Talent development as an alternative to orthodox career thinking: the Scandinavian case

Larsen, Henrik Holt, Stensaker, Inger G., Gooderham, Paul ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6397-5823 and Schramm-Nielsen, Jette (2020) Talent development as an alternative to orthodox career thinking: the Scandinavian case. In: Oxford Handbook of Lifelong Learning. London, Manuel, ed. Oxford University Press, New York. e-ISBN 9780197506707. [Book Section] (Published online first) (doi:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780197506707.013.22)

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This chapter argues that orthodox career thinking – which focuses on vertical progression to higher-level managerial positions - is suffering from three shortcomings. First, it is insufficient to explain career dynamics in modern knowledge organizations. Second, it disregards the importance of experiential, lifelong learning on the job. Third, it does not incorporate how career is embedded in the organizational and cultural context, including a wide range of national, institutional features.

Based on this, the chapter suggests that we move the focus from narrow career thinking to the more broad-banded concept of talent. The talent concept signifies any kind of outstanding competence of an individual (whether it is managerial or any kind of significant specialist field) which is strategically important to the organization, difficult to achieve, difficult to replace by other types of resources, and difficult to replicate by competitors. Also, a broader definition of how talent can be developed is needed, as it should encompass informal and experiential methods as well as formal education.

The broader concept of talent is discussed in relation to the Scandinavian context, as the Scandinavian countries (Denmark, Norway and Sweden) are knowledge intensive economies with a highly educated workforce. This characteristic makes a broader talent paradigm much more appropriate that an orthodox managerial career perception and model.

Item Type: Book Section
Research Areas: A. > Business School > International Management and Innovation > International Business group
Item ID: 29901
Notes on copyright: This is a draft of a chapter that has been accepted for publication by Oxford University Press in The Oxford Handbook of Lifelong Learning, Second Edition Edited by Manuel London, 2021, reproduced by permission of Oxford University Press https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780197506707.013.22
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Depositing User: Paul Gooderham
Date Deposited: 14 May 2020 08:41
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 18:11
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/29901

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