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Abstract

The study hotels during the current recession and its implication to the long term human resource strategy and the business strategy as a whole.

Talent management is an espoused and enacted commitment to implementing an integrated, strategic and technology enabled approach to human resource management (HRM). This commitment stems in part from the widely shared belief that human resources are the organization's primary source of competitive advantage; an essential asset that is becoming in increasingly short supply. The benefits of an effectively implemented talent management strategy include improved employee recruitment and retention rates, and enhanced employee engagement. These outcomes in turn have been associated with improved operational and financial performance. The external and internal drivers and restraints for talent management are many. Of particular importance is senior management understanding and commitment.(huges and rogs)

As cipd (waron tealent) puts it

Rather than a 'war for talent' there currently seems to be a 'war on talent'. We wanted to find out how important organisations consider talent to be when times get tough. Our reason for surveying organisations about the impact of the downturn on talent management practices was not to further contribute to the negative press but rather to focus on some of the positive measures that can be taken to make the best of the situation, grasp any opportunities that present themselves and ensure through their continued focus on talent that organisations are able to bounce back faster and harder than competitors. We are therefore highlighting some of the practical steps that CEOs, HR professionals and all people managers can implement to fight against the likely 'war on talent', help lift us out of this current decline and ultimately contribute to the long-term success and sustainability of our organisations.

The major premise of this research work has been the assessment of the impact of mergers and acquisitions on employees' morale, with particular emphasis on ASDA stores limited.

The main aim of the work being to assess the impact of mergers and acquisitions on the morale of employees in an acquired firm. In doing so efforts were made to highlight and discuss certain variables thus: Historical trend of mergers and acquisitions, overview of the retail sector in the U.K, brief overview of the organisation, definition of mergers and acquisitions, distinction between mergers and acquisitions, reasons why mergers and acquisitions take place, common causes of failure of mergers and acquisitions, employee morale, effects of mergers, and acquisitions on employee morale, employee morale, and employee productivity.

The questionnaire method of gathering data was employed, this was chosen because it was deemed suitable for this kind of work.

A hypothesis was formulated to guide data collection and analysis, and discussions were tested with certain items raised on the questionnaire administered.

The presentation and interpretation of the findings were done in chapter four of the work.

Several findings were buttressed in this work, the main one being that the corporate decisions of management such as mergers and acquisitions affects the morale of its employees to a large extent, and that in most cases the employees are not incorporated properly into these actions, thereby lowering their morale, hence their commitment to the organisation.

Upon the findings obtained in this study, recommendations were made to guide future researchers, and to bring to the fore the effects of mergers and acquisitions on employee's morale (especially of the acquired firm).

INTRODUCTION.

BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY.

The aim of this paper is to explore one of the biggest issues and challenges now faced by hospitality industry, that of how to attract and retain talented people during the down turn especially given the fact it is one of lowest wages paid in industry in UK.(www.cipd.co.uk). The research is in strategic human resource management. It will concentrate on the examining the managerial role in the recent downturn with respect to the talent management and its contribution to long term business success in hospitality industry with in United Kingdom.

It will also consider the impact of the down turn on managerial and developmental concept of talent management in the context of the weak labour market attributes of the hospitality industry in UK.

OVERVIEW OF UK HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY

Several studies have shown that The hotel industry is known for its poor pay and employment conditions and a low take-up of HR practices. It is generally believed that the industry has relied on a low cost, numerically flexible and disposable workforce (Knox and Walsh,)

Baron () agrees to this view that stating that the image of careers in the industry remains poor and both education and industry must exert effort in addressing this issue. He levels the job in this as of one having image as menial jobs poor couples with the poor career opportunities and limited rewards. Because of all these reasons the Generation Y will be even less likely to choose hospitality as a viable, long-term prospect which is evident from the fact that the there is already a low demand for hospitality and tourism studies in instead students opting for alternatives such as event management.

