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dc.contributor.authorWiblen, Sharna Lee
dc.date.accessioned2015-04-28
dc.date.available2015-04-28
dc.date.issued2014-12-18
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/2123/13257
dc.description.abstractThis thesis employs discourse analysis in order to understand how the concepts of “talent” and “talent management” are socially constructed within an organisational setting and the ways in which these are then brought into being and enacted. The research highlights that the meanings attributed to these often “taken for granted” concepts is not commonplace or self-explanatory, but rather that they come about via ongoing processes of negotiation within organisational settings. The thesis is a case study of talent management at a single Australian Professional Services Firm - PSF - and its multiple business units. It is one of very few empirical studies that examines talent management in an organisation and provides important empirical insights into the how, what and why of talent management which are notably absent in the literature. A discourse analytic framework which distinguished between discursive concepts, objects and subjects is employed to examine the talk about talent in the case study organisation. This approach enables the thesis to contribute to our understanding of talent management in several ways. While previous publications on talent management have offered prescriptive and normative assumptions about how organisations should or could define talent and conduct talent management, the thesis examines the discursive processes associated with attributing meanings to concepts and highlights how talent concepts adopted within organisations are themselves social constructions with multiple meanings potentially attributed to the same term. The thesis challenges the assumption that stakeholders in an organisation will maintain the same definition of talent, and instead argues that the meaning of talent can be debated and attributed a variety of meanings, not only between organisations, but also within organisations. The thesis also challenges the existing conceptual frameworks which imply that categories of talent are mutually exclusive. It illustrates that executives, business units and organisations such as PSF can simultaneously draw upon multiple conceptualisations to attribute multiple meanings to talent. The thesis makes an original contribution to the understanding of talent management by indicating that talent management concepts, objects and subjects are interconnected. This is because executives and business units within PSF were required to operationalise and bring into reality their idea of talent (concept) through material arrangements indicative of talent management (objects) which are then enacted on employees (subjects). It argues that “talent” is a not separate, incidental or intermittent aspect of talent management, but rather an integral facet of the associated practices and shows that the meaning of talent arises from ongoing processes of negotiation, with these meanings affecting the practice of talent management and the individuals who are the subject of these practices.en_AU
dc.rightsThe author retains copyright of this thesis. It may only be used for the purposes of research and study. It must not be used for any other purposes and may not be transmitted or shared with others without prior permission.en_AU
dc.subjectTalenten_AU
dc.subjectTalent managementen_AU
dc.subjectCase studyen_AU
dc.subjectDiscourse analysisen_AU
dc.subjectHuman resourcesen_AU
dc.subjectTalent identificationen_AU
dc.titleTalking about talent: conceptualising talent management through discourseen_AU
dc.typeThesisen_AU
dc.date.valid2015-01-01en_AU
dc.type.thesisDoctor of Philosophyen_AU
usyd.facultyThe University of Sydney Business School, Discipline of Work and Organisational Studiesen_AU
usyd.degreeDoctor of Philosophy Ph.D.en_AU
usyd.awardinginstThe University of Sydneyen_AU


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