130).
However, in the realm of talent management, the function of the human resource department has come under intense pressure in recent years to develop a response to the high turnover of high-level talent, particularly in the area of leadership and senior management teams, since the efficacy of a firm’s leadership is directly linked to a firm’s performance. The customary approach in the current work environment is that talent management and human resource management practice must contribute directly to the organizational culture, the firm’s performance, and the overall competitive value of the organization (Paauwe 130).
These current criteria for talent management and human resource management practice need to also link directly to the valuation of the firm, the talent management and human resource management practices and strategies must reflect the strategic and competitive directives of the organization (Paauwe 130).
The relationship between talent management and organizational performance therefore is directly linked to the viability of a firm’s leadership. When the leaders of a particular organization are capable of aligning a robust and resilient competitive strategy with a well thought out and strategically aligned talent management and human resource management system, the organization will have achieved the necessary alchemy to attract not only new clients and consumers to their products but also to attract top tier talent.
Once the top-tier talent is on board, however, the pressure is on the talent management and human resource management system to retain the leadership talent through training, leadership development, financial incentives, and other opportunities. The vast majority of talent management and human resource management systems currently in place in major corporations strive to realize this ideal; however, as Paauwe notes progress in this area has been unexceptional. This reality is replicated in the mixed results and wary conclusions that researchers have drawn from some of the principle studies that have been conducted over the two decades (130).
According to Paauwe, since the mid-1990s, the role of talent management and human resource management and the contribution it makes to the overall performance of an organization has steadily increased and now suggest that talent management and human resource management links directly to the competitive advantage of an organization (130). “Conceptual and empirical work relevant to this question has progressed far enough to suggest that the role of human resources can be crucial to the competitive advantage of an organisation” (Paauwe 130). Using a review of 22 empirical studies, Paauwe concluded that human resource management practices and activities “give rise to human resource management outcomes which will influence the performance of the firm.
More specifically, [these studies] indicate that the effect of one standard deviation change in the human resource system is a 10 to 20 per cent increase in a firm’s market value” (130). However, other studies have failed to duplicate these same results. According to Paauwe, a review of 104 studies conducted in 2003 revealed only a slight correlation between the performance of an organization and its human resource management practices, while another body of research compiled in 2005 concluded that the talent management and human resource management practices were only minimally linked the performance of their organizations (130).
Other empirical studies conducted on the relationship between talent management and human resource management have determined only a cautious increase in the performance of an organization as a direct correlation between talent management and human resource management and any ensuing boost in the overall financial performance of the firms investigated. Therefore, it has proven difficult to generalize any findings across organizations, based on flaws in the design of individual studies and the fact that some human resource management practices are idiosyncratic and will work well in one organization and boost performance while having no impact whatsoever on another organization (Paauwe 130).
However, it remains true that 19 of the 25 research studies under scrutiny demonstrated clear proof of a statistically pertinent and quantifiable correlation between talent management and human resource management practices and the performance of the organization (Paauwe 130).
In addition, a review conducted in 2003 of 92 recent studies on the relationship between talent management, recruitment techniques, and human resources management practices and firm performance revealed that “an increase of one standard deviation in the use of high-performance work practices (HPWP) is associated with a 4.6 per cent increase in return on assets, and with a 4.4 percentage point decrease in turnover” (Paauwe 130).
The recent global economic downturn has had a major impact on how organizations allot existing resources, including talent management, human resources, and recruiting practices. In the wake of the massive economic downturn that struck the globe in 2008 and 2009, organizations are now more likely to expect performance results from talent management and human resource function. The practice of talent management and human resources has come under intense scrutiny in the years since the 2009 economic downturn and the continued debt problems in the economies of the Western democracies.
Talent management professionals and human resource practitioners are under intense pressure to demonstrate their positive impact on the performance of the organizations they serve. Historically, talent management and human resources have struggled to definitively quantify their influence on core business performance. As Yeung and Berman note, unlike other business units such as sales and information technology, the talent management and human resource functions of an organization remain “less prepared than many other functions…such as finance or management information systems…to quantify its impact on business performance” (321).
Thus, the study author understands that when researching the question what is the relationship between talent management and organizational performance, the inherent nebulous or weak association between talent management and organizational performance outlined earlier may render the answers challenging to acquire compared to more obvious bottom-line enhancing business functions such as sales (Yeung and Berman 321).
Definition of Terms
The mechanisms or skills used by the human capital to attract employees who exhibit very high skills. This also involves integrating new employees and the development and retention of current employees to meet existing and future business objectives (Bowen, Galang, and Pillai 103).
It generally covers the actual organizational output measured against the intended output. The concept covers specific outcomes areas in the organization including financial, product market performance, and stakeholder returns (Richard, Devinney, Yip, and Johnson 12).
Competitive advantage describes the advantage the organization acquires over its competitors through various means. Typically, however, competitive advantage is usually measured and achieved through the provision of value for the customers’ money by products and services at competitive prices. A competitive advantage can also be achieved by offering value-added services justifiable regardless of higher prices (Yeung and Berman 321)
Human capital refers to the store of aptitudes, knowledge and personality traits personified in an employee. The human capital of each employee is unique to him or her and encompasses the skill sets which an employee develops while at work, through education, training, and experience. Human capital is measured via the distinct ability each employee brings to the table to perform certain labor functions and thereby produce a certain measure of economic value to his or her organization.
Human capital in turn will boost the value of a given employee in the labor marketplace. Human capital presupposes that it is not possible to separate human beings from the values, education, knowledge, acquired skills, physical, mental and emotional health, or areas of expertise in the same manner that they can be alienated from the economic and physical assets that they possess (Bowen, Galang, and Pillai 103; Yeung and Berman 321).
Human resource management (HRM)
Human resource management refers to the general practice of managing the employees of a given organization. Human resource management encompasses standard human resource roles and responsibilities such as compensation, training, bonuses, performance reviews, performance feedback, hiring employees, and terminating employees.
High-performance work practices (HPWP)
High-performance work practices refer to any group of work practices that talent management and human resource management teams implement to boost the performance of the organizations they serve. The most widely accepted definition of high-performance work practices is that they represent “sophisticated recruitment processes, performance appraisals, work redesign and mentoring…[and] reward and commitment practices [such as] various financial rewards, family friendly policies, job rotation and flexi hours” (Sung and Ashton 3).
High-performance work organizations (HPWOs)
High-performance work organizations refer to the group of organizations that have chosen to adopt high-performance work practices as a means of increasing the performance of their organizations (Sung and Ashton 3).
Human resource development (HRD)
Human resource development is a theoretical framework designed to expand the value of human capital within an organization. The goal of human resource development is to boost the level of skills, knowledge, and aptitudes within an organization’s employee base.
Knowledge management (KM)
Knowledge management is best described as an amalgamation of employee “information, ideas, experience and insights” organized into a coherent and transferable body of information that can be accessed by all levels of the organization. Knowledge management is typically used to influence and direct the actions and choices of the organization in certain areas of operation such as information technology (Bolisani and Scarso 61).
Therefore, although knowledge is derived from information, knowledge management differs from information management in that it requires the input of “human judgment, and is based on context and experience” (Bolisani and Scarso 61). As a result, knowledge management projects are understood to rely on “both technical and non-technical elements” (Bolisani and Scarso 61).
Mentorship refers to the practice employed by talent management and human resource teams to pair senior, experienced employees and leaders with new talent. Typically talent management and human resource teams employ mentorship as part of a succession plan in a leadership development framework.
Key performance indicators (KPI)
Key performance indicators or KPIs are actionable items and measures that are linked to the strategic goals of an organization. Senior management teams use key performance indicators to ascertain and quantify the performance level of the organization in real-time. Most organizations use key performance indicators as yardsticks to measure whether or not their strategic plans are achieving the aims they were created to meet.
Chapter I introduces the subject of the study investigation and includes the research questions that will guide the study. This chapter also includes the statement of the problem and the purpose of the study, as well as the definition of the terms that will be used in the dissertation. Chapter I also describes the objectives of the study and the background information that is relevant to the study.
The organizations that operate in the business environment of today encounter an ever more competitive and quickly changing landscape under the influence of several powerful and transformative factors including the rapid onset of globalization, rapidly transforming technological developments, increased and constant innovation, the nullifying of pre-existing trade barriers, and deregulation.
All of these factors have converged to essentially do away with the competitive obstacles of yesteryear and compel several organizations to rethink their competitive approach entirely. In this environment, the organization that can run a tight ship on a fraction of the budget of its competitors will gain the advantage.
Thus, in the time of streamlining organizations, competitive advantage rests on the organization’s ability to consistently boost performance by decreasing its expenses, innovating, perfecting, and developing new products, enhancing and streamlining existing processes, boosting productivity, increasing quality, and decreasing the length of time required to get its products out to the market. As a result, all parts of an organization now experience increasing pressure to make their positive impact on short term and long term performance obvious and enduring.
Organizations that respond to the shifting competitive landscape often fundamentally reconfigure how they seek and acquire their competitive advantage; oftentimes, talent and effective talent management comes to the fore as a means of attaining the competitive edge so many corporations desire. Therefore, one field that has received more than its fair share of attention and scrutiny in terms of its impact on the performance of an organization is the efficient management of human resources and talent, both from a retention perspective as well as a recruiting perspective (Luthans and Sommer 329).
Studies have shown that currently, firms are becoming increasingly dependent on brains. Those that can outdo their competitors in attracting, developing as well as retaining the best talent will experience distinct advantages such as lower operating costs, higher levels of productivity, better quality, more satisfied as well as loyal consumers, and lastly higher financial performance. Despite these advantages, it is worth noting that the majority of organizations’ executives acknowledge that the most challenging task in managing employees is the creation as well as mentioning organizational ability to compete for talent. It is worth noting that the concept is very complex and dynamic.
The literature reviewed in this chapter draws attention to the fact that a the conclusive link between human resource management and organizational performance has yet to be established. Paauwe treats human resource management as a growing subject of academic interest concerned with the examination of the relationship between employees and managers, specifically, the method applied to direct people in organizations (130).
A more exact definition “is difficult to give, as it is dependent on time and context, just like the related field of organizational studies” (Paauwe 130). In essence, the study of talent management and human resource management is made challenging by the fact that every organization possesses a unique character. As Paauwe explains, the arrival of network organizations, the development of the knowledge worker, and the creation of new employment contracts “have all had major implications for the way people are managed in contemporary organisations, meaning that the very object of study that is at the heart of human resource manangement is itself subject to change” (130).
In addition, talent management and human resources management are highly interdisciplinary which can compound the nature of scholarship. As Paauwe notes, this means that the study of talent management and human resource management constitute a lively area of scholarship, “one that brings together researchers with a background in industrial psychology, organizational behaviour, industrial relations, sociology and economics” (130).