Similarly, many contemporary organizational developments are leading to a greater incidence of flatter and leaner organization structures, thereby reducing the number and levels of middle management in an attempt to maintain competitive advantage. Within the hospitality industry, this has been realized through line managers/head of departments taking responsibility for roles previously carried out by redundant assistant managers. Coupled with this reduction in the number of middle managers, many organizations have also taken the opportunity to review the structure and role of support services. Personnel and training, finance and marketing/sales have seen the greatest degree of reorganization, with many being removed from unit level to provide a wider, more strategic cover, while others have moved from being conceived as a core activity, to a more peripheral position. Examples can be found in UK companies such as Forte Hotels, Gardner Merchant and Stakis Hotels The hospitality industry is renowned for its ease of entry wherein hospitality operators require no qualifications to enter the market and many are poorly qualified. One consequence of this is the perpetuation of "limited, traditional management techniques and an insularity within the industry"[ (Watson and Brotherthorn)

The issue of long working hours was a commonly remarked upon aspect of managerial work within the hotels. It was portrayed both as an inevitable feature of the job (in a '24/7' business) and as a consequence of a very 'hands-on' form of management. In relation to the latter, managers were expected to step in and cover for absent staff or to take calls at home for staff who could not handle problems themselves. Expectations were that managers would come in at weekends but not take time off during the week to compensate. This did lead to excessive time spent at work with, for example, a director of Catering (Luxco) saying: . . . last year I worked 40 out of 52 weekends. And you have to work midweek too. It's not like you can make up that time (cited Mcdonald) The area that has most recently been a focus for examination regarding the retention of staff is that of the role that balancing working and family life has in turnover decisions. The research by Doherty (2004) and Maxwell (2005) provide insights into the link between the work-life conflict and employee turnover. Maxwell suggests that managers are key to the initiation and implementation of WLB policies with some of those policies being the introduction of flexible working hours and arrangements, providing better training, breaks from work and better work support. All these strategies not only address WLB issues but also enhance employee retention (cite deery)

Strategic Human Resource Management :

The first concept of Human Resource Management (HRM) came around early 1980's. Legge (1989, cited Truss and Granthan,1994) ,argues that HRM is distinctive in a number of ways form personnel roles as HRM focuses on the management and control of subordinates, centres on the management team. Secondly, line managers play a key role in HRM in co-ordinating resources towards achieving profit, which is not the case under personnel management and, finally, the management of organizational culture is an important aspect of HRM, but plays no role in personnel management.

Strategic human resource management, or the linking of HRM with strategic goals and objectives in order to improve business performance and develop organizational cultures that foster innovation and flexibility, is a major concem as we begin to emerge from recession in the mid-1990s to face a newly defined and highly competitive marketplace.

Organizations at all levels, and in both the public and the private sectors, are increasingly tuming to SHRM techniques to pave the way for these changes, bringing erstwhile personnel departments to the forefront of organizational transformation and survival as never beforeStrategic Human Resource Management (SHRM) has evolved as a 'bridge' between business strategy and the management of human resources (Butler et al, 1991; Lorange and Murphy, 1984; Lengnick-HaU and Lengnick-Hall, 1990; Boxall, 1991:61). Schuler Mid Walker (1990: 7) provide the following definition," Human resource strategy is a set of processes and activities jointly shared by human resources and line managers to solve people-related business issue" (Truss and Granthan,1994).

According to Schuler(1992), organizations typically define (or redefine) their strategic business needs during times of turbulence. As such, these needs reflect management's overall plan for survival, growth, adaptability, and profitability. Successful efforts at strategic HR management begin with the identification of strategic business needs. If these needs are important to the success of the business, and if human resources management can be instrumental in meeting these needs, then these needs should be systematically analysed for their impact on human resources management activities, including HR philosophy, HR policies, HR programs, HR practices, and HR processes.

Iles( 2007 cited Green ,2008), defines the talent management as a holistic approach to human resource planning aimed at strengthening organisational capability and driving business priorities using a range of HR interventions. These include a focus on performance enhancement, career development and succession planning At the outset of the current economic downturn, at this time of extreme change, corporate leaders widely--and wisely--professed that keeping their organizations' best people was their top priority. As the recession deepens, and it has, some leaders are tempted to choose between retention of top talent and cost reduction. In fact, they must do both. They must focus intensely on the management of business by controlling costs, creating efficiencies and restructuring to keep the organization vibrant and healthy so that it may later prosper. They also must focus on retaining and strengthening their best people.

When organizations attempt to control costs by laying off employees, without the right critical thinking and processes, they run the risk of not having the right team to survive the downturn or compete successfully when the economy improves. By contrast, well-managed organizations--and there are many--are looking beyond the current financial turmoil to define the skills they will need in the future.

HR professionals know that skilled employees are at a premium--regardless of the economy's condition. In recent years, in nearly every sector of American business, jobs went unfilled because employers Could not find candidates with the necessary training and skills for a knowledge-based, technology-driven, high-performance workplace.

Today, with unemployment at a 25-year high, the economic environment has changed dramatically, but the need to invest in talent has become even more important. A skilled, educated workforce is essential for our recovery and future financial security. This was true before the current downturn, it's true today, and it will be even more so when economic health is restored

STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM.

