The function of the human resource (HR) keeps changing tremendously overtime where the HR functions were initially viewed as non-integral to the nucleus of the business being viewed as purely administrative. Currently, HR practitioners are increasingly considered as business partners. The HR functions which include strategic planning, are currently emphasizing training and development as part of talent management technique while covering other functions such as organization development and change, rewards system, organizational behavior and theory and performance management.
The understanding here is that while developing business strategies in the present complex and dynamic environment, there is an important need for the organization’s management especially HR and other stakeholders to repeatedly review their talent pool to ascertain if the suitable expertise needed by the organization or business to accomplish their strategies is available.
It has been argued that there is no resource, an organization can utilize to its advantage to bring competitive advantage to its operations than human resources. For that matter recruiting the most talented and qualified personnel goes the extra mile in ensuring that such an organization will experience organizational success (Dubois 1993). Presently talent may also be developed in organizations through career development and skills transference. 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.
A very vital management approach to talent management would focus more on the organizational needs and utilization area of the talent rather than on individual employees. For example, an organization may consider developing and managing talent at the mid-level management to ensure the organization effectively adapts to any future management needs. It is no doubt that one of the serious expenses organization face is related to high rates of employees’ turnover.
It will be rational to define what talent management is. Generally, the term refers to the mechanisms or skills used by the human capital to attract employees who exhibit very high skills. It is also important to acknowledge that the term means either management of highly experienced and skilled workers or the entire process of managing talents. In general, the concept is based on the fact that all individuals have talents that opt to be defined and liberated. Ideally, Dubois 1993 asserts that;
talent management encompasses employee competencies which are what they ought to be familiar with and can do. The performance processes around this indicate how to utilize these competencies through strategic placement within the organization, and then measuring their impact on the organization’s goal. (p.28)
With 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, other HR management issues a job satisfaction, motivation, and employee retention. Similarly, the 21st-century place of work has been shown to have tremendous changes from the previous century.
For instance, a research carried in 77 companies showed that the most significant company resource in the next 20 or 50 years will be talent. According to Dubois 1993 talent refers to “technologically literate and smart people who are, generally incisive, and flexible” (p.27). It has also been shown that as the quest for highly skilled manpower is needed, the supply of the same is dwindling at an alarming rate making the environment of acquiring highly skilled people to be very competitive. The majority of scholars have tried to find the association between talent management and organizational performance of success, this thus forms the basis of this research proposal.
Today, more than ever before 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 HR managers in organizations are not sure about the best strategy to align talents to 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.
Even though efforts have been made to help organizations realize the benefits talent management brings to their success, there is still a need to emphasize on the same. It is no doubt that one serious challenge facing an organization of any size is to hold and maintain their top talent. Lately, also there seems to be a misconception as far as talent management is concerned especially within organizations. These misconceptions need to be well addressed to allow the organizations’ HR management to exercise effective and productive talent management.
Interestingly, in situations where organizations fail to hold their top talent, it also becomes impossible for them to continue enjoying the dedication and loyalty from these talents. These talented employees 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 2002).
Many organizations have spent billions of dollars in trying to develop strategies that will help them cut an edge in the competitive business world but this is 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 only been appreciated by a few organizations and this lays the ground for this research. The research will address the question: How do talent management techniques as part of human resource management (HRM) practice impact on organization performance? With a focus on a case study of a multinational organization (Halliburton) working in Iraq within the petroleum Industry.
A clear understanding of the relationship between talent management and organizational success will help more of such organizations to rethink their strategies so that they will do business despite the existing market challenges.
Justification of the study
The research focuses on talent management and its relation to organizational performance. The findings will be of importance to various stakeholders among them business organizations and other institutions that are both profit and not- profit-oriented. The research will define what talent management is an organizational performance and establish the relationship between them to enhance productivity.