What follows is a comprehensive listing of several studies that have been conducted in recent years in the area of talent management, recruiting practices, and human resource management and the relationship that these practices have with an organization’s bottom line. Several studies take talent retention as their focus. Similarly, a number of studies determine that a strong correlation exists between the quality of the leadership in place in an organization as having a direct impact on talent management, especially in the area of talent retention of high-level top performers and knowledge-based employees.
In Human Resource Management and Performance: Still Searching for Some Answers, David E. Guest of King’s College in London reviews studies from the past two decades concerned with demonstrating the relationship between talent management, human resource management, and a firm’s performance in quantifiable, actionable terms (3). Similar to Paauwe, Guest finds several problems with the research, specifically in the area of management processes and the methodology used to conduct the studies (9).
Guest’s conclusion is the research design to date has been inadequate (9). The fundamental questions about the linkages between human talent management, human resource management, and a firm’s performance remain unanswered, Guest argues, because not enough longitudinal research has been conducted on this topic (9).
In Talent Management as a Strategic Practice of Human Resources Management to Improve Human Performance, Ahmad Yousef Areiqat, Tawfiq Abdelhadi, and Hussien Ahmad Al-Tarawneh of the Amman Private University in Jordon research the transformation in human resources management practices and the impact that the move away from traditional human resource practices has had on the performance of firms. Areiqat, Abdelhadi, and Al-Tarawneh argue that the new integration of human resources with business goals entails the acquirement of especially talented individuals, “because great objectives need great workers” (329).
Areiqat, Abdelhadi, and Al-Tarawneh assert that many workers require different management styles to be able to locate and utilize their talents, attain their objectives, and further the performance goals of the firms that engage them (329).
In Strategic Human Resource Management and Its Linkage with HRM Effectiveness and Organizational Performance: Evidence from India, Feza Tabassum Azmi investigates the emergence of strategic human resources. This understanding of human resource management places the practice of talent management as a “strategic partner” in a firm’s performance and strategic objectives (Azmi 3889).
This article investigates the strategic role that talent management, recruiting practices, and human resource management play in the emerging market of India. Azmi asserts that a limited number of studies exist that examine the impact of strategic human resources in non-Western countries (3888). The study delivered “mixed” results, some of which suggest a relationship between talent management and organizational performance in the Indian context, and some which contradict that finding (Azmi 3888).
In Managing Talent to Maximize Performance, Stephen J. Heinen and Colleen O’Neill investigate the relationship between a firm’s competitive advantage and its talent management and human resource management practices. Heinen and O’Neill posit that talent management succeeds in achieving a competitive advantage when it is applied in a “firm specific” manner (67). This study hypothesizes that there is no general relationship between talent management and human resource management and the performance of a firm. Rather, the results demonstrate that successful talent management practices correspond to each firm’s unique organizational culture (Heinen and O’Neill 81).
Similarly, in Worth of Human Resources: Driving Organizational Performance Hugh Mitchell asserts that the impact of strategic human resources on a firm’s performance can be quantified using four performance specific indicators, including “Efficiency, Effectiveness, Relevance to Stakeholders and Financial Viability” (1). However, effective strategic human resource practices are specific to the organization and must create within each organization’s business context (Mitchell 4). Mitchell also asserts that employee engagement and motivation remain the key variables that drive the success of strategic human resource endeavors (2).
In Challenging Times Require a Different Talent Focus, Gordon Barker investigates the impact of the 2009 global economic downturn on the human resource profession, as indicated in a survey of 336 organizations in the United Kingdom. Barker’s study posits that diminished resources have forced talent management and human resource professionals to become more strategic in their allocations and devote less of their budgets to recruitment and more to the implementation of practices that combat employee turnover and engage talent over the long term (25).
In The Impact of HRM Practices on Organisational Performance in the Indian Hotel Industry, Mohinder Chand and Anastasia A. Katou investigate the relationship between the performance of Indian hotel organizations and human resource practices. Chand and Katou surveyed 439 hotels in India and “measured 27 HRM practices, five organisational performance variables, and ten demographic variables” to conclude that the type and category of a particular hotel dictate the success of human resource practices (576). The study results also suggest that human resource practices are more successful in large hotel chains in India than they are in the independent hotels surveyed (Chand and Katou 588).
In HRM: A Key to Competitiveness, David E. Terpstra argues that there is a direct relationship between the selection procedures that a firm uses to attract and select talent and the performance of the firm. Specifically, Terpstra draws a parallel between “the use of valid selection devices at the point of organizational entry” as a means of hiring talent and the success that the firm has in increasing its financial performance (13).
In Talent Management Drives Success, Garrett Ogden studies the relationship between talent management strategies and practices and leadership development in the health care industry of the United States. Ogden asserts that there is a direct correlation between health care organizations’ ability to retain talent and the resources it invests in leadership development and leadership training (11). The study author posits that “leadership development is the engine that drives success in today’s health care environment,” and that effective talent management in turn fuels this engine with competent and inspiring leaders (Ogden 11).
In Talent Management: Driver for Organizational Success, Nancy R. Lockwood investigates the relationship between talent management, human capital, talent retention, and organizational performance. Lockwood asserts that a distinct relationship exists between the culture of a firm and its ability to retain talent (3). Employee engagement in particular benefits from human resource practices that are strategically aligned with the goals of the firm while simultaneously reflecting its organizational culture (3). Lockwood also views leadership development as a key driver of talent retention and a means for organizations to secure a competitive advantage in the global economy (2).
“Sophisticated Talent Management Programs Drive Business Results” discusses the results of a 2010 Ernst and Young survey that demonstrates the relationship between talent management and competitive advantage in global firms. The survey found a relationship between a strategic talent management plan and increased revenue (10). This survey also indicates that talent management practices that continually grow and adapt in line with a firm’s business strategy manifest significant financial gains for their firms (“Sophisticated Talent Management Programs Drive Business Results” 11).
In Using Competency Management to Drive Organizational Performance, Durgin begins by making the readers understand that the changes in the economy globally have made the major traditional strategies of competitive advantage useless or obsolete. The paper acknowledges that competency management is vital in trying to align human resources with the organization’s business plan to come up with a competitive advantage over competitors.
He attributes all these changes to globalization characterized by interconnectedness thanks to the advancement in technology. It is worth remembering that the literature emphasizes the characteristics of the 21-century workplace. The notion is that organization will at all-time need at its disposal highly skilled and competent workers who are technologically literate, globally astute as well as being operationally agile. Durgin suggests that there is a need for organizations to have a culture where effective leadership will be developed within the organization.
In one of the sections, the author lets the readers understand how an organization can start with talent management. The author suggests that it will be better for an organization to look for talent within its workforce due to high competition on the same. Usually, there are a lot of skills and talent untapped right within an organization. Additionally, the ability of an organization to attract, retain, and train highly skilled workers will go the extra mile in ensuring that it attains its goals and objectives. Lastly, there are five steps brought forth by the author in developing a talent management strategy.
These include linking talent management initiatives to the firm’s business strategies, come up with a system that works for a firm that links best practices and technology, developing individual development plans vital in tracking workers offering information with regards to improving on skills as well as their knowledge, embedding accountability all through the levels within the organization and having a mechanism to regularly review progress.
James W. Walker and James M. Larocco. “.” Human Resource Planning Journal 25.3 (2002): 12-14. Print.
In Talent Pools: The Best and the Rest, the authors suggested that organizations need to use talent pools. Although a majority of authors concluded that having the best talent within an organization constitutes the best way to outshine competitors, this is refuted by Walker and LaRacco. They claim that measuring and predicting is a problem. They assert that the talent pool is suitable since it allows for the development of talent for various positions for employees as well as giving a firm more flexibility. Similarly, the development of talent calls for it to be targeted and managed using a wide range of tools and strategies.
Abraham Carmeli and John M. Schaubroeck 2005. ‘, Human Resource Management, vol. 44, no.2, pp. 391–412.
The main findings of the research in How Leveraging Human Resource Capital With Its Competitive Distinctiveness Enhances The Performance Of Commercial And Public Organizations is that organizations seeking to improve performance through increased HR capital are more likely to succeed when they ensure that newly acquired or developed HR capital fully utilizes the existing organizational design in a manner that cannot be readily substituted by alternative resources, is unique and cannot easily be applied to a different organizational design with the same level of effectiveness (Carmeli and Schaubroeck 391).
The research methods used a resource-based view, positing on two main hypotheses, using a quantitative strategy approach, and random sampling. The strengths of the author’s strict structured research approach can be replicated easily. The weakness of the author’s approach to Stereotyping and generalizing the research sample can be measuring weaknesses.
In Analysing the ‘Black Box’ of HRM: Uncovering HR Goals, Mediators, and Outcomes in a Standardized Service Environment, the researchers employ “multi-level study” to analyze the black box of human resource management using an Australian cinema chain as the location of the study (Boxall, Ang, and Bartram 1504). The Australian cinema chain is “a standardized service environment. Management’s espoused goals for the casual workers who run the cinema service include attempts to build customer-oriented behavior, both directly and via empowerment, and also efforts to ensure compliance with company policies and to enhance employee commitment” (Boxall, Ang, and Bartram 1504).
The researchers used an employee survey to conduct the research. Their analysis of the employee survey, as well as performance review of their supervisors’ performance ratings, indicated that “behavioral compliance…is positively associated with rated performance rather than customer-oriented behavior” (Boxall, Ang, and Bartram 1504).
This study also provided evidence of the importance of employee commitment to talent management teams. As the researchers note, “the management process also fosters a level of employee commitment, which has some value in a tight labour market” (Boxall, Ang, and Bartram 1504).
The study shows that talent management, recruiting practices, and human resources initiatives can include “complex and contradictory… messages, consistent with critical accounts of the labour process…suggesting that notions of internal fit need to recognize such tensions” (Boxall, Ang, and Bartram 1504). The results of this study, therefore, underscore the value of recognizing the complexity of agendas in an organization’s “theories of human resource management and then assessing their links via managerial behaviour and employee responses to performance outcomes” (Ang, Boxall, and Bartram 1504).
In HRM Practices, Organizational Citizenship Behaviour, and Performance: A Multi-Level Analysis, the researchers investigated the relationship between human resource management practices “conceptualized at the workplace level, and individual employee attitudes and behaviour” (Snape and Redman 1219). The focus of the findings was conducted using a “study of employees in North-East England [and] suggest that there is a positive impact of human resource management practices on organizational citizenship behaviour, through an effect on perceived job influence/discretion” (Snape and Redman 1219).