According to James , the key differentiator between good and great organisations is their ability to find, develop and retain talent. If an organisation is to survive, then it will only be through ensuring the continuity of its management and having the right people in the right place at the right time with the right skills. (Cannon,James,talent mangement and successioon planning)

A key challenge in this line of research is to describe the processes that explain the relationship between practices and an organization's performance.Wright and Haggerty (2005) note that the practice-outcome link, as operationalized in research studies and theoretical models, is generally distal and the level of analysis is the firm. In other words, individuals (the "talent" usually referred to by practitioners of talent management) are omitted from the model. Wright and Haggerty (2005) call attention to the need develop more complete strategic HRM models that account for multiple levels of analysis, the effect of time, and causality.(cited hh.pdf)

No literature was found that examines processes for ensuring that metrics are fed back to decision-makers (hiring managers, supervisors, etc.) regarding the talent decisions they frequently make. The validity of managers' choices to send one person over another to a development program, to hire one person over another, or to nominate an individual for a high-potential talent pool are easily calculated, meaningful metrics that have the potential to markedly improve organizational talent decisions. How these measures can be reported, and the accountability framework needed to ensure action, remains unstudied.

Summary

Researchers have an opportunity to bring clarity and thought leadership to a popular topic that lacks coherence and rigor. TM as it is used is a term without value. By grounding TM in a strategic decision framework that clearly guides talent decisions, developing systems-level models that illustrate the multi-pool impacts of talent choices, and developing reliable, validity, and theoretically meaningful measures researchers can markedly improve the quality of talent conversations in organizations.(cited hh)

OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY.

The key objective of this research was to find out whether the current economic climate or recession has affected organisational talent management approaches and strategies in the hospitality industry in UK.

Introduction

Talent management (TM) can be defined as a holistic approach to human resource planning aimed at strengthening organisational capability and driving business priorities using a range of HR interventions. These include a focus on performance enhancement, career development and succession planning (Iles, 2007). The concept of TM has evolved into common management practice and while originally focused on recruitment (Michaels et al., 2001), it is now recognised as a much broader concept aimed at attracting, retaining, developing and transitioning talented employees. This paper presents the views of a number of senior managers in the hospitality and tourism sector, and develops a deeper understanding of their perceptions around the value of TM, the approaches they adopt, and the issues and challenges they face in the process.

The objectives of the discussion were as follows:

  • To examine senior managers views on TM in terms of its definition and meaning and its contribution to business success.(cited Green) To explore current practice in a range of hospitality and tourism organisations at each stage of the TM pipeline, specifically attraction, retention, development and transitioning of talent.
  • To uncover managers views on challenges and issues at each stage and provide practical suggestions for process improvement.(cited Green)

SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY.

  • This study will be useful to the HR practitioners within and outside hospitality industry and to the senior management in of any business who are practicing HRM .
  • It will also be useful to prospective employees as well, in understanding the HR managerial perspective of talent management during normal economic times and during recession and helping to choose the right company for the job security, stability and future growth.
  • It can also be useful to the Human Resource consultants, Talent Managers, Talent scouts, recruitment agencies..
  • It will also be very useful as a basis for further research work, by students, government agencies, management consultants, and any other interested party.

RESEARCH HYPOTHESES :

For the purpose of clarity the hypothesis for the research is didvided into two hierarchical levels. The literature review will provide the necessary background information about the Talent Management and processes involved in its implementation . The research itself is set out to answer a number of hypothesis,.

The following propositions will be tested:

  1. Talent Management is even more important and applicable in recession than in normal times.

These are main hypothesis and are supported by the additional ones, which will either support or refute above key proposition.

  1. To find out how if there exist any talent management practices in UK hospitality industries
  2. To find out the HR practitioners perspective of talent management with in the hospitality industry
  3. Talent pool or All-inclusive ?
  4. View on succession planning
  5. Tracking of talent
  6. Talent review panel or committee
  7. Primary source of recruitment
  8. Support from senior line managers within the organisation
  9. It is difficult to do talent management in hotel industry
  10. Hotel industry is known for poor pay, low skill and long hours of work
  11. Organisational success is the most effective evaluatiob of Talent Management
  12. Pycological contract plays a vital role in motivating and retaining emplyoyees speacilly during recesiion
  13. To find out the HR practitioners perspective in talent management during recession
  14. To find out if there is any change in regarding policy or practices of talent management during recession
  15. All the HR managers within the hospitality industry has the similar understanding for the meaning of 'talent management'
  16. Work Enviornrmrnt :
  17. Evaluation of the performance management results is the best tool for identifying talent in the organisation
  18. The other important issue the research will look in to ongoing debate of talent management, whether it is for the high potentials only (talent pool) or is for everyone in the organisation?

