Relationship of Talent Management with Organizational Culture: A Discussion Paper.

AuthorMahajan, Anuroopa


The term 'talent management' has been in use for more than two decades now. It is being defined differently by researchers and practitioners. Organizations are adopting various practices of talent management focusing on different aspects such as leadership development, employment stages, organizational processes based on the present changing business environment. This is needed so that organizations can develop competitive advantage and talented employees drive this advantage. Therefore talent management is needed to focus on the talent of the organization, who are most skilled and experienced employees. In this paper we will be discussing talent management and its relationship with organizational culture in light of current corporate milieu.

The culture of an organization represents the way things are done in the organization. It mainly revolves around the behavioral patterns and relationships. Culture is developed over a period of time in the organization by the people who work for it. To create a dynamic culture organization's core values and its vision is a fundamental requirement (Times, 2013). Corporate culture is an intensely rooted form of social control that influences employee behavior. Culture is omnipresent and works unconsciously. It acts as a glue that ties people together and makes them feel part of organization. It motivates employees to internalize its core values as it gives them social identity. It helps employees understand organizational events, communicate more efficiently and reach higher standards of cooperation as they share common values (Schein, 2009).

Importance of Talent Management

In recent years talent management has turned into a top priority for organizations. Main reason articulated for this is: shortage of availability of talented employees. According to James Canon and Rita McGee (2011) in 2011, the competition for talent has risen as the availability of talent has considerably fallen in 2010 to 41% from 2009 which was 20%

Eminent researchers have written about the importance of talent management and benefits thus extended. Jeffery Pfeffer (1998) in his book titled, "The Human Equation--Building Profits by Putting People First", emphasizes that people are an important strength for an organization, without them strategies would not be executed, customer delight cannot be created and innovation would never occur. All non--living assets of the organization can give a short lived competitive advantage whereas investing in employees would give non--imitable competitive edge to the organization.

Ed Michaels, Helen Handfield Jones and Beth Axelrod in their 2001 book, "The War for Talent" enunciated a universal talent mind-set--a conviction shared by leaders in organizations that competitive advantage is achieved by having better talent at all levels. They have quoted examples of successful organizations who have adopted talent management mind-set and have implemented and followed certain guidelines regarding talent management.

Talent management is associated with implementation of organizational strategies to improve productivity through upgradedprocesses for attracting, developing, retaining and employing individuals with requisite skills and aptitude to meet contemporary and future business requirements (Muduli, 2008).

According to Brown and Hesketh (2004), Collings and Mellahi (2009), Lewis and Heckman (2006), talent management is closely associated with human resource planning, strategic human resource management and employability. Heinen and O'Neil (2004) associate typical human resource practices of recruitment, training and development with talent management. Lynne Morton (2004) has suggested a wider coverage of human resource practices to be part of talent management such as talent acquisition, leadership development, performance management and building culture. Berger and Berger (2009) have articulated about talent management in their handbook. They have inferred from their research, consulting assignments and from inputs of eminent authors, that talent management is required to create a culture for success in the organization. It is based on certain factors such as the internal beliefs, which includes core principles, values and mutual opportunities of an organization and its employees, talent strategy of the organization which specifies the types of employee organization would be investing in and talent management system, processes and procedures.

To sum up the importance of talent management, it is vital for human resource department to place right talent at the right place and right talent is the biggest asset for an organization (Ramco, 2012). Organizations thus should focus on managing the talent: most skilled and experienced individuals. For organizations retaining talent is of ultimate importance to stay ahead of the competitors (Serendi, 2015).

Types of Organizational Cultures

Leaders outline the vision and mission for an organization--define and differentiate the organization. Leaders take the responsibility to model and reinforce the behavior that helps to accomplish organizational goals and to ensure they are creating and cultivating a culture that promotes engagement of talent segment of the organization. In this way organizational cultures are created by leaders, what leaders pay consideration to, what actions are rewarded or punished and distribution of resources is under consideration(Caver & White, 2013).

Culture is two tiered--one the visible layer or characteristics and second the invisible. Visible characteristics include external features such as building, furniture, dress code, behaviors, processes and regulations. Whereas invisible layer is built within, it is deeply embedded within the organization and includes common values, beliefs or faith and norms of the organization (Schein, 1990).0rganizational culture depends upon many factors, such as the type of...

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