The researchers concluded that there were two possible reasons to explain the relationship that the study provided evidence. These included “social exchange and job influence/employee discretion. There was no such effect for perceived organizational support. These findings provide support for a job influence and opportunity explanation of human resource manangement effects on employee attitudes and behaviour” (Snape and Redman 1219).
In HRM and Performance: A Plea for Reflexivity in HRM Studies, Janssens and Steyaert conducted a counterpoint study to “build on Paauwe’s suggestions to take the field of HRM and Performance further. Rather than aiming for a synthesis or proposing a radical alternative, we argue that Reconstructive reflexivity is needed for theorizing HRM” (Janssens and Steyaert 143). In particular, the researchers applied several critical insights from previous academic studies outlining the relationship between performance and HRM. The researchers ended the counterpoint by suggesting these measures may offer insight to HRM researchers and encouraging reflexivity in the study of talent management and human resources (Janssens and Steyaert 143).
In The Role of Human Resource Management: An Exploratory Study Of Cross-Country Variance Bowen, Galang, and Pillai investigated how HR changes from one country to another and determined two areas of difference: perceptions of the role of human resources, and how human resources and strategy are linked (Bowen, Galang, and Pillai 103). The researchers also conducted a “resource based view of the firm,” which included organizational capability and its competitive advantage (Bowen, Galang, and Pillai 103). The results of this study demonstrated “significant differences in HRM status across countries” (Bowen, Galang, and Pillai 103). Strong relationships between human resource management and organizational competency were observed (Bowen, Galang, and Pillai 103).
In The HR Department’s Role In Organisational Performance, the researchers encountered challenges in the investigation of the relationship between talent management and the performance of the organization. The researchers admit that how “human resources management contributes to organisational performance is plentiful yet plagued by challenges” (Hailey, Farndale, and Truss 49). The researchers present a longitudinal case study for the study object.
The research presented concerns itself with this issue mainly and demonstrated the intricate relationship between human resources, financial performance, and employee engagement (Hailey, Farndale, and Truss 49). This study implies that the conflict between the discourse of human resource management strategy, employee dissatisfaction, and the dearth of attention toward human capital investment creates an inability for firms to sustain consistent financial performance over the long term (Hailey, Farndale, and Truss 49).
In Complexities and Controversies in Linking HRM with Organizational Outcomes, Truss researched several businesses with headquarters in the United Kingdom to measure the relationship between human resources and the performance of the firm. The research conducted around these various businesses located in the United Kingdom demonstrates that “many successful organizations do not maintain the highest human resource management standards, and there is often discrepancy between practice and intention” (Truss 1121).
Measuring Organizational Performance: Towards Methodological Best Practice set out to investigate the relationship between organizational performance and talent management and human resources management practices. Organizational performance remains a key element of management scholarship. Past studies show a “multidimensional conceptualization” of firm performance-linked mainly to stakeholders and market forces (Richard, Devinney, Yip, and Johnson 12).
The researchers conducted a review of several studies to determine a theoretical basis for performance (Richard, Devinney, Yip, and Johnson 12). The researchers also concluded with a suggestion for research that investigates “triangulation using multiple measures, longitudinal data and alternative methodological formulations” as research techniques designed to coalesce study environments with performance measures (Richard, Devinney, Yip, and Johnson 12).
Pace conducted a research study on Australian Employers Talk Talent: HR Executives Down Under Don’t Have The Systems In Place To Support Strategic Talent Mobility to ascertain the current rate and ease of talent mobility in Australian companies. The researcher surveyed 100 human resource management teams and key decision-makers in these Australian companies (Pace 18). The survey was entitled the Taleo Talent Mobility Survey Australia (Pace 18).
While Pace found that the majority of organizations are cognizant of the need for effective talent mobility strategies in the workplace of today, they remain hamstrung and incapable of implementing these strategies due to system inadequacies and deficiencies in the area of data collection (18). Although 34 percent of talent management professionals surveyed replied that it was “important” and 65 percent answered that it was “extremely important” to mandate the requirements of talent and source talent gaps for vital roles in their organizations, most of the respondents surveyed are unable to track requirement or implement a talent strategy because they do not have the suitable technological infrastructure in place (Pace 18). As Pace notes, “only 27 percent of companies report the use of dedicated talent management systems” (18).
This study also determined that leadership was a key component lacking in the existing talent mobility structures of the organizations. As Pace explains, “36 percent of Australian employers highly rate the quality of their…succession plans…yet the majority of managers (54 percent) are not…accountable for moving talent throughout their organizations” (18).
The significance of this study lies in the evidence it provides to indicate that talent management teams in some business environments are not equipped to deal with the changing nature of the business, as outlined previously (Durgin 9; Paauwe 130). As Pace explains, “ensuring that you maintain your organization’s critical talent and know where you can move them to maximize the organization’s capabilities is a much more cost-effective way to manage your resources than trying to buy these skills” (19).
Durgin conducted a study of the impact of leadership on a firm’s performance.
This study is relevant to the research at hand given that the success of a talent management team relates directly to the acquisition of qualified leads, and leadership itself is the single most important factor that affects the performance of an organization. Durgin points to a global dearth of talent, particularly in the area of information technology and the knowledge economy (9). “Because of the worldwide shortage of talent for the knowledge economy most companies will need to find most of their future leaders within their own ranks” (Durgin 9). This reality places extra pressure on talent management and human resource management teams.
Strong leaders possess the ability to spearhead company change initiatives and lead talent through intense periods of transition, which in turn manifests as an increase in the retention rates for top performers (Durgin 9). Thus, a strong talent management team sets as its primary goal the acquisition and retention of stellar leaders.
Durgin points to several trends that have had a direct impact on the ability of talent management teams to carry out their appointed tasks, particularly in the area of engaging and recruiting qualified leadership. These trends include “the information explosion [and] the adoption of new technologies, globalization..changing skill requirements, shifts in values, and aging leadership” (Durgin 4). Similarly, talent management teams must compete for the most desirable workers, which sometimes creates a bidding war or devious and underhanded recruiting practices. “The competition for talent also affects a company’s ability to retain talent” (Durgin 9).
The relationship between talent management, recruiting practices, and the performance of an organization manifests most obviously in the area of succession plans designed to replace lead in the process of attrition. Thus, succession planning becomes the key responsibility of the talent management team. “Successful succession planning for leadership positions by identifying agile learners and supporting their career growth will improve leadership bench strength,” which in turn links to increased performance (Durgin 9).
Several social factors that have arisen in recent years have also had a significant impact on the talent management field. As Durgin notes, “today’s workers don’t feel the same loyalty to a company as previous generations…A succession plan that recognizes agile learners…and provides them with leadership opportunities
…greatly improves talent retention rates” (9). In addition, great changes have occurred in the traditional management structure of most of the world’s major organizations. In the year 2012 and beyond, not only is the labor force becoming increasingly global but the workforce itself “is growing increasingly flat as organizations abandon their decades-old vertical hierarchies and move toward more horizontal structures” (Pace 18).
Employee turnover remains a major challenge for talent management, recruiting practices, and human resource management teams. Frangou and Kontoghiorghes conducted a study to investigate the relationship between employee turnover and the performance of an organization. The researchers chose a broadcasting organization in Cyprus as the location of the study. The researchers surveyed 197 of the employees at the broadcasting organization to test the most significant indicators of talent retention and the degree to which talent retention corresponds to the performance of the firm (Frangou and Kontoghiorghes 29).
According to Frangou and Kontoghiorghes, the research demonstrated that on top of the typical predictors of employee turnover such as job dissatisfaction, turnover among high-level employees has an association with several other features (29). In addition, the researchers note, “talent retention was highly correlated with quality performance and other factors directly affecting the bottom line” (Frangou and Kontoghiorghes 29).
The findings from this study revealed that employee turnover tends to have a demoralizing effect on the morale of the employees left behind, which in turn can affect productivity and performance. The retention of high-level talent, according to this study, depends on several factors, including “employee autonomy, risk taking…tolerance of mistakes, open communications, and good supervisory relations” (Frangou and Kontoghiorghes 29).
The researchers discovered that talent retention was found to show its most significant associations and relationship with a series of organizational dimensions, including “a change-driven organizational culture…speedy operations…effective recruitment and selection of talent…and [a] high degree of organizational flexibility” (Frangou and Kontoghiorghes 34). This latter finding is of special interest to the current study, as leadership continues to demonstrate a strong correlation between several of the factors related to talent management and the performance of an organization. Other significant factors that the researchers found to correlate with talent retention include “the promotion of creativity by the organization, the extent to which the organization is characterized by a quality-driven culture, [and] company satisfaction” (Frangou and Kontoghiorghes 34).
The stronger the leadership team that the organization has in place, therefore, the stronger the relationship between talent retention. In addition, strong leadership demonstrates a consistent relationship between the adoption of high-performance work practices and the success of these work practices at affecting the performance of the firm. In addition, talent retention was shown to correlate significantly with “effective knowledge management…employee involvement in decision making, and the extent to which the organization has no absenteeism problems” (Frangou and Kontoghiorghes 34).
In terms of statistical significance, therefore, the researchers concluded that “all 28 organizational factors examined by this study were found to be significantly and positively correlated with talent retention” (Frangou and Kontoghiorghes 34). Organizational culture is paramount, according to the results of this study, in talent retention (Frangou and Kontoghiorghes 34). Talent retention, therefore, seems to exist as a result of organizational culture and emotional awards such as autonomy, trust, and respect.
High-Performance Work Practices
High-performance work practices are “characterized by a set of workplace arrangements that equip workers with the proper abilities, the means, and the motivation to do their jobs” (Frangou and Kontoghiorghes 29). Several studies reviewed indicate that high-performance work practices – when implemented in the proper context and in an organizational culture that embraces them – remain highly successful methods whereby high-level employees can be retained.
Combs, Liu, Hall, and Ketchen employed meta-analysis in a study to determine the impact and relevance of high-performance work practices on the performance of an organization. Again, while a significant body of evidence exists to support the theory that high-performance work practices have a positive impact on organizational performance, sustaining a definitive measure across multiple organizations proved challenging for these researchers (Combs, Liu, Hall, and Ketchen 501).
The statistical aggregation of 92 studies reviewed by Combs, Liu, Hall, and Ketchen indicated an “overall correlation that [the researchers] estimated at.20” (Combs, Liu, Hall, and Ketchen 501). The researchers concluded therefore that the findings could serve as a way to “shape research practices such that future meta-analyses might answer today’s emerging questions” in the area of talent management and firm performance (Combs,Liu, Hall, and Ketchen 501).