SCOPE OF STUDY.

RESEARCH APPROACH:

It will be based on quantitative and qualitative data researched from an interpretivist perspective. The methods used will be a mix of closed and open-ended questionnaire.

The questionnaires will be sent across electronically through a software 'survey monkey' to about 150 HR Managers or senior managers of different hotels across UK . Although focussing predominantly on HR Managers, any views from senior managers related HRM within the organisations will also be considered. The questionnaire will be designed to measure manager's attitude, behaviour and perception to Talent Management in current economic climate and any future strategy to tackle the situation with focus on practice versus policy.

The data collected from the questionnaires distributed will be analysed in a systematic way, so as to facilitate verification and authenticity of the proposition being tested. The tests to the propositions will provide answers to the research hypothesis earlier stated.However, the statistical tool to be used for the data analysis in chapter four is the simple percentage method.

LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY.

In the process of conducting this research work on 'The HR Mang, a number of fac . Some of them are:

  • The attitude of the respondents. Some respondents would take the researcher to be an agent of management and would deliberately refuse to answer the questions, give a partial answer, or even give fake information.
  • Closely associated with this, is the fact that some of the respondents may not return the questionnaire to the researcher. This will be a big limitation of this study, since it will further deplete the sample of workers in the company used for the study.
  • Other problems likely to be encountered will be inadequate time, financial, and geographical constraints. The researcher will be heavily limited by time to conduct an adequate in-depth research into the subject as he would have intended to do.
  • Also, the researcher being a student will experience limited financial resources, this is likely to limit the extent to which this research work can be carried out, as access to some of the secondary data, and information needed are quite expensive.
  • In addition to this, the researcher will be limited geographically, since the company has branches spread out widely across the United Kingdom, and its parent company has its headquarters in the United States. Even though, most of the information can be gotten without necessarily visiting the location, it would have been better to visit the locations in person.
  • The findings of this study are limited to a managerial workforce of Marriott brand of Hotels operating in UK only hence does not cover the wider area of other hotels of different brands and hotels with smaller number of rooms typically less than hundred rooms.
  • As the research a case study of Marriott brand hotels in UK only, there is a possibility of restriction or denial of access due to confidentiality policy of the organisation.

AN OVERVIEW OF TALENT AND TALENT MANAGEMENT

HISTORICAL TREND OF TALENT AND TALENT MANAGEMENT:

The hospitality industry has always found it hard to attract suitably motivated, trained and qualified employees that are able to deliver the service promises that organisations make to their current and potential customers. The hospitality industry has a poor reputation as a source of permanent employment, offering low pay, anti-social working hours, menial work, and limited opportunities for career progression (Kusluvan and Kusluvan, 2000; Baum, 2002; Wood, 1995; Choy, 1995). Regardless, tourism, of which hospitality is a key element, is the world's largest and fastest growing industry and accounts for 10 per cent of global employment (Baum, 2002), and consequently demand for hospitality and tourism employees of all levels is increasing exponentially (World Tourism and Travel Council, 2003). Not surprisingly, the activities of interviewing, hiring, orienting and successfully integrating new employees and developing and keeping current workers and attracting highly skilled workers to work for an organisation is key to the success of the hospitality and tourism industry.

Given shifting demographic patterns and changing generational attitudes, the hospitality industry would benefit from a timely review of these issues, their impact on and importance to the industry, as well as initiating a healthy debate on how best the industry can deal with these issues. This paper aims to provide the impetus for this discussion to begin across the industry. In order to do so, this paper will first set the scene by reviewing the current state of employment issues in the hospitality industry. Thereafter the paper will discuss contemporary attitudes toward the generation undertaking hospitality education and making career decisions.

The first concept of Human Resource Management (HRM) came around early 1980's. Legge (1989, cited Truss and Granthan,1994) ,argues that HRM is distinctive in a number of ways form personnel roles as HRM focuses on the management and control of subordinates, centres on the management team. Secondly, line managers play a key role in HRM in co-ordinating resources towards achieving profit, which is not the case under personnel management and, finally, the management of organizational culture is an important aspect of HRM, but plays no role in personnel management.

Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRM) has evolved as a 'bridge' between business strategy and the management of human resources (Butler et al, 1991; Lorange and Murphy, 1984; Lengnick-HaU and Lengnick-Hall, 1990; Boxall, 1991:61). Schuler Mid Walker (1990: 7) provide the following definition," Human resource strategy is a set of processes and activities jointly shared by human resources and line managers to solve people-related business issue" (Truss and Granthan,1994).

According to Schuler(1992), organizations typically define (or redefine) their strategic business needs during times of turbulence. As such, these needs reflect management's overall plan for survival, growth, adaptability, and profitability. Successful efforts at strategic HR management begin with the identification of strategic business needs. If these needs are important to the success of the business, and if human resources management can be instrumental in meeting these needs, then these needs should be systematically analysed for their impact on human resources management activities, including HR philosophy, HR policies, HR programs, HR practices, and HR processes.

Iles( 2007 cited Green ,2008), defines the talent management as a holistic approach to human resource planning aimed at strengthening organisational capability and driving business priorities using a range of HR interventions. These include a focus on performance enhancement, career development and succession planning.

What is talent management?

It is difficult to identify the precise meaning of "talent management" because of the confusion regarding definitions and terms and the many assumptions made by authors who write about TM. The terms "talent management", "talent strategy", "succession management", and "human resource planning" are often used interchangeably. Consider, for instance, the following statements regarding processes for managing people in organizations: ...ensure the right person is in the right job at the right time (Jackson & Schuler, 1990, p. 235); ...a deliberate and systematic effort by an organization to ensure leadership continuity in key positions and encourage individual advancement (Rothwell, 1994, p. 6); and, ...managing the supply, demand, and flow of talent through the human capital engine (Pascal, 2004, p. ix), (cite hh.pdf)

Entrepreneurs and VCs grab a lot of the headlines, but there are also those driving through change at all levels in traditional businesses, from the boardroom to the commercial and creative coalface. It's all the more important to realise this in the middle of a recession, because it's right now that all the talk about investing in talent, which rolls off the tongue so easily during a boom, is quickly replaced by headcount freezes and, unfortunately, redundancies. This is always going to be a tricky line to toe. Costs have to be controlled, and in most digital businesses people are the biggest single cost. It makes the challenge of keeping talented people motivated and engaged even harder.(cite simon.pdf}

In defining talent, it is worthwhile referring back to Michaels et al. (2001) who first coined the phrase "the war for talent". They define talent in a general sense as the sum of a person's ability, to include their skills, knowledge and potential for development. They argue that a certain part of talent eludes description "you simply know it when you see it". Many companies today invest resources in describing the behaviours that they would like to encourage in talented employees and these will vary from organisation to organisation. There is therefore likely to be no universal description of talent and each company will work towards understanding the specific talent profile that fits best with their culture and structure. Achieving a comprehensive approach to TM involves organisations in a journey, focused on firstly establishing a strong business case for talent and understanding the direction and needs of the business and secondly aligning this with a range of HR systems and processes. While this makes good business sense and there are many well-documented and compelling arguments for developing a TM strategy, a recent CIPD (2006a) survey reported that 60 per cent of organisations had no formal TM strategy and 80 per cent had no formal definition of talent. The aim of this discussion with hospitality and tourism managers, was to present a snapshot of views on the value of TM and current practice but at the same time highlight the problems that exist in developing a formal strategy and go some way towards understanding why TM is such a compelling yet elusive concept. (green)

In summary, the major research findings from this study suggest that the hospitality industry has created and reinforced a turnover culture. Employees generally enter with the b ne of the main determinants predicted to have a significant role in an individual's decision to leave an organisation is that of the turnover culture. This variable has often been alluded to in the literature on labour turnover, but has been largely untested. This is quite surprising given that the hospitality industry has been characterised in terms of high turnover rates, a part-time and casual workfolre, an absence of an internal labour market - ie low job security, promotional opportunity and career development, plus low wages and low skills levels. elief that there is limited career development and promotional opportunity. Turnover culture can have an impact on the organisation in a negative way by acting as a counterculture to the organisation's main objectives (Cooke and Rousseau, 1988). This is especially true when objectives such as quality of service and reduced costs are used as sources of competitive advantage(Iverson and Deery)