The results will help various interested parties such especially at the HR management level to come up with acceptable and rational decisions with regards to managing talent to enhance organizational performance. It is worth noting that this will result in ensuring that more businesses can utilize talent management to impact the organizational performance and ensure success. This is very important in determining the future of organizations that seek to acquire skilled, talented and competent workforce to advance their competitive advantage. Additionally, while reviewing different libraries, searching for relevant literature, I find that there are very limited academic researches that are focused upon assessing such a relationship between Talent management techniques as part of Human resource management practices and organizational performance.
Failing to carry out such a study would imply that the various contributions of talent management to organizational performance and success would remain unappreciated. Similarly, the existing gaps in the relationship between talent management and organizational success will remain unfilled.
Purpose of the study
The purpose of the study is to establish the relationship between talent management and organizational performance. In this case, the researcher’s main goal is to identify the techniques of talent management indicating how best to incorporate them to improve organizational performance. Similarly, the implications of the concept to the contribution of a successful organization are critically evaluated. Additionally, this research is carried out to establish the challenges facing organizations in their quest to manage talent.
Aims and objectives
This research will aim to critically examine the relationship between talent management and organizational success to enable the researcher to be in a position to draw conclusions and recommendations regarding the same to organizations that seek to have improved performance in the business world by gaining for themselves a competitive advantage over potential competitors.
With this regard the objectives of the research include:
- To establish the relationship between talent management and organizational performance
- To find out the challenges facing organizations in trying to carry out talent management
- To find out the mechanisms used to manage talent
The main research question guiding the study is:
How do talent management techniques as part of human resource management (HRM) practice, impact on organization performance?
Other likely questions include:
- What are the mechanisms used to manage talent?
- What are the characteristics of the current workplace?
- What are the challenges facing organizations in trying to carry out talent management?
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 2002).
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 2009).
This describes the advantage the organization acquires over its competitors. This is usually achieved through the provision of value for the customers’ money by products and services at competitive prices. This can also be through offering value-added services justifiable regardless of higher prices (Yeung and Berman 1997).
Studies have shown that currently businesses, as well as organizations, are becoming increasingly dependant on highly intellectual workforce. Those that can outdo their competitors in attracting, developing as well as retaining the best talent will experience distinct advantages such as lower operational costs, higher levels of productivity, better quality products and services, more satisfied as well as loyal consumers and 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 of organizational ability to compete for talent. It is worth noting that the concept is very complex and dynamic.
Butterfield (2008) indicates that talent management as an HRM practice will ultimately lead to organizational success. To a large extend talent management at a strategic level must establish initiatives that contribute to organizational intelligence such initiatives as retention strategy, succession planning, knowledge transfer, leadership investment onboarding as well as transition support. These initiatives are typical of talent management and are therefore a vital part of HRM practice.
Butterfield’s (2008) research findings on talent management as an HRM practice progresses on to ascertain that a lack of talent management as an integral of HRM practice in the University of Michigan resulted in high staff turnover. However, with the introduction of talent management, the university started to experience reduced rates of employee turnover resulting in increased internal promotions. This generally improved quality in terms of service delivery of education. Though the research was not thoroughly conclusive it provided insight on how important talent management was to the successful running of any institution or business.
Since the fundamental role of HRM is to maximize the organization’s profit, improve the work quality and manage the people effectively, it is evident that HRM through initiatives like talent management develops organizational value and improves performance (Sunil 2003). Increased globalization and pursuance of sustainable competitive advantage has resulted in organizations that continuously evaluate their strategies to ensure that they have the expertise needed to meet their organizational missions.
Global economic challenges that resulted from the September 11th terrorist attack on the US have continued to impact organizations’ selection and recruitment strategies. Sunil (2003) further postulates that it becomes profitable for organizations to invest in talent management to reduce selection and recruitment costs apart from improving performance. Talent management bypasses the value and effectiveness of the selection process and instead focuses on an analysis of the impact of the employees’ contribution both as a cost and performance factor for the short and long terms. Human resource (HR) planning should involve the skills and competencies currently available within the organization through talent management and ascertain the intellectual capital needs of the future that will satisfy the organization’s stakeholders.