The Department of Trade and Industry in the United Kingdom commissioned a study of the relationship between organizational performance and talent management, recruiting practices, and human resource management practices, particularly in the area of high-performance work practices. Using evidence gleaned from a survey of 294 companies and case studies involving 10 organizations in the United Kingdom, the researcher’s Sung and Ashton compiled a report entitled High-Performance Work Practices: Linking Strategy and Skills to Performance Outcomes.
The companies that underwent case study investigation included Aspect Capital, Bacardi, and Martini UK, Data Connection, Flight Centre, I-level, Pannone and Partners, Quest Diagnostics, St. Luke’s, Timpson, and W.L. Gore. According to Sung and Ashton, the study authors, the research revealed a significant statistical relationship between talent management, recruiting practices, and human resource management practices, particularly in the area of high-performance work practices.
The report indicated that the organizations that deployed high-performance work practices and linked them directly to the performance goals of the firm demonstrated higher returns in the area of firm performance (Sung and Ashton 4). The results showed “a relationship between…HPWPs used and the performance goals of the organisation, the type of sector a business operates in and how the relevant product strategy in a particular organisation is employed to achieve results” (Sung and Ashton 4).
The results of this study may offer some insight as to why it is such a challenge for researchers to determine a definitive measurement of the relationship between talent management, recruiting practices, and human resource management practices and the performance of an organization, as outlined in the introduction. Evidence suggests that high-performance work practices remain individual outcomes that are idiosyncratically linked to the firm’s performance based on individual and distinguishing factors such as the sector of business that the firm operates in.
This may explain why some talent, recruiting practices, and management and human resource management practices will demonstrate a positive impact on a firm’s performance whereas the same talent management, recruiting practices, and human resource management practices applied in a different firm will show no impact whatsoever, or even a negative impact.
Another element of interest to the current study as demonstrated by Sung and Ashton’s study is the specificity that can be created via the use of the case study research method. The specificity of intention seems to be the key factor behind the success of the high-performance work practices highlighted in these 10 case studies (Sung and Ashton 19). The more definitive and clear the business objective is behind the implementation of the high-performance work practices, the more of an impact is witnessed in the performance of the firm (Sung and Ashton 19).
In addition, the case studies indicate that organizations value more than technical skills in the bulk of their works. So-called soft skills such as emotional intelligence and leadership appear to be highly valued outcomes of high-performance work practices in the organizations featured in the case studies (Sung and Ashton 4).
Finally, this study revealed several of the key component related to an organizational culture which remains factors behind the success of any talent management and human resource management practices: these include shared values, trust, employee commitment, and employee buy-in (Sung and Ashton 19). The success of the high-performance work practices in all of the case studies was rooted in the employee and the strength of his or her commitment.
The greater part of the high-performance work practices in play in these organizations requires the practices to be founded on the starting point of solid employee engagement with the organization’s strategy (Sung and Ashton 19). These factors ensure the existence of a high degree of trust (Sung and Ashton 19). In each of these case studies, reliable and lucid people-oriented processes provide the basis for “successful HPWPs and for sustained organisational performance” (Sung and Ashton 19).
Organizational performance may benefit from the relationship between employees and organizations in several areas, including the impact of strategic collaboration, business capability, knowledge management and knowledge sharing, employee innovation, creativity, free enterprise, growth, vision, sustainability, trust, infrastructure, and technological capability (Ussahawanitchakit, Phapruke, and Yasamorn 1).
Several of the studies reviewed in this chapter indicate that a far more complex relationship than hitherto understood exists between talent management and human resources management and the performance of an organization. This relationship is made complex due to the individual qualities and needs that each employee brings to the table in the area of talent management and human resource management.
Although it is a largely accepted theory among economic researchers as well as researchers in the social sciences that employees represent a cohesive body of “rational actors [who will] make decisions that will maximize expected outcomes,” in practice, this is rarely the case (Frick 368). Frick argues that worker actions are often “irrational,” and inherently unpredictable, and resistant to managerial input (368).
In the 2001 book Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’t, James Collins investigated several high performing organizations to ascertain if there were identifiable patterns within the organizational cultures or within the labor forces themselves that would indicate the reason for the organization’s success. In this investigation, Collins uncovered two key elements that may explain the X factor between talent management and the performance of a firm: the first factor is “expending energy trying to motivate people is largely a waste of time” (Collins 74).
The second factor is “you cannot manufacture passion or motivate people to feel passionate. You can only discover what ignites your passion and the passion of those around you” (Collins 109). The latter factor suggests that there might well be an ineffable quality known as a passion that ignites the performance of some organizations – an ineffable quality that cannot be purchased, managed or recruited.
Knowledge workers represent a growing breed of top-tier talent that talent management and human resources management teams have an increasing need to retain. Knowledge workers represent a group of employees “valued for their ability to gather, analyze, interpret, and synthesize information within specific subject areas to advance the overall understanding of those areas and allow organizations to make better decisions” (Frick 368). The acquisition and retention of this community of workers increasingly fall within the purview of talent management and human resources management teams (Frick 368).
Knowledge workers represent a burgeoning sector of the labor force (Frick 368). Knowledge workers represent the core of numerous federal bodies, and the knowledge worker is the spine of many industries. Within the federal government, Frick notes, the whole department consists principally of knowledge workers (368). Although the actual term “knowledge worker” did not come into common usage until 1999, millions of workers the world over now reside within this category (Frick 368).
Developing talent management to suit the needs of knowledge workers, according to Frick, represents a realm of research that has been overlooked by human resource scholarship (368). Indeed, a dearth of published research on knowledge workers has been identified by Frick and others (Frick 368). To a large extent, in the current technological climate, there exists a direct correlation between the performance of knowledge workers and the performance of the firms they serve (Frick 368). Therefore, as Frick notes, the “identifying factors that influence the performance of knowledge workers may be critical to maintaining high levels of organizational performance” (368).
Chapter II includes a detailed overview of several studies that have investigated the relationship between talent management and human resources management practices and the performance of an organization. These studies delineated the impact of talent management and human resources management practices and determined that the impact of talent management and human resources management practices on a firm’s performance is directly attributable to organizational culture and leadership. Several of the studies reviewed in this chapter also revealed the vital role that employee turnover plays in talent management.
Talent retention, by extension, is directly linked in several studies to the quality of the organizational culture. According to the consensus of these studies, developing a coherent response to employee turnover remains the key issue facing talent management and human resource professionals in the current business environment.
The following chapter outlines the methods used to investigate the central research questions. The study utilizes primary research to determine the answers to the guiding research questions. The primary research method consists of a case study interview methodology. The secondary research method utilizes the qualitative research technique of document analysis to develop the thesis that talent management links directly to organizational performance, particularly in the area of leadership, senior management teams, and driving effective change management initiatives.
The research design of a study refers to the research methods that the study author uses to acquire the information he or she needs to complete the study and answer the research questions to the best of his or her ability (De Vaus 20; Denzin 19). The design of the research study must also encourage objectivity to the best of the study author’s ability (De Vaus 20; Denzin 19). The research design also needs to allow the study author to respond to each of the research questions in the clearest and unambiguous manner possible (De Vaus 20; Denzin 19).
Document analysis refers to an orderly method of examining and appraising various forms of documents as a means to acquire meaning and relevance for a research study. In the same manner, as several other analytical procedures and techniques found in qualitative research, document analysis entails that the collected data be investigated and decoded to discover relevance, acquire understanding, and build upon the existing base of observed knowledge about the phenomenon or phenomena under investigation (Bowen 27; Corbin and Strauss 8; Patton 90; Rapley 7). The principal research caveat that the researcher encountered – which will be discussed understudy limitations – is that in document analysis, the documents under investigation “contain text…, words…and images that have been recorded without a researcher’s intervention” (Bowen 28).
The documents that a researcher might use for a study based on the document analysis method of qualitative research vary widely. The researcher may choose to employ several items for “systematic evaluation” once he or she has deemed them relevant to the research questions (Bowen 28). This study utilizes a range of print sources, consumer surveys, academic journals, official government statistics, economic reports, and business backgrounders, as well as electronically based sources such as computer-generated material and material created and disseminated for and by the Internet to meet the research goals and purposes hitherto discussed, and expound upon existing knowledge in the field of brand management (Bowen 29; Corbin and Strauss 20).
The critical method employed in document analysis procedures requires the acquisition, distillation, and critical evaluation of the data gleaned from within the documents that the researchers assemble; decoding occurs at the same time that the researcher synthesizes the information obtained from the documents (Bowen 29; Corbin and Strauss 20). Thus, the researcher determines the relevance of the documents to the research questions as he or she encounters them.
The document analysis research method generates data such as extracts, quotes, or full cited passages that the researcher then classifies according to any significant themes that develop (Bowen 29; Corbin and Strauss 20). Key themes, groupings, and patterns emerge specifically via the close analytical relationship that develops between the researcher and the content (Bowen 29).
As a research technique, document analysis remains perfectly suitable for qualitative case studies (Bowen 29; Yin 94). The documents collected using the document analysis research method provides several different purposes of use to the qualitative researcher embarking upon a study. The material collected as part of the document analysis research method gives the researcher access to areas of research that would remain unavailable in other qualitative research practices and methods such as surveys and interviews (Bowen 29).
For this study, the researcher chose the document analysis research method for the following reasons:
- Economical Technique. Compared to other forms of qualitative research, the document analysis research method occupies less time for the researcher, as it “requires data selection, instead of data collection” (Bowen 29). Efficiency-wise, the document analysis research method surpasses other research methods.
- Ease of Use. Compared to other forms of qualitative research, many of the documents used in this study were available via online sources. As Bowen explains, “many documents are in the public domain, especially since the advent of the Internet, and are obtainable without the authors’ permission” (29).
- Low-Cost Alternative. Compared to other forms of qualitative research, the
- document analysis research method of data collection remains more cost-effective. Similarly, researchers often employ the document analysis research method when the acquisition of new data cannot be made economically viable (Bowen 29).
- Less Intrusion and Built-In Guards against Reactivity and Reflexivity. Reactivity in psychology and sociology refers to the phenomenon that occurs when research subjects internalize the understanding that they are being observed and alter their behavior as a result (Bowen 28; Heppner 331). In research design, “the dependent variable should be sensitive to some characteristic of the participant, but the assessment process itself should not affect the characteristic directly” (Heppner 331). The documents obtained via the document analysis research method remain inconspicuous and lacking in reactivity because they are “unaffected by the research process” (Bowen 29). The document analysis research method of data collection safeguards against the “the concerns related to reflexivity…or the lack of it…inherent in other qualitative research methods” (Bowen 29). Similarly, reflexivity in qualitative research refers to the impact that the researcher will have upon the research (Bowen 29). Reflexivity is the ongoing project of investigating how the researcher and intersubjective elements meet and transform each other (Bowen 29). Reflexivity necessitates an ongoing attentiveness to the researcher’s role in the creation of meanings that stem from interpersonal communications and requires the recognition that the researcher can and often does influence the findings of his or her research, consciously or unconsciously (Bowen 29; Heppner 331). In the document analysis research method, observation does not affect the documents themselves, because they are static, non-human subjects (Bowen 29; Heppner 331).