The key to this strategy is improving the communication channels, such as reducing role conflict, by addressing both work and social issues of groups and conveying to employees that the culture is changing from one of turnover to one of retention. This strategy is consistent with Simms et a1 (1988) who argue that the majority of hospitality organisations fail to promote the perception of long-term commitment to their employees by the lack of formalised management procedures, such as performance appraisal. Hence, having the appropriate personnel policies and practices - eg job security via long-term contracts and permanency - in place to reflect this change is important to the process. Another strategy directed at reducing the growth of a turnover culture may lie in more comprehensive and strategically-placed induction programmes highlighting the organisation's aim for long-term employment. Denvir and McMahon (1992) reported that hotels which spent considerably more time and money on their induction programmes retained their employees longer at both the operative and management level than those hotels which spent little on their programmes. Nonetheless, it would appear that there is minimal financial commitment to induction programmes in most hotels (Tourism Training Australia, 1991). Other inducements such as fringe benefits and retirement programmes have also been found to reduce turnover (Ohlin and West, 1994). Accordingly, given these findings, the challenge to the hospitality industry is to change this turnover culture to one of retention via the implementation of these various applicable strategies.(Iverson and Deary ) In summary, then, the pressures that hospitality and tourism employees are under appears to significantly contribute to employee turnover and the lack of staff retention. The excessively long hours, style of management and conflict between work and family life, present barriers tomaking the tourismwork environment an attractive and stable one.(deary) The concept of graduate talent in an organizational sense continues to resist any one singular definition, highlighting the inability to agree on what constitutes the notion of talent itself. Challenges lie in the identification of acceptable, tangible characteristics of talented individuals and how they are best managed to the benefit of themselves, and the organisation. Evidence suggests that the term talent is often used in a holistic fashion, to convey a variety of meanings upon which individuals and organizations will place differing degrees of priority, according to business and personal circumstances (Table I). One central value is that "individuals understand that in exchange for their effort and commitment the company will help them develop their potential" (Woodrufe, 1999). In essence, this emphasis on the role and responsibility of the organization can be considered crucial when increasing employee performance (Buckingham and Vosburgh, 2001). This goal is an obvious priority for hospitality organisations, with their necessary emphasis on quality of service. It also underlines the reliance on developing employees within the industry, as a key strategy for future success (CIPD, 2007). The growing requirement for professional, career driven employees, in the area of hospitality management means that the industry must provide a strategic bedrock from which to identify, nurture and maintain its talent. The Hilton Group have streamlined their approach to this concept via the elevator programme (Beal, 2004). This aims to select graduate trainees of the highest quality to become hotel general managers in a short period. This type of initiative highlights recognition of the special needs of the hospitality industry, and indeed the specific value of the talent management concept to future success. The concept has been defined more generally, as incorporating the following characteristics in varying degrees:

  • it is organisational specific;
  • highly influenced by the type of industry and the nature of its work; and
  • dynamic, and so likely to change over time according to organisational priorities (Clake and Winkler, 2006a).

The ability to fit and tailor the concept around organizational goals has meant that companies often find greater value in formulating their own meaning of what talent is (with a "local" value), rather than accepting a universal or prescribed definition.(cited scott)

TALENT MANAGEMENT PROCESS:

Sharma and Bhatnager ( ) has come The talent management process was divided into the following steps:

  1. Identification of talent - the people were assessed on the organization's competency framework. The methodology used was through the Assessment & Development Centers. This method was adopted for all middle managers.
  2. Based on the assessment results, the participants were plotted on a talent matrix (Figure 9) which is a Performance versus Potential 3 £ 3 matrix (middle managers only). The matrix was shared only with the CEO and the HODs. The employees are not aware of either the matrix or their talent type.
  3. Documentation of the individual development plan (IDP) (see Appendix 2, Figure A2) by the individual. It captured the following:
    • Aspirations - short and long term.
    • Areas of strength.
    • Areas of improvement.
  4. Individual then discussed the IDP with the reporting manager/functional head. There were various learning strategies that could be adopted for leadership development.
  5. Signoff between the reporting manager/function head was taken to have complete commitment on the plan.
  6. Individual then took charge of his/her learning and the manager enabled the same.
  7. Reporting manager/function head conducted periodic reviews to ascertain the progress on each of the areas. These reviews were done one on one and the same was shared with human resources to facilitate the development.

