The new talent management challenges of industry 4.0

Whysall, Z. ORCID: 0000-0001-5833-9486, Owtram, M. and Brittain, S., 2019. The new talent management challenges of industry 4.0. Journal of Management Development, 38 (2), pp. 118-129. ISSN 0262-1711

13456_Whysall.pdf - Post-print

Download (226kB) | Preview


Purpose: The transformational changes to business environments brought about by the fourth industrial revolution create a perfect storm for strategic human resource management, prompting a need to explore the implications of this context for talent management theory and practice.

Design/methodology/approach: In-depth interviews were conducted with HR Directors and Senior Leaders within engineering-led organisations to explore current challenges experienced across each stage of the talent pipeline: attraction and recruitment, training and development, career development, talent mobility, and succession planning.

Findings: The speed of technological change brought about by Industry 4.0 had created a significant gap between current capability of employees and the rapidly evolving requirements of their roles, prompting a need to consider new and more effective approaches to talent development. Middle managers are increasingly recognised as overlooked critical talent within this context of unprecedented change, given their essential role in change management. In addition, whilst lateral hiring remains a common talent management practice, in the case of Industry 4.0 this equates to fighting a war for talent that does not exist.

Practical implications: This study suggests that there is a need for evolution of talent management theory and practice towards a more dynamic, systems-thinking orientation, acknowledging the interrelated nature of different talent management activities.

Originality/value: This paper provides an in-depth insight into the impact of the unprecedented change brought about by Industry 4.0 on contemporary talent management practice, considering how theory and practice might need to evolve to enable individuals and organisations to keep up with the rate of technological change.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Journal of Management Development
Creators: Whysall, Z., Owtram, M. and Brittain, S.
Publisher: Emerald
Date: 2019
Volume: 38
Number: 2
ISSN: 0262-1711
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 01 Mar 2019 16:13
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2019 11:12

Actions (login required)

Edit View Edit View


Views per month over past year


Downloads per month over past year