- Constancy. In the document analysis research method, the gathered documents remain fixed, stable objects appropriate for several re-examinations and reassessments as the research project progresses (Bowen 29). The constancy of the documents also means that the presence of the researcher does not transform their content (Bowen 29; Heppner 331).
- Accuracy. For researchers, the presence of precise names, dates, occurrences, facts, and information found in the document gathered during the document analysis research method makes these documents particularly beneficial during the study phase (Bowen 29; Yin 94).
- Treatment. The documents collected as part of during the document analysis research method typically cover a wide range of historical periods, proceedings, and facts (Bowen 29; Yin 94). These documents also record numerous settings, contexts, and points of view; therefore, the documents treat a far more broad range of perspectives, cultures, and socioeconomic backgrounds than a single researcher could gain access to in a single survey or interview setting (Bowen 29; Yin 94).
Throughout the study, the researcher intended to demonstrate the ability to recognize relevant data from the document sources collected and to detach it from the data that the researcher deemed irrelevant or secondary (Bowen 29; Corbin and Strauss 20).
The researcher also relied significantly on thematic analysis to conduct this study. Thematic analysis refers to a type of pattern identification that emerges from within the data sources, as they are being studied, that proves relevant to the research questions (Bowen 29; Fereday and Muir-Cochrane 80). The method of thematic analysis follows a thorough, close reading of the documents under investigation; the data under review is closely analyzed to discover inherent patterns (Bowen 29; Fereday and Muir-Cochrane 80).
The researcher performs a thorough evaluation of the chosen data and determines specific “coding and category construction, based on the data’s characteristics, to uncover themes pertinent to a phenomenon” (Bowen 33). These rising themes eventually derive the categories that organize the overall structure of the study and the phenomenon under analysis, in this case, buyer behavior and brand recognition (Bowen 29; Fereday and Muir-Cochrane 80). The secondary research method of analysis utilizes the qualitative research technique of document analysis to develop the thesis that talent management links directly to organizational performance, particularly in the area of leadership, senior management teams and driving effective change management initiatives (Bowen 29; Fereday and Muir-Cochrane 80).
Dealing with the research questions, the study author plans to use an interpretive epistemological position and to build on a qualitative strategy approach. Since this will allow the study author to take a more exploratory role, to review and analyze the relationship between the talent management techniques as part of human resource management practices and the organization performance, and the extent to which the talent management techniques are impacting the overall organization performance.
The main drive that influenced the study author’s decision to use the interpretivist epistemological position to underpin the research is the study author is aiming to consider the social world factors, as in examining the individual’s experience. As well as to understand if these social factors impact this phenomenon from their perspective and how it can apply to research scope. Whereas taking this epistemological position as a theory-building approach to conclude and assess the extent to which talent management techniques as part of human resource management practices can affect the organization goals.
The author’s research approach is to have a qualitative study, which is intended to help in observe and understand more the linkage between the talent management techniques and the organization performance. This will be less structured and scientific in comparison to quantitative study; Qualitative research as used in this study seeks to contextualize the research by immersing the author into the study scenario as well as with the study subjects.
A case study as a subtype of qualitative research is used to ensure that the study is flexible enough to give the author room to investigate issues that were not previously thought of and could be worth being brought to light. However, it will fit well with the interpretivist epistemology that will be used in this paper. Moreover, it provides the means and flexibility to ask exploratory questions around the everyday world and will permit developing theories in a bottom-up manner from the data. The author envisaged two advantages that are highly important using this research approach; the first one is its flexibility, the second is the possibility to have more interaction with participants during the research.
The research question is ‘The relationship between talent management techniques, recruitment practices, and organization performance? Whereas this question raises an important debate, whether or not the talent management techniques do have an impact upon organization performance, this question requires an exploratory approach to research the answer, an approach that doesn’t require positing hypotheses about this phenomenon.
On the contrary, to start gathering data and analyze, based on the analysis, we will find answers that can lead to a conclusion. The author believes that to find such mystery and understand that kind of relationship between Talent management and organization performance, there is a need to use an epistemology position that can successfully appreciate to an extent the social facts and human being factor that exist in the objective world.
Furthermore, taking the interpretivist epistemology position will provide a suitable approach to start without the need to posit some hypotheses, or identifying different variables in prior. However, the general idea that comes from the question will prevail over the research trend, on how can these Talent management techniques impact the organization performance; what do talent management constitutes and contains, what are the key measurement of organization performance, the way we can we link and find this relationship to observe it and measure the impact of these practices.
On the other hand, using a positivist epistemology to underpin this research will not benefit the general idea that the author seeks, which is not relying upon positing hypotheses and empiricism practice. Furthermore, since the author believes that people may be the most influencing factor in this equation of how talent management techniques do affect organization performance, it will be difficult to rely on a positivist epistemology that is focusing on society and social structures as a collective, rather than focusing on individuals.
Using a post-positivism epistemology can be a good alternative, whereas it provides the flexibility of a possible theory-building approach, through generating theory from observations. In plus there, using this epistemology, the research can be more open to alternative methodologies and methods. However, the drawback is that human or people factor cannot be calibrated into some specific equation, where this epistemology posits that Individual values are not necessarily recognized as important or influential factors.
Qualitative research is also employed in the study; the approach seeks to contextualize the research by immersing the author into the study scenario as well as with the study subjects. A case study as a subtype of qualitative research is used to ensure that the study is flexible enough to give the author room to investigate issues that were not previously thought of and could be worth being brought to light.
The author plans to have a sample gathered from interviews which mainly will be conducted with HR managers, line managers, executives, and six employees. There will be two HR managers (Country HR manager and Regional HR manager). Two Executives (Country manager and VP Region). Two-line managers (Completions manager, and Finance Manager) and six employees in middle management and entry-level. In the total number of twelve interviews. The author plans to conduct insider research. All management approvals required were obtained. The paper will not reveal any confidential information that can negatively affect the company. Moreover, the author has sent formal communications to the Human Resources managers, regional HR managers and are in the consensus of the plan and research scope.
The focus of this study was mainly on personnel management or HR management level. The employees interviewed are at the production level. The research within this study is valid in that it is based on sound, tried and tested research techniques which include qualitative research technique utilizing unstructured interviews, data analysis using a coding system to group data, and listing this about themes to facilitate a conceptualization process.
The reliability of the research can be demonstrated through the list of interviewees and sample transcript as well as through a reliability and credibility analysis. The research is based on interpretivist epistemology, where the author uses a qualitative research approach, the sample will be sufficient to generate adequate and enough information that will benefit the aim of underpinning the research question.
Although this sampling strategy may have some limitations, such as; 1. Bias is a major criticism; since as an insider researcher, the privilege to choose the sample, non-randomly; there is a possibility of having a bias in choosing the sample. The author’s approach to mitigating this bias will be choosing the sample based on research needs, which positions or job roles need to be interviewed and can contribute to the knowledge needed, despite their identity.
From an ethical consideration, everyone involved in the research sample is a willing participant with a guarantee of confidentiality and the ability to withdraw or halt the interview at any stage. All the research objectives were discussed with all interviewees before the interviews. Some ethical aspects will be raised and need to be considered while conducting the research; some of these aspects are as follows:
Professional integrity and upholding scientific standards
The approach to research an insider researcher may cause biases since the author will be in a direct relationship with the subjects who will be interviewed. The author plans to research in an honest, open, and transparent manner – as far as it is possible. As well as being independent, objective, and honest in the way the author conducts the research (Denscombe 20). The author will mitigate any biases that can occur when dealing with colleagues, managers, or information related to a career path within the company.
Furthermore, as an insider researcher, there will be no funding for this research, and the author will work fully independent and under no pressure from any party. The data will be collected via legitimate means, and with the approval of the company and target subjects who will take part in the interviews. The selection of the research question and the conceptualization of the research design will not predetermine an outcome, and will not exclude unwanted findings from the outset.
Avoid personal harm
The research question and topic may not affect the subjects whom the author plans to interview, but to an extent, it can be argued that some answers may not be preferred or favored by company management. There is a need to ensure no harm will affect those subjects. All the participants in the research through the interviewing process will be aware of the research purpose, the research questions, and their part in the research.
On top of all, the subjects who are participating in the study will be informed ahead that it is a voluntary decision and that they can withdraw at any part of the process. Participant names will not be revealed, their identity will stay anonymous. They will not be asked for written consent, whereas the nature of research is finding the nature of the relationship between talent management practices and the organization’s performance.
An insider researcher, there is a possibility of influence that may happen from the company or management if they will sponsor the research. The influence that may lead to an unbiased research approach. This research will not be funded or sponsored by any party. There will be independence except for the review of the case study by the company to ensure there are no confidential data that is exposed to the public that may harm the organization.
Confidentiality of data
Part of the research will include the business case study over the company where the author works, a multinational organization working in the oil and gas industry, the information targeted such impact of talent management techniques, the means and strategies that the company is using to attract talents, the extent to which these strategies affect the overall organization performance. This type of information is highly confidential and revealing such as accurate information and its impact should be done in a manner that is protecting the organization. Access to data is approved through official channels.
Code of ethics
There will be a need to adopt one of the codes of research into the research, which does encompass several criteria to ensure that the research follows an ethical approach. The research will adopt ethical standards and will be conducted in accord with recognized ethical principles.
The author reached convection that relying on unstructured interviews as a research technique is the best fit for the research question and subject, at this stage. More in-depth interviews, an informal interview that will allow the respondent to be at ease. However, even when using this technique of an unstructured interview, the author will be in control to an extent that the flow of information coming from the respondent and the questions that I am asking, is to ensure maintaining the flow in a manner that contributes to the academic topic.
One of the popular data collecting techniques in the social research field; is the Questionnaire technique; which is a highly structured technique where questions are predefined, and answers are limited to specific choices that can be easily analyzed once filled by the respondent. However, it doesn’t fit into the methodology which the author plans to adopt, (even though it has some advantages such as cost-effectiveness, as well it might be the easiest technique in terms of administration). However, despite it has limitations, such as; a possibility of a low response rate, as well the author cannot confirm that the respondent himself is filling the questionnaire, and one major limitation as it doesn’t provide the social interaction needed for this research topic.
Other techniques such as interviews, which are widely used to assess people’s experience and collect data accordingly, based on the structuring degree it encompass three main types; structured, unstructured, and semi-structured. Speaking of the first category; the structured interviews, which attain a higher response rate than the questionnaire technique, as well the interviewer/ author can always clear any misunderstanding to ensure a clear and accurate answer from respondent.