Scott and Revis (cite)The effective management of organisational talent is without doubt a complicated process, with many issues and functions to consider ensuring a systematic approach. A resultant Talent Development System (TDS) takes effort to create and requires integrative practice and ongoing maintenance or it will undoubtedly fail. According to CIPD (2007), this includes attention to career management, training and development, performance management, strategic HR planning, recruitment and selection as well as succession planning activity. These factors will be prioritised according to fit with organisational requirements. A notable development of recent years is that individuals no longer devote or trust their careers to one employer. They adopt a more pro-active stance, seeking out organisations with the best professional development criteria (Mirvisand Hall, 1994; Roehling et al., 2000, Sullivan, 1999; Tanskey and Cohen, 2001). Success in talent management practices for a hospitality business would therefore require systematic incorporation of the following, as part of a wider performance enhancement culture:

  • An agreed organisation specific definition on talent and talent management.
  • A clear language for hospitality talent management activities.
  • A proactive, strategic approach to talent management for the sector.
  • Support from those at the very top of the organizational tree.
  • Engagement of line managers at an early stage.
  • Use of the concept to enhance organisational image and the support of industry branding.
  • Development of activities with other HR policies and practices.
  • Development of talent bases on formal and informal methods.
  • Active engagement of HR Specialists.
  • Tracking of the performance and progress of those identified as talent in the industry (adapted from Clake and Winkler, 2006a).

Role of HR:

The centrality of the HR role in terms of ownership of the employee development ethos is disputed. No one-business function can develop talent on its own and requires the commitment and personal engagement of senior line management to work (Gandz,2006). HR managers therefore face a complex task in devising appropriate HR policy and practice, to accommodate employee expectations within corporate strategy.

Policies relate specifically to recruitment, retention and training and must be integrated to provide an implicit understanding between the individual and the organisation (Rees and McBain, 2004). A hospitality graduate perspective on career management would therefore demand that employers link their talent management strategy to the core(cited Scott and Revis} needs of their business and focus on how they relate to, manage, inspire, motivate,develop and reward them as employees (Table III).

Talent Management

Our recommendations for developing a sustainable and creative approach to talent management are detailed below.

Recommendations

  • Develop the abilities of your leaders and talent to lead in difficult times - this will also stand them in good stead when business improves in the future.
  • Consolidate the people management skills of your line managers to identify, assess and develop talent effectively (such as performance management, giving feedback and having effective conversations, coaching and engaging your people).
  • Develop pivotal roles and opportunities for stretch assignments that are well supported.
  • Maintain a proactive and consistent approach to performance management.
  • Simplify and embed talent management processes and anchor development to the needs of the business.
  • Support and engage employees through the downturn - communicate what is happening and why, keep an ear to the ground to gauge the general mood of employees and support the 'survivors' of the business.
  • Maintain momentum around your employer brand and, if not currently recruiting, keep talent warm for the future.
  • Think holistically and link organisational design, talent management and performance management and engagement.

And finally, as more organisations are offering employees sabbaticals and career breaks to help them cope with the economic climate, it is also worth considering how you continue to keep in touch with and develop the skills of your talented employees who have taken up these options (cite fighting back through talent}

Psychological contract:

The term psychological contract was first used in early work by Argyris in the 1960s (Arnold, 1997). Although it is criticised for being an ill-defned concept, the psychological contract is usually taken to refer to the implicit relationship that exists between individual employers and individual employees concerning their mutual obligation and expectations and the assumptions they make about each other (Herriot, 1992; Hiltrop, 1996; Robinson and Rousseau, 1994). - cited martin Relational contracts describing long-term relationships set in the context of a unitary organisation and built on flexible and therefore dynamic relationships among individuals; and l Transactional contracts describing short-term relationships set in more pluralistic organisational contexts, which were characterised by mutual self interest. Thus responsibilities were precisely defined and consequently static.

These two types of contract had different implications for how employees behaved at work (McLean Parks and Kidder, 1994). Thus most organisations under normal conditions were typified by a mixture of pro-role or committed behaviour and anti-role or compliant behaviour. However, when contracts were violated, relationships were assumed to become more transactional. Just how far employees' contracts shifted along the continuum depended on how individual employees subjectively experienced the employer violation. In this context Robinson and Rousseau's (1994) research concluded with some important findings. First, employer violations of psychological contracts increased the probability of employee turnover while decreasing the satisfaction of those who remained. Secondly, such violations caused employees to reduce their sense of obligation to employers and, at the same time, increased their feelings of what they felt they were owed by their employers.

The economic downturn :

The economic turmoil has brought about a dramatic shift in senior management's business challenges as cutting and managing costs, frequently with huge layoffs, have become top priorities. Analysts say that sound talent management is in danger of becoming one of the casualties in this environment as the pool of available talent deepens.

