Competitive intelligence specialist expertise in the Zimbabwean banking sector: hidden talent? A case study of Steward Bank Zimbabwe

Tawodzera, W., 2018. Competitive intelligence specialist expertise in the Zimbabwean banking sector: hidden talent? A case study of Steward Bank Zimbabwe. DBA, Nottingham Trent University.

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What has been an enduring gap in both research and practice since the McKinsey consultants first published their report on 'The war for talent' in 1998 as a response to rising competition between organisations globally, is the lack of talent management systems where professional rather than leadership talent is recognised. By focusing on the competitive intelligence specialist role, this study explores how a seemingly strategic professional role is framed in the context of organisational talent within the banking sector of Zimbabwe. It is noteworthy that the modern thinking around talent management in organisations has been dominated by research done in United States of America (US), Europe and Asia with a focus on multinational and private organisations (Thunnissen et al., 2013a: 1745). Of notable concern is the lack of empirical efforts towards talent management within the African continent, even more so in the context of the banking sector, and this study is an attempt to address this gap.

By using a conceptual framework derived from a critical review of competitive intelligence specialist and talent management literature, the study uses qualitative methods to collect research data from the case study bank, namely Steward Bank. To illuminate how the research participants framed the research phenomenon, frame analysis was adopted and achieved through the analytical use of a signature matrix consisting of two elements: rhetorical framing devices and rhetorical reasoning devices.

Contrary to the research expectations, in this case study, the competitive intelligence specialist activities are not embedded in specific roles but instead are dispersed across the organisations in different departments. This setup is attributed to the dispersed nature of the requisite knowledge resident in different parts of the organisation. It is clear from the findings that competitive intelligence specialist activities are recognised as a key differentiator to organisational performance, and arguably deserve to be recognised as talent. However, the formal talent management system does not recognise competitive intelligence specialist activities as organisational talent, thereby pointing to rhetorical obfuscation by participants. Furthermore, different aspects of how talent is defined emerged ranging from an innate view of talent, with some going further to attribute talent as a gift from God, to an acquired view of talent where participants suggest that the more they practice competitive intelligence activities, the more expertise they tend to gain.

Based on findings of this study, it is argued that organisations will benefit more from a holistic approach to talent management, which not only includes key strategic leadership roles but also incorporates key strategic specialist roles and key strategic specialist activities similar to the competitive intelligence specialist activities. Also, both academics and practitioners need to reconsider the institutionalisation of competitive intelligence and incorporate the dispersed competitive intelligence activities approach. By successfully applying frame analysis, this study has also heightened the notion of frame signature matrix as a data analysis technique for identifying how actors frame certain phenomenon within the organisational context.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Tawodzera, W.
Date: April 2018
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 11 Jun 2018 10:13
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2018 10:13

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