However, still, it can be negatively perceived that such a type of interviews aims to control the encounter, moreover, whereas the research approach that I am planning to adopt, is to have social interaction with the respondent as a qualitative author, the structured interview extracts accurate information from the interviewee without forming any sort of relationship.
Focus groups are one of the research techniques that attracted the author’s attention due to its various benefits, such as; its time-efficient, and it will generate a large amount of data, there will be always a possibility of direct interaction with the respondent. However, it has its limitations as well such as; there is a possibility of bias that can happen during getting a response from the group, equally important the result can be affected by overzealous facilitation, as in the author can mistakenly affect the group answers.
Based on these various research techniques as presented above; the author realizes that, the unstructured interview will be the favored technique that I can use to generate data from the target respondent; As it provides the in-depth interview, the social interaction, and greater flexibility to receive more elaboration upon some areas during the interview. While every approach and method will have strong points as well as limitation points. The use of unstructured interviews does provide flexibility for the author, plus it is allowing the respondent to have some additional inputs into the interview session, as explanation and elaboration, which may add knowledge to the academic subject.
Furthermore, some limitation aspects rise from the point that the effective interviewing experience will rely upon the extent to which the author understands the cultural environment the respondent comes from. Moreover, the success of the interview as social interaction will always rely upon the author’s ability to build rapport with the respondent in a manner that does not harm the bias of the interview.
Data collection is a vital element of a research study that helps to legitimize the research findings; it also affords the study with credibility and maintains the integrity of the study and the researcher’s purpose. For this study, the grounded theory developed by Glaser and Strauss directed the collection of documents used to create the body of secondary research (67). The grounded theory refers to the uncovering of a viable theoretical direction for research gleaned from the data itself (Glaser and Strauss 67). As Bowen explains, “in grounded theory research, as in other forms of qualitative inquiry, the investigator is the primary instrument of data collection and analysis” (29).
In this dual role of investigator and analyst, the researcher “relies on skills as well as intuition and filters data through an interpretive lens” (Bowen 29). As both investigator and analyst, the researcher concurrently mines and examines the data that has been extracted from the selected documents in a form of hypothetical sampling, or as Strauss and Corbin explain, “sampling on the basis of concepts that have proven theoretical relevance to the evolving theory” (176). In data collection based on grounded theory, the theory that guides the study evolves via the concomitant collection of data, and the researcher serves the simultaneous functions of theory designer, theory builder, and data filtration unit (Bowen 29; Glaser and Strauss 67).
The author plans to use qualitative data analysis that is based upon grounded theory as well as saturation point analysis. Grounded theory methodology sits well with the qualitative epistemology position that will be used in the research. Whereas the author rather than starting the research by a theory in mind, I will start with an area of study, which will be in this study; the Human Resource Management strategies’ linkage with organization performance. Afterwards, by collection data then analyzing it, this will permit the author to be able to formulate a theory (Bowen 29; Glaser and Strauss 67).
The main idea of the grounded theory is that the themes and issues which deemed to be important need to be triggered from the data that are collected, and not applied to this data. Drawing from a constant comparison approach; starting with looking at the data, reviewing and highlighting main key points that can be classified into themes from important words or phrases, afterwards classifying the themes where the author needs to connect the dots to relate the highlighted words and phrases from the former stage to a specific incidence and theme of the research, and start indexing these themes. From this point, we will reach saturation point analysis; as the title of this stage explains, that we are reaching a stage that no more themes can be drawn from what the author highlights as significant.
What is explained above is the process of which, the author will generate a theory using grounded theory, which illustrates the crucial role of data analysis in the construction of theory for qualitative authors (Bowen 29; Glaser and Strauss 67).
Drawing from a constant comparison approach; starting with looking at the data, reviewing and highlighting main key points that can be classified into themes from important words or phrases, afterwards classifying the themes where the author needs to connect the dots to relate the highlighted words and phrases from the former stage to a specific incidence and theme of the research, and start indexing these themes. From this point, we will reach saturation point analysis; as the title of this stage explains, that we are reaching a stage that no more themes can be drawn from what the author highlights as significant.
What is explained above is the process of which, as an author I will be able to build or generate a theory using grounded theory, which illustrates the crucial role of data analysis in the construction of theory for qualitative authors. As Strauss concluded: “theory which is derived inductively from the data, which were systematically gathered and analyzed throughout the research process” (Strauss and Corbin 67).
Cronbach’s test is often used as a method to determine the degree of reliability for a given data set (Ogden 9). The reliability tests were conducted on the main variables. These have been known to affect human resource productivity within any organization and as such, they are considered important for this study. Six items within the questionnaires related to talent management, six covered organizational performance. Based on the Cronbach’s test the following summary is tabulated here below.
|Variables||No of Items (K)||ř = K(K-1)/2||Cronbach’s alpha |
(α = Kř/(1+(K -1) ř)
Table 1: Reliability analysis.
Used as a rule of the thumb the following scale below shows the generally accepted internal consistency ranges based on the Cronbach’s alpha (α)
Where the value of:
- α is greater than or equal to 0.9 the reliability of that item under study isconsidered excellent
- α lies between 0.9 and 0.8 the reliability of that item is considered good
- α lies between 0.8 and 0.7 reliability here is considered acceptable
- α lies between 0.7 and 0.6 reliability of such data is questionable
- α lies between 0.6 and 0.5 reliability is considered poor
Any value below 0.5 is considered unacceptable. From the scale it can be concluded that the internal consistency for each of the variables identified above was excellent indicating that the variables passed the reliability test.
This section highlights the analysis based on age and gender characteristics of the sample being studied. Descriptive analysis was used to ascertain the frequencies of these factors as shown in the two sections below.
|Frequency||Percent||Valid Percent||Cumulative Percent|
Table 2: Frequency analysis of the gender.
From table 2 the results indicate that of the 12 people sampled in the study, 7 of them representing 58.3% of the total sample were male while the remainder representing 25.0% were female. The remaining 16.7% an equivalent of 1 represents the margin of error because of omitting some of the parameters which nevertheless were accounted for. Therefore, these results are representative showing a fair distribution of the gender which differs by small margins.
Qualitative data analysis
This section presents the data arising from the unstructured interviews with the management level professionals and the employees from five different petroleum production companies. In order to effectively analyze the data, a broad coding list was also derived from the research aims of the thesis. The table following below shows identified themes and corresponding codes according to the study aims.
|An organizational performance identification||A1|
|Talent management and organizational performance link||A2|
|Talent management and enhancement of the organizational performance||A3|
Table 3: Theme coding.
The limitations associated with this investigation include the potential for researcher bias, the potential for possible lack of honesty on the part of the study participants, and the risk of inadequate or insufficient data. Due to the study author’s personal experience as a current employee in the field of talent management and recruitment, researcher bias will be controlled through the use of phenomenological epoché or bracketing (Sokolowski 58).
The honesty of the case study participants is supervised by the use of an informed consent agreement. The informed consent agreement ensures confidentiality through use of security and confidentially protocols, including the witnessing of all participant signatures. Further controls to encourage participant honesty include the fact that all participants in the case study are willing volunteers. Prior to the case study interview each participant will read, acknowledge and sign the agreement with both the study author and a witness present.
As with all qualitative studies, any and all data gathered through the case study interviews may prove to be inconclusive. The study author may discover that the data collected from the case study interviews may be insufficient to draw pertinent conclusion or to deduce conclusions that have an important effect. In addition, the conclusions that the study author draws may not be sufficient to extend research results beyond the participants in this particular case study. It is the goal of the study author to collect data which is adequate and expansive enough to determine conclusions that carry weight and that bear up under academic scrutiny.
It is also the goal of the study author to use the case study participants’ answers to speak to the issue at hand and attend to the research problem under investigation. As a rule, research results acquired through qualitative research designs are not meant to apply outside of the specific parameters of the study and the research questions under investigation by the study author (Bloomberg and Volpe 8).
The goal of a qualitative research study therefore is not intended to generalize results to large groups of individuals (Bloomberg and Volpe 8). Contextual findings determined within the parameters of the study may be transferable to exterior settings; however, this action of transference will exist only within the specific research parameters and design. These contextual conditions are applicable within the contextual conditions of the exterior setting, providing that the contexts are reasonably similar. In order to facilitate and encourage the action of transferability, the descriptions of the opinions, experiences and observations of the case study participants are collected through interview transcripts.
The case study research method itself allows contains the potential for bias and limitation. Those researchers who criticize the case study research method are quick to point out that this methodology often does not extend itself beyond the particulars of an individual group of actors and in a given situation. Critics argue that the case study research method is flawed because “the study of a small number of cases can offer no grounds for establishing reliability or generality of findings” (Qi 23). Other critics of the case study research method argue that the proximity of the researcher will exert partiality upon the findings (Qi 23).
The combined research methods of qualitative research and case study methodology give rise to the question of validity. The purpose of the case study method is not to be a symbol of the entire world, but to serve as a valid symbol of the individual case (Qi 21). For studies involved in empirical inquiry, the case study research design has been one of the most useful research methodologies. That said, validity in qualitative research studies remains a hot button issue for researchers in the social sciences. As Maxwell explains, “if qualitative studies cannot consistently produce valid results, then policies, programs, or predictions based on these studies cannot be relied on” (37).
However, case study methodology and the research results acquired through this method in a qualitative research study is not designed to apply to any exterior elements of the research questions, but simply to the research questions posed within the case itself (Bloomberg and Volpe 8; Maxwell 37; Qi 21).
Therefore, the applicability and validity results outside of the specific parameters of the study and the research questions under investigation by the study author become less of the focus where a case study is concerned (Bloomberg and Volpe 8; Maxwell 37; Qi 21). Champions of the post positivist research methods are especially critical of the validity of qualitative research studies, particularly those derived from a case study research design (Maxwell 37). “Proponents of quantitative and experimental approaches have frequently criticized the absence of standard means of assuring validity, such as quantitative measurement, explicit controls for various validity threats, and the formal testing of prior hypotheses” (37).
Nature of the Study
The qualitative research is used to gain meaning, develop understanding, and interpret experience (Fereday and Muir-Cochrane 80). Qualitative research methods differ from quantitative research methods in that they gain understandings and interpretations of created data, as opposed to existing theory and knowledge (Fereday and Muir-Cochrane 80). The purpose of this qualitative study is to understand the relationship between talent management and human resources management and the performance of an organisation.