As the recession wears on, senior industry executives are fíghting a workforce management battle on two fronts: cut jobs to save costs and make the most of the talent that remains. Deloitte of 336 executives worldwide. However, the study shows that most firms are not integrating workforce planning into all levels of their planning www.chemweek .com processes, an oversight that could cost them in the long run. "It takes a different type of management skill to manage in a down cycle," says Jim Aslaksen, sector leader/Chemicals and senior partner at executive recruitment firm Korn/Ferry International (Chicago). Finding the right person for the job at hand has not been made any easier by the growing, massive pool of available taient created by the recession, companies say. "Top talent is hard to find no matter what economic climate we're in," Freeze-Plory si^s. "It's not that top talent isn't being released, bnt it's a fallacy to think that it's an easy process to secure skill sets in the chemicals space." It is harder now than before the recession to lure top talent away from a competitor for several reasons, bnt especially due to job security issues. Freeze-Flory says. "The [job] market is highly unstable now. ... Job security is coming back as the hot topic; it's inched back up to the top-three, what-wouldmotivate- you category." Recruiting talent has become especially difficult in recent months if it involves changing geographic locations.(cite talent Management )

CHAPTER THREE.

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

INTRODUCTION

In this chapter, this works seeks to give a vivid description of the method employed in the course of this research. The method adopted does not differ much from what is obtained in a normal survey research. The information on the effects of mergers and acquisitions on employees can be obtained by the use of primary data.

The scope and methods of collecting this data will be discussed under the following topics:

  • The population.
  • The sample size and scope.
  • Data collection instrument.
  • Research Technique/Procedure.
  • Questionnaire Development and Administration.

RESTATEMENT OF THE RESEARCH QUESTIONS.

  1. How are mergers and acquisitions perceived by employees of the acquired company?
  2. Do mergers and acquisitions directly affect the individual employee?
  3. How satisfied are the employees with the state of affairs in the aftermath of the merger?
  4. Has the envisioned synergy come to reality?
  5. Does employee morale have any impact on their performance?

These questions will be answered from the analysed data of the questionnaire to be distributed.

RESEARCH DESIGN

In this research, emphasis will be laid on the use of questionnaire design and personal interview. This will form the primary data, while the secondary data is gotten from past records, annual publications, textbooks, online resources, as well as previous works related to this subject matter.

The method of the research design is partly descriptive and partly explanatory. It is explanatory because it explains in details the effects mergers and acquisitions have on employees' morale. It is descriptive because it describes in detail the level of association between this corporate action of management and employees' morale. It's this association that a conclusion will be drawn.

POPULATION OF THE STUDY.

The term population means the people, events, animals, and objects which a researcher happens to be interested in, in carrying out a study. In this research work, the target population is those employees (colleagues, as Asda calls its employees), who have being with the company for at least eight (8) years, since Wal-mart took over in 1999.

However, from this population, a sample size will be drawn, this will be employees drawn at random from one of Asda stores in South London, located at Clapham Junction. This store has been chosen as its regarded as a core Asda store not only in London, but in the United Kingdom, being located just by the busiest railway station in the United Kingdom, and having being in existence for over twenty (20) years now. With quite a significant number of employees.

SAMPLE SIZE AND SCOPE.

The sample size covers those employees who have been with the company for at least eighth years (8) now at the Clapham junction store of the company. No sex will be discriminated against. The sample cuts across only the Clapham Junction store, other branches in London will be excluded mainly because a lot of them came into operation after 1999, and others in other parts of the United Kingdom will be excluded for financial, time constraints.

It is necessary to choose a sample size for a work of this nature, because of the largeness of the size of the population. Since the characteristics of the chosen sample still apply to a reasonable extent to that of the whole population, the response obtained from the sample will within certain limits adequately represent the response which would have been obtained from the whole population. On this note, generalizations and references will be made to the entire population from which the sample was chosen based on the findings.

The selection of workers for the questionnaire administration will be based on one criteria: length of service.

The questionnaire will be administered using the random sampling method, and about 50 copies of the questionnaire will be distributed to the respondents.

The respondents will be staff at the Clapham Junction store of ASDA only.

DATA COLLECTION INSTRUMENT.

The data in this study will be collected through two (2) source namely;

  1. Primary source of data.
  2. Secondary source of data.

The primary data in this work will be a well structured questionnaire to seek the opinion of the staff of ASDA at its store at Clapham Junction, London, alone, using the criteria for selection mentioned earlier.

The secondary data will be collected from published materials (magazines and newspapers, text books, journals, articles, internet sources), and previous research work, these are readily available in bookshops, websites and the library.

RESEARCH TECHNIQUE/PROCEDURE.

The view of the staff of ASDA, Clapham Junction store, will be sampled through structured questionnaires. This will be based on questions enumerated earlