Line managers’ involvement in talent management: the case of a Malawian bank

Nakweya, C.M., 2023. Line managers’ involvement in talent management: the case of a Malawian bank. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

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Although there is consensus among practitioners and academics about the progress made in talent management (TM) research and the recognition of line managers (LMs) as essential stakeholders in TM due to their influence on organisational performance, our comprehension of how LMs are involved in TM remains limited. Moreover, existing frameworks for analysing LMs' involvement in TM are fragmented and lack a unified approach. As a result, there is a growing call for research studies focusing on this subject, particularly in national and industrial contexts that have received less attention. This thesis aims to fill this gap by examining LMs' involvement in TM within a banking case study organisation (CSO). Its primary objectives are twofold: (1) to expand empirical knowledge on LMs' involvement in TM in understudied national and industrial contexts, and (2) to offer valuable insights to organisational policymakers on how to effectively involve LMs in TM to enhance TM's sustainable competitive advantage. The thesis is driven by three research questions: (1) how talent is understood and managed through the lens of the TM philosophy; (2) how LMs are involved in TM; and (3) which factors prohibit or facilitate LMs’ involvement in TM.

The study adopted an interpretivist epistemology and utilised an inductive approach, a qualitative research strategy, and a case study research design. To gain a deeper understanding of the topic, a total of 47 in-depth one-on-one semi-structured interviews were conducted with key stakeholders at various levels. Additionally, secondary data analysis was performed to complement the primary data. The data analysis process employed a reflexive thematic analysis strategy and NVIVO software was utilized to aid in the analysis.

The study reveals that the CSO employs a hybrid TM philosophy, incorporating both an exclusive key position TM philosophy and an inclusive TM philosophy, to manage diverse talents. Overall, LMs were moderately involved in TM. Their involvement was also moderate in both the exclusive key position and inclusive self-initiated talent development TM philosophies, indicating consistency in their level of involvement across both philosophies. The overall moderate level of LMs’ involvement in TM primarily stemmed from their high involvement in operational TM tasks, accompanied by moderate decision-making authority, moderate financial power and moderate TM expertise. Additionally, external forces (e.g. low leadership independence, the COVID-19 pandemic) and internal factors, such as the CSO's bureaucracy, resource constraints hindered LMs from fulfilling their designated TM roles, further resulting in a disparity between their prescribed and actual involvement in TM. Finally, a unified framework was generated to analyse prescribed and actual involvement of LMs in TM within the CSO. The study’s contributions lie in expanding the application of two analytical frameworks1 and institutional isomorphism by combining them in this unified framework to analyse varied dimensions of LMs’ involvement in TM. Additionally, the study responds to several scholars’ calls for more in-depth studies on LMs’ involvement in TM in under-studied national and industrial contexts. Finally, practical insights are provided to CSO policymakers into effectively involving LMs in TM.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Nakweya, C.M.
Pass, S.Thesis
Caven, V.Thesis
Mitsakis, F.Thesis
Date: September 2023
Rights: The copyright in this work is held by the author. You may copy up to 5 percent of this work for private study, or personal, non-commercial research. Any re-use of the information contained within this document should be fully referenced, quoting the author, title, university, degree level and pagination. Queries or requests for any other use, or if a more substantial copy is required, should be directed to the author.
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Record created by: Jeremy Silvester
Date Added: 26 Jun 2024 09:11
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2024 09:11

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