The qualitative methodology is appropriate for exploring and achieving the objectives of the research. A central phenomenon is being explored; therefore, a quantitative research methodology is not appropriate. Quantitative research methodology is used to explain or predict variable relationships, measure variables, test theories and then apply the results to the wider population (Fereday and Muir-Cochrane 80).
Quantitative methodology remains inappropriate for this research, as the perceptions and experiences of the participants will be explored and do not involve variable relationships.
Purposeful sampling is used to identify case study participants who have been or are involved in talent management processes, recruitment, or human resource management. Patton discussed 16 purposeful sampling strategies used to identify participants who can provide relevant experiences and thus add credibility to the research (45). This researcher chose maximum variation and criterion sampling to select participants for this study. The sampling strategy of maximum variation can be used to provide a technique appropriate for studies with many sites and people.
Criterion sampling provides a set of criterion for selecting the participants for this research. This sampling strategy is used to narrow the population to only those who are pertinent to the case study method and the research questions under investigation. The results of the criterion sampling are combined with maximum variation sampling to select the final sample.
Case Study Research Design
The case study research method refers to an explicit example or occurrence that is often designed to epitomize a more universal assumption or theory (Qi 23). The methods applied in a qualitative case study remain for the most part “the methods of disciplining personal and particularized experience” (Qi 25). For cases meant to be sampled, “questionnaires and structured interview schedules are more likely to be employed by the researchers in case studies since these techniques allow for numerical analysis of elicited data. They also suggest that coded observation and factual logs will make use of pre-specified categories of information, which would contribute greatly to the examination of large-scale trends” (Qi 25).
The type of case study that the study author chooses will depend on the aims of the research and on the theoretical paradigm that underpins the research questions (Qi 25). Researcher Robert Yin has identified several different types of case study research designs: these include “exploratory case studies, used as a pilot to other studies or research questions…[and] descriptive case studies that provide narrative accounts” (Qi 25; Yin 23). Other forms of case studies include explanatory case studies that study hypotheses, interpretative case studies that build theoretical constructs in an inductive manner, and evaluative case studies that explain and judge a phenomenon (Qi 25; Yin 23). For the purposes of this research, the study author will employ an exploratory case study method.
Qualitative research explores the meaning of perceptions and experiences to develop understanding. The qualitative form of research is appropriate when exploring a relationship in which one seeks a deeper understanding. Using these definitions, the researcher chose qualitative research methodology to conduct this study and the case study method as a means to isolate the findings. Qi notes that the case study research method is especially applicable in studies where the research seeks to “solve particular problems, apply theories into practice, generate hypotheses, [and] provide illustrations (23).
Quantitative research was not appropriate for this study, due to the fact that the study author seeks to explore a specific case, the relationship between talent management and firm performance, using the unstructured interview technique.
Creswell defined a central phenomenon as an issue or process explored in qualitative research (25). Quantitative research explains or predicts the relationship between variables, measures variables, tests theories and applies results to the population (Simon 6). The author of this study will not attempt to measure variables. Rather, the research will be an attempt to explore the relationship between talent management and the performance of organisations using the insights and experiences of the case study participants. As such, the quantitative methodology will not support the aims of the study.
A number of disciplines employ the case study research method. As one of the most useful research methods, the case study approach has defined a variety of different studies over many years across a wide array of academic disciplines. The case study research approach, labelled as one of the three approaches to the problem of verification and accumulation of educational knowledge, seeks to understand and interpret the world in terms of its actors and may be finally described as interpretative and subjective (Qi 24).
Case study research can bring us to an understanding of a complex issue or state. It can also extend insight or add context to what is already known through previous research (Qi 24). Case study as a research technique involves the thorough background analysis of a limited number of states, events, and conditions and their associations. In this regard, the qualitative research method combined with the case study research method thoroughly investigates present day relationships in business, and provides the foundation for the treatment of ideas and the application of methods (Qi 23).
Researcher Robert Yin describes the case study approach as “an empirical examination that investigates an event, state or occurrence within its real life context” (Yin 23). When the separation between the boundaries and the relationships of the research and the impact of the phenomenon – in this case, firm performance – contexts are not clearly defined, the case study research method helps to clarify the study intent. This is also the case where multiple sources of evidence – such as the document analysis research method used in this study – are applied.
The qualitative case study is best defined as an “intensive, holistic description and analysis of a single entity…[that] are particularistic, descriptive, and heuristic and rely heavily on inductive reasoning in handling multiple data sources” (Qi 24). The study author chose the case study research method as a means to “illustrate a decision or set of decisions: why they were taken, how they were implemented, and with what result” (Qi 24). As such, the case study method allows the study author to focus on a “bounded system” (Qi 24; Yin 23).
In addition, the proximity of the study author to the nature of the study prompts the choice of the case study research method. This fact is especially relevant to the current study. As Qi notes, the case study research method can be a viable research method that allows researchers and readers alike “to understand how ideas and abstract principles can fit together” (25). One of the distinctive features of the case study approach is its suitability for in depth study.
The case study approach supports the investigation of “human systems [that] have a wholeness or integrity to them” (Qi 25). This method supports the aims of the current study in that draws connections between seemingly disparate elements. As Qi explains, “rather than being a loose connection of traits,” the case study method allows deep penetration into a phenomenon that the study authors feels requires close examination (25).
The case study research method allows the study author to ground his or her research in “temporal, geographical, organizational, institutional and other contexts that enable boundaries to be drawn around the case” (Qi 25). The case study approach can be defined by the individuals and groups involved; it can also be organized by the participant responsibility and roles, as they pertain to the case (Qi 25).
The researcher’s personal experience as a current employee involved in talent management, human resources and recruiting proffers knowledge to the interviewing climate, given that the interviewer and the case study interview participants share the experience of working within the organizational structure of the human resources profession. This knowledge shapes the context of the interviews as well as the research.
This knowledge also allows the researcher insight into the organizational culture of the human resources field, and gives the study author a heightened awareness of the link between the human resource profession, organizational culture, and organizational performance. These pre-existing links within the study author in turn allow the study author to function as an effective catalyst during the case study interview process.
These same links and skills also build affinity and empathy with the case study interview participants. Other applicable skills that the study author provides include active listening, awareness of the language specific to the field of human resources, talent management, recruiting, and organizational performance, and understanding of the case study interview participants’ frame of reference.
The results from the interviews indicated awareness about the significance of talent management which could be achieved through recruitment, performance management and training and development all aimed at the enhancing the organization’s performance. Effective talent management practice was considered as one of the most important ways of enhancing the organization’s competitive advantage which directly relates to improved organizational performance.
The chief subject matter of the following case study concerns talent management, specifically attracting talent, on-boarding talent, training and developing talent, and retaining talent. Talent refers to qualified, managerial level employees, as well as developing internal talent and succession plans for senior leadership.
The main talent management issues described in the following case includes the requirement for effective talent management programs to attract target employees in the United Kingdom, Germany, the United States and India. Other issues include ensuring that the organisational culture at the firm Clegg International attracts the target talent, and the support of senior management for the recommendations put forth by Clegg’s talent manangement team.
The case presents the insights gleaned from unstructured interviews with various members of the Clegg corporation, including the Country HR manager, Regional HR manager, the CEO, the Country manager and VP Region, the Completions manager, and the Finance manager. The results of these interviews provide the information for Table 1, a detailed overview of value proposition factors that these interviewees feel most affect talent retention.
Excerpts from the interview with the CEO, the Country HR manager and the VP Region are also included.
Clegg International is a $5.5 billion multinational corporation based in the United Kingdom. At the time of the study, Clegg International has been ineffective in retaining its highest performers. Employee turnover remains high, and Clegg’s talent management team labours to catch the attention of and hold on to its managerial level employees, particularly in four markets where it conducts business: the United Kingdom, Germany, the United States and India.
Clegg’s CEO Sharon Black has asked the talent management team to compile an advisory report as to how Clegg can allocate $10 million in talent management practices, including candidate selection and leadership development, for the company fiscal year.
From the CEO: Sharon Black
A crisis in senior leadership is afoot at Clegg International, according to CEO Sharon Black, composed of senior leadership turnover and looming retirements of several top executives.
In the past 18 months, seven senior executives have left the company, taking with them key relationships, key knowledge and expertise, and leaving disgruntled senior leadership in their wake, who feel cheated, particularly in the area of retention bonuses which clearly failed miserably in their intention.
In addition, our leadership is aging fast. Most of the ones who are left are Boomers. We expect that by 2014, forty per cent of our senior leadership will entitled to retire or will have already left. Our ability to attract a younger crowd to fill these roles has failed to date.
From the VP Region: Shane Burke
The organisational culture of Clegg International is not attractive to a younger set of leaders, according to Burke:
The goal of Clegg’s talent management practices remain is to ensure the organisation can lead itself beyond 2014. However, senior leadership roles are currently staffed by seniors – all of them are in their early 60s – and many of them are beginning the process of winding down. I find it difficult to attract and retain the kind of leadership we need, because they simply don’t see themselves reflected in this company. In order for Clegg to survive beyond 2014, we need top flight talent – talent that understands how to operate in the global sphere. The culture needs a complete overhaul.
From the HR Manager: Edward Linus
Inconsistencies in the vision of the company’s value proposition and messaging from a recruiting perspective have led to stagnation in the hiring process:
Clegg has yet to nail down a recruiting message across all of its units. I have pushed to get the corporate heads of state to hammer out the formal recruiting vision – only to be stonewalled. No one knows the strategy. Who do we want to hire? It changes every week. University graduates and intermediate hires can’t be approached with the same tools – the same is true of senior leaders.
Budget wise, we are still flat lining at $2 million for senior leaders – I can’t work with that. Clegg keeps talking about how important senior leadership is, yet we still don’t have the budget to staff those roles.
Leadership development exists in name only. There is a budget for training and development, but no strategic vision, hence no results.
Value Proposition: Results of the Talent Management Research Study
The following information table compiles the results of employee attitude surveys toward specific elements of Clegg’s value proposition, including satisfaction levels in the areas of compensation, work-life balance and training and career advancement.
Table 1. Results of the Talent Management Research Study.
(Competitive assessment in brackets, 3 is top, 1 is worst)
|United Kingdom||United States||Germany||India|
|Attraction||Career Opportunities (1)||Compensation (1)||Career Opportunities (1)||Compensation (3)|
|Retention||Development & Training Opportunites||Stability of the Business||Innovation & Strategic Alignment||Health Benefits|
|Attraction||Compensation (2)||Career Opportunities (1)||Organisational Culture (1)||Career Opportunities (2)|
|Retention||Stability of the Business||Job Interest||Leader Quality||Job Interest|
|Attraction||Organisational Culture (1)||Organisational Culture (1)||Compensation (1)||Organisational Culture (2)|
|Retention||Leadership Quality||Reputation of Leaders||Stability of the Business||Reputation of Leaders|
Chapter IV includes the results of the case study research. This chapter is organized into a standard case study format and includes the results of the value proposition survey. This chapter also contains excerpts from several of the unstructured interviews that the study author conducted.