Lockwood (2006) asserts that talent management is a significant concept for employers. This literature highlights the three main reasons why talent management is crucial to employers. Among these reasons is that currently talent and effective leadership is becoming an exceptional resource and therefore an employer who carries out this practice will derive some competitive advantage for the organization when it translates into enhanced performance.
Talent management perspective has long changed since the turn of the century and therefore organizations must rethink this concept while understanding that how an organization manages talent can hurt organizational success.
Additionally, this literature indicates that talent management offers a firm successful strategy. The writing then points out a plan to activate and manage the talent.
Dubois (1993) affirms that the changes in the economy globally have made the major traditional strategies of competitive advantage useless or obsolete. The literature acknowledges that competency management akin to talent management is vital in trying to align human resources with the organization’s business plan to come up with a competitive advantage over other businesses. These changes are because of globalization characterized by interconnectedness due to advancement in technology. It is worth to remember that within this literature emphasis is placed on the characteristics of the 21st-century workplace.
The notion is that organizations will at all times require highly skilled and competent workers who are technologically equipped, having a smart global perspective and are operationally flexible. Dubois (1993) further suggests that there is a need for organizations to have a culture where effective leadership can be developed within an organization. This can start with talent management at any of the organization’s levels which is a preferable approach because of the high competition within. It is vital to understand that usually there are a lot of untapped skills and talent right within the organization.
Dubois (1993) points out five steps in developing a talent management strategy. These will include linking talent management initiatives to the organization’s business strategies, deriving a system that works for the organization and linking it to the best practices and technology, designing individual development plans vital in tracking workers by offering information with regards to improvement of their skills and knowledge, embedding accountability throughout the organization’s levels within and having a mechanism to regularly review progress.
Additionally, Walker and LaRacco (2002) propose certain guidelines suitable to build and manage talent one of which is that organizations need to consciously develop and use talent pools. Even though the majority of researchers conclude that having the best talent within an organization constitute the best way to overcome competitors, Walker and LaRacco (2002) seem to differ with this view instead suggesting that having a talent pool is suitable since it allows for the development of talent for various positions among the employees while giving the organization more flexibility. However, notably, this practice of developing talent requires using a wide range of tools and strategies.
Carmeli and Schaubroeck (2005) postulate 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, and that this is unique and cannot easily be applied to a different organizational design with the same level of effectiveness. To this end, talent management as an HRM practice can be used to develop this unique HR capital.
Notably, there seems to be limited or a lack of any indicative evidence that concerted study(ies) that focuses on talent management as an HRM practice and its relation to organizational performance have been carried out which is the reason why this research study should be carried out.
In dealing with the research question, the researcher is planning to use an interpretive epistemological position and to build on a qualitative approach. The main reason for choosing this approach is that the position will help the researcher to take a more exploratory role, to review and analyze the relationship between the talent management techniques as part of HRM practices and the organization’s performance, and the extent to which the talent management techniques are impacting the overall organizational performance.
The main drive that influenced the researcher’s decision to use the interpretive epistemological position to underpin the research was the consideration of the social world factors such as examining an individual’s experience. Another factor was the need to understand if these social factors have relevance to this study and how they can apply to the researcher’s study 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 HRM practices can affect the organization goals, the research approach is qualitative, which is intended to help the researcher to observe and understand more the relationship between the talent management techniques and the organization’s performance. Qualitative research as used in this study seeks to contextualize the research by immersing the researcher 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 researcher room to investigate issues that were not previously thought of and could be worth being brought to light.
A review of this approach indicates that it can be less structured and scientific in comparison to the quantitative approach. However, it will fit well with the interpretivist epistemology that the researcher is planning to use. Moreover, the qualitative approach provides the means and flexibility to ask exploratory questions around everyday life situations and will permit the development of theories in a bottom-up manner from the data eventually collected. The researcher envisaged two advantages that are highly important in using this research approach; the first one is its flexibility, the second is the possibility of having more interactive sessions with participants during the research.
The research question is ‘How do talent management techniques as part of HRM practice, impact upon organization performance? Case study on a multinational organization working in Iraq within the petroleum Industry; Halliburton…’ whereas this question raises an important debate, on whether or not talent management techniques as part of HRM practices do have a positive impact upon organization performance, the question from the researcher’s perspective requires an exploratory approach to research the answer. The suitable approach should be one that does not require to posit hypotheses about this phenomenon. On the contrary, to start gathering data and analyze it, based on the analysis, answers will be found that can lead to a conclusion.
In assuming the interpretivist epistemology position the researcher exercises the right approach to start the research 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 can impact the organization performance; what talent management constitutes and contains, what the key measurement of organization performance are, the way this relationship can be identified, observed and its impact measured.
On the other hand, using a positivist epistemology to underpin this research will not be suitable since it is not relying upon positing hypotheses and empiricism practice and hence of no benefit to the general idea that the researcher is seeking. Furthermore, since the researcher’s point of view that people may be the most influencing factor in this equation of how talent management techniques do affect our organization performance, it will be difficult to rely on a positivist epistemology since it focuses on society and social structures collectively, rather than focusing on individuals.
However, using a post-positivism epistemology position can be a good alternative. Whereas it provides the flexibility of a possible theory-building approach, through generating theory from observations, the research can be more open to alternative methodologies and methods. However, its unsuitability may be that the 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.
In summary here, taking the interpretive epistemology position will provide the researcher with the right approach to start the research without the need to posit some hypotheses, or identify different variables before the study. However, the general idea derived from the question will prevail over the research trend which is how talent management techniques relate to organization performance; what does talent management constitute, what are the key measurements of organization performance and how to find this link and relationship to observe it and measure the impact of these practices. It will be rational to clearly state what organizational performance in this context entails which includes financial and product market performance and shareholders return.
Data analysis and presentation
This study attempts to build a hypothesis that addresses the aim of the research, which is about the talent management techniques and their impact on organizational performance within an HR context. Several variables have been considered within this research study. Talent management and organizational performance have been given the greatest weight among these variables. There exists an obvious correlation between talent management and other factors such as motivation, job satisfaction, and loyalty. These factors have been highlighted within the literature review as pertinent to the improvement of the organization’s performance.
A dependable study will be carried out while employing the unstructured interviews as the main data collection tool. Based on what is collected, the researcher will carry out an analysis of the results to assist in drawing a hypothetical conclusion. A variety of data representation tools are available to be used within this research. To effectively implement the grounded theory within this research, whereby a stimulating and inference thinking process must be used.
The hypothesis in this study is based on the conceptual ideas. This hypothesis can be further verified by the constant comparison of the theoretical data as a result of different abstraction levels. Grounded theory (GT) remains a suitable approach since it helps the researcher to study the participant’s concern. This implies that as far as talent management is concerned, and about the organization’s performance, the research will be able to identify the concern and how the participants are trying to resolve this concern. Some typical questions a researcher asks in grounded theory which will also be asked for this particular research study includes, what is going on? And what is the main issue at hand that needs to be resolved?
Furthermore, grounded theory methodology combines well with the qualitative epistemology position that the researcher plans to use in the research. Therefore here the researcher will start with an area of study on the Human Resource Management strategies’ relationship to organizational performance. Afterward, by collecting and analyzing data, the researcher can be able to formulate a theory (Hunter, Hari, Egbu and Kelly 2005). Using GT, this study is going to be conceptualized based on the observable data that will be derived from interviews as well as document inspections. Since the nature of this research is qualitative, it can be inferred that the grounded theory will give rise to several statements about certain concepts derived from empirical data.
Sample data definition and size
Since the research dealt with the management-employee concerns, only employees and managers from five petroleum production companies including Halliburton were sampled. Specifically, the sample comprised of five management-level professionals and 20 employees in each of the five companies. Therefore, the total sample for the research was comprised of 25 management-level professionals and 100 employees; making a total population sample of 125 participants. Before the commencement of the research, the necessary sanctioning paperwork was applied for by the researcher and a formal response from each of the companies obtained. It was significant that the study is by the policies. The researcher, therefore, received management approval from each of the five companies to carry out the research.
