Research Output

Developing and managing talent in public services: Navigating the collaborative landscape

  Against a background of significant public service reform and growing acceptance of the need for public service organizations to better co-ordinate and integrate approaches to workforce development and talent management (TM), this paper examines the nature and scope of collaborative TM within public services in Scotland. A mixed methods approach comprising a questionnaire followed by a series of in-depth, key informant interviews with senior human resource leads from across public service organizations informs the empirical work. The findings reveal the high impact of context on TM strategy, underscoring the need for sufficient consideration to be afforded to contextual factors. In particular, vast conceptual ambiguity is evident when defining the nature of, need for, and value add from collaborative TM initiatives. The extent to which organizations advocate and adhere to inclusive or exclusive approaches to TM deepens the level of conceptual complexity. Further, the nature of collaboration itself is highly complex and constitutes a substantial barrier to the challenges associated with developing and progressing collaborative TM initiatives. Of particular note, and aligning to the conference theme, is the high level of inter-organizational power, politics and competition that is perceived to be inhibiting co-operation and co-production of collaborative TM interventions.

  • Date:

    08 June 2018

  • Publication Status:


  • Publisher

    Northumbria University

  • Library of Congress:

    HD28 Management. Industrial Management

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    658 General management

  • Funders:

    Edinburgh Napier Funded


Grant, K., Mackie, R., Gadsden, S., & McLaughlin, D. (2018). Developing and managing talent in public services: Navigating the collaborative landscape. In Conference Proceedings



Talent; talent development, talent management; collaboration; public services; public sector

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