Interpretation of the Results
The employee attitude surveys reveal specific elements of Clegg’s value proposition that are missing, particularly in the talent retention and talent recruitment areas.
Recruitment for leadership roles and succession plans have failed to attract the caliber of leadership that the company requires to grow.
Compensation, organisational culture and career opportunities are low in three of the four regions where Clegg seeks to retain employees. While satisfaction levels in the areas of compensation are high in India, career advancement and organisational culture ratings are low in the other three regions and lower than compensation ratings in India also.
The results from the interviews indicated awareness about the significance of talent management which could retain employees through performance management, training and development, and especially leadership development. Indicators of leader quality and reputation were low across all regions.
The results indicate that effective talent management practice must target the organisation culture also. Organisational culture ratings were low in three of the four regions. Clegg’s senior leadership needs to mandate a culture shift in order to improve retention and boost performance.
Overall, the results of the studies reviewed and the individual case study suggest that the talent management, recruiting practices and human resources management initiatives succeed when they focus on localized issue specific to the company. For example, in the study conducted by Sung and Ashton, the results from the ten case studies that the researchers examined indicated that what makes specific talent management, recruiting practices and human resources management initiatives function better than others is “the…strategic combination of practices that are appropriate in tackling the specific performances issue” that the individual company faces (Sung and Ashton 18).
Similarly, in the Clegg International case study, the results indicate that talent retention and talent recruiting practices must focus specifically on attracting and recruiting leaders that will nurture employee confidence and spearhead the growth of the company.
In the current study, the study author endeavoured to draw conclusions as to the relationship between talent management, recruiting practices, and human resources management initiatives and organizational performance. Overall, the study results indicate that targeted talent management and recruitment practices that solve for the needs of the individual company and its organisational culture remain the most successful initiatives.
The results of this study indicate that firm performance and the success of each organisation is intimately tied to specific talent management practices that understand the individual needs of the firms they staff.
Chapter V highlights the results and reveals that talent management efforts may be considered the most important ways of enhancing Clegg’s competitive advantage, which directly relates to improved financial and organisational performance.
Ang, Siah Hwee, Timothy Bartram, and Peter Boxall. “Analysing the Black Box of HRM: Uncovering HR Goals, Mediators, and Outcomes in a Standardized Service Environment.” Journal of Management Studies 48.7 (2011): 1504-1532. Print.
Areiqat, Ahmad Yousef, Tawfiq Abdelhadi and Hussien Ahmad Al-Tarawneh. “Talent Management as a Strategic Practice of Human Resources Management to Improve Human Performance.” Interdisciplinary Journal of Contemporary Research in Business 2.2 (2010): 329-341. Print.
Azmi, Feza Tabassum. “Strategic Human Resource Management and Its Linkage with HRM Effectiveness and Organizational Performance: Evidence from India.”The International Journal of Human Resource Management 22.18 (2011): 3888-3912. Print.
Barker, Gordon. “Challenging Times Require a Different Talent Focus.” Strategic HR Review 8.14 (2009): 24-28. Print.
Bolisani, Ettore, and Enrico Scarso. “Managing Professions for Knowledge Management.” International Journal of Knowledge Management 7.3 (2011): 61-75. Print.
Bowen, David E., Carmen Galang, and Rajnandini Pillai. “The Role of Human Resource Management: An Exploratory Study of Cross-Country Variance.” Human Resource Management Spring 2002: 103-122. Print.
Bowen, Glenn A. “Document Analysis as a Qualitative Research Method. Qualitative Research Journal 9.2 (2009): 27-41. Print.
Carmeli, Abraham and John M. Schaubroeck. “How Leveraging Human Resource Capital with its Competitive Distinctiveness Enhances the Performance of Commercial and Public Organizations.” Human Resource Management 44.4 (2008): 391-412. Print.
Chand, Mohinder and Anastasia A. Katou. “The Impact of HRM Practices on Organisational Performance in the Indian Hotel Industry.” Employee Relations 29.6 (2007): 576-594. Print.
Collins, James Charles. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make The Leap… And Others Don’t. Boston: Harper Collins, 2001. Print.
Combs, James, Yongmei Liu, Angela Hall, and David Ketchen. “How Much Do High-Performance Work Practices Matter? A Meta-Analysis of Their Effects on Organizational Performance.” Personnel Psychology 59.3 (2006): 501-528. Print.
Corbin, Juliet and Anselm L. Strauss. Basics of Qualitative Research: Techniques and Procedures for Developing Grounded Theory, 3rd ed. 2008. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Print.
Creswell, John W. Educational Research: Planning, Conducting and Evaluating Quantitative and Qualitative Research. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2005. Print.
De Vaus, David. Research Design in Social Research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2001. Print.
Denscombe, Martyn. Ethics in Ground Rules for Social Research: Guidelines for Good Practice. Berkshire, UK: McGraw Hill, Open University Press, 2010. Print.
Denzin, Norman. K. The Research Act: A Theoretical Introduction to Sociological Methods. New York: Aldine, 1970. Print.
Durgin, Thomas V. Using Competency Management to Drive Organizational Performance. New York: Human Capital Institute, 2006. Print.
Fereday, Jennifer and Eimear Muir-Cochrane. “Demonstrating Rigor Using Thematic Analysis: A Hybrid Approach of Inductive and Deductive Coding and Theme Development.” International Journal of Qualitative Methods 5.1 (2006): 80-92. Print.
Frangou, Kalomyra, and Constantine Kontoghiorghes. “The Association between Talent Retention, Antecedent Factors, and Consequent Organizational Performance.” SAM Advanced Management Journal 74.1 (2009): 29-37. Print.
Frick, David E. “Motivating the Knowledge Worker.” Defense A R Journal 18.4 (2011): 368-380. Print.
Glaser, Barney G. and Anselm L. Strauss. The Discovery of Grounded Theory: Strategies for Qualitative Research. Chicago: Aldine, 1967. Print.
Green, Michael. “Learning’s Role in Integrated Talent Management: An ASTD and I4cp Study Underscores the Improvements Possible With an Integrated Talent Management Strategy in Place.” T+D 65.5 (2011): 58-61. Print.
Guest, David E. “Human Resource Management and Performance: Still Searching for Some Answers.” Human Resource Management Journal 21.1 (2011): 3–13. Print.
Hailey, Veronica Hope, Elaine Farndale and Catherine Truss. “The HR Department’s Role in Organisational Performance.” Human Resource Management Journal 15.3 (2005): 49–66. Print.
Heinen, Stephen J. and Colleen O’Neill. “Managing Talent to Maximize Performance.” Employment Relations Today 31.2 (2004): 67-82. Print.
Heppner, Paul P. Research Design in Counselling. Belmont, CA: Thomson, 2008. Print.
Janssens, Maddy, and Chris Steyaert. “HRM and Performance: A Plea for Reflexivity in HRM Studies.” Journal of Management Studies 46.1 (2009): 143-155. Print.
Lockwood, Nancy R. “Talent Management: Driver for Organizational Success.” Research Quarterly (2006): 2-11. Print.
Luthans, Kyle W., and Steven M. Sommer. “The Impact of High Performance Work on Industry-Level Outcomes.” Journal of Managerial Issues 17.3 (2005): 327-349. Print.
Maxwell, Joseph A. “Understanding and Validity in Qualitative Research.” Harvard Educational Review 62.3 (1992): 279-300. Print.
Menefee, John A. and Ryan O. Murphy. “Rewarding and Retaining the Best: Compensation Strategies for Top Performers.” Benefits Quarterly 20.3 (2004): 13-20. Print.
Mitchell, Hugh. “Strategic Worth of Human Resources: Driving Organizational Performance.” Universalia (2002): 1-7. Print.
Ogden, Garrett. “Talent Management Drives Success.” Healthcare Registration 19.11 (2010): 9-14. Print.
Paauwe, Jaap. “HRM and Performance: Achievements, Methodological Issues and Prospects.” Journal of Management Studies 46.1 (2009): 129-142. Print.
Pace, Ann. “Australian Employers Talk Talent: HR Executives Down Under Don’t Have The Systems In Place To Support Strategic Talent Mobility.” T+D 66.1 (2012): 18-20. Print.
Patton, Michael Q. Qualitative Evaluation and Research Methods. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications, 1990. Print.
Qi, Shen. “Case Study in Contemporary Educational Research: Conceptualization and Critique.” Cross-Cultural Communication 5.4 (2009): 21-32. Print.
Rapley, Tim. Doing Conversation, Discourse and Document Analysis. London: Sage Publications, 2007. Print.
Redman, Tom, and Ed Snape. “HRM Practices, Organizational Citizenship Behaviour, and Performance: A Multi-Level Analysis.” Journal of Management Studies 47.7 (2010): 1219-1247. Print.
Richard, Pierre J., Timothy M. Devinney, George S. Yip, and Gerry Johnson. “Measuring Organizational Performance: Towards Methodological Best Practice.” Journal of Management 2.3 (2009): 12-17. Print.
Simon, Marilyn K. Dissertation & Scholarly Research: A Practical Guide to Start & Complete Your Dissertation, Thesis, or Formal Research Project. Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, 2006. Print.
Sokolowski, Robert. Introduction to Phenomenology. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000. Print.
“Sophisticated Talent Management Programs Drive Business Results.” CMA Management (2010): 10-11. Print.
Sung, Johnny and David Ashton. High Performance Work Practices: Linking Strategy and Skills to Performance Outcomes. London: Department of Trade and Industry, 2005. Print.
Terpstra, David E. “HRM: A Key to Competitiveness.” Management Decision 32.9 (1994): 10-14. Print.
Truss, Catherine. “Complexities and Controversies in Linking HRM with Organizational Outcomes.” Journal of Management Studies 38.8 (2001): 1121-1149. Print.
Ussahawanitchakit, Phapruke, and Nikorn Yasamorn. “Strategic Collaborative Capability, Business Growth, and Organizational Sustainability: Evidence from Tourism Businesses in Thailand.” International Journal of Business Strategy 11.3 (2011): 1-11. Print.
Walker, James W. and James M. Larocco. “Talent Pools: The Best and the Rest.” Human Resource Planning Journal 25.3 (2002): 12-14. Print.
Yeung, Arthur K. and Bob Berman. “Adding Value through Human Resources: Re-Orienting Human Resource Management to Drive Business Performance.” Human Resource Management 36.3 (1997): 321-335. Print.
Yin, Robert. Case Study Research. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications, 1984. Print.