The focus of this study was mainly on the personnel management or HR management level. All 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.
To support the research process the researcher assembled a panel that allowed a check to take place on both the appropriateness of the research design and its ability to ensure that it would elicit data that addresses the research objectives.
The reliability of the research can be demonstrated through the list of interviewees and sample transcripts as well as through a reliability and credibility analysis.
Sample data reliability analysis
Cronbach’s test is often used as a method to determine the degree of reliability for a given data set (Ognjen 2005). 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 is considered 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 125 people sampled in the study, 64 of them representing 51.2% of the total sample were male while the remainder representing 48.0% were female. The remaining 0.8% 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. To effectively analyze the data, a broad coding list was also derived from the research aims of the thesis. The table below shows the 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 results from the interviews indicated an awareness about the significance of talent management which could be achieved through recruitment, performance management and training and development all aimed at 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.
From an ethical consideration, everyone involved in the research sample was 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.
The approach to conducting this research as an insider researcher in one of the companies may cause some biases since the researcher will be in direct contact with the subjects who will be interviewed. To avoid personal harm the research question and subject may be structured not to affect the subjects who are being interviewed, but to an extent, it can be argued that some answers may not be preferred or favored from company management.
There is a need to ensure no harm will affect such subjects. As an insider researcher in one of the companies, there is likely to be influence or undue intrusion on the study from the company or management if they will sponsor my research. Carrying out the researcher especially as an insider will require the researcher’s pledge to confidentiality of data. This must be declared as required by the company management and signed by the researcher. To address some of these ethical issues arising, the researcher intends to first and foremost maintain professional integrity by planning to research in an honest, open and transparent manner – as far as it is possible (Denscombe 2010).
As well as being independent, objective and honest in conducting and reporting the research the researcher will try to avoid, and mitigate any biases that may occur when dealing with colleagues, managers or information related to the career path and the researcher’s future with the current employer company. Furthermore, as an insider researcher, there will be no funding for this research, and therefore the study will be fully independent and under no pressure from any party.
Limitation of the study
The researcher envisages several limitations. However, the most conspicuous one is difficult to generalize since more attention will be paid to the human and people factor, which differs between persons. Therefore, relying on interpretivism epistemology on individual accounts may overlook the importance of the ability to generalize and the need to validate what is true. It also focuses on a limited range of participants and spheres of influence and this may affect the conclusions and findings of the research.
|Write a research proposal||August||One week|
|Literature review||August, September||five weeks|
|Complete literature review and conduct a pilot study||September||One week|
|Main Data Collection||September, October||Three weeks|
|Complete data collection||October||One week|
|Analyze Data||October||Two weeks|
|Write Dissertation plan then begin first Draft||November||Two weeks|
|Complete first draft||November||One week|
|Discuss Draft with supervisor||November||One week|
|Second draft||December||Two week|
|Proofing/ checking||December||One week|
|Delivery of dissertation||December|
There are some stages which the researcher believes will be challenging and therefore may take more time, they include literature review, data collection and analyzing data. The literature review assumes the approach that this research’s literature review will involve collecting concepts from a variety of academically approved sources. This time-consuming exercise remains a challenge during this study. The data collection stage also will require more time basing on the activities to be carried out during this process. The quality of the research will be based upon the extent to which the researcher has reviewed relevant literature and the ability to extract the adequate information and references
The plan drafted above is tentative and subject to adjustments based on the overall progress of the exercise. It remains likely that some states may take less time than indicated in the plan.
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Dubois, D., 1993. Competency based performance: A strategy for organizational change management to drive organizational performance. Amherst, MA: HRD Press.
Hunter, H., Hari, S., Egbu, C., and Kelly, J., 2005. Grounded theory: Its diversification and application through two examples for research studies on knowledge and value management. The Electronic Journal of Business Research Methods, 3(1), pp. 57-68.
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