Home > Research > Publications & Outputs > The value of talent management architectures to...

Electronic data

  • 2018makramphd

    Final published version, 2.38 MB, PDF document

    Available under license: CC BY-ND: Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

Text available via DOI:

View graph of relations

The value of talent management architectures to multinational companies

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

  • Heba Makram
Publication date2018
Number of pages331
Awarding Institution
  • Lancaster University
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The purpose of this research is to examine the perceptions and understandings of two groups of strategic actors (HR and talent leaders as system designers and business leaders as system implementers) in multinational companies (MNCs). Moreover, to contribute to the knowledge and understanding of how multinational organisations think about and define Talent Management (henceforth shortened to TM) and whether and how they perceive their TM architectures to add value to the organisation. It examines two research questions. First, ‘do strategic actors believe that the TM architectures implemented within their organisations add value to the organisation, and if so, what value do they believe it adds?’ Second, ‘how may TM architectures add value?’ This question is examined through a sub-set of four research propositions in relation to a series of theoretically established value processes (value creation, capture, leverage and protection). The research draws upon ideas from three academic disciplines: Strategic Management and the role of strategic actors and the nature of strategy-as-practice, Strategic Human Resources Management (henceforth shortened to SHRM) and the study of HR systems, High Performance Work Systems (henceforth shorted to HPWS) and TM architectures, and the resource-based view (henceforth shortened to RBV) of the firm in relation to value and value creation - in order to address the problem of value and TM. It develops a series of propositions to suggest how TM architectures might add value through four enabling value processes. The findings are used to draw inferences about these potential value-adding processes.

The research uses an 'explanatory' multi-case study design based on an empirical study conducted in five MNCs. The study uses a qualitative research approach, drawing on 52 in-depth interviews. The findings show that the absence of a formal TM definition led to a lack of consensus among strategic actors about the meaning of TM. Instead, there was a common perception that TM is another HR process which includes traditional practices such as the recruitment, selection, development and retention of talent. However, introducing the concepts of ‘value’ to the discourse of TM demonstrated how borrowing notions from the non-HR literature can contribute to our understanding of the role played in TM by strategic actors. The use of a theoretical framework – the value model - helped in understanding the value of TM architectures against each of the four value processes.

This study makes a number of contributions. It empirically deconstructs the understandings of strategic actors about TM. It addresses the definitional problem currently evidenced in the literature and provides new insights to help academics understand the value of TM. It provides direction for future research. The study also contributes to practice by providing system designers and system implementers with a blueprint which could guide the design and implementation of the TM architectures introduced in their organisations to ensure that these architectures are aligned to corporate and business strategies and contribute to the enablement of value.

Keywords: Talent management, Talent management architectures, Value, Value creation, Value capture, Value leverage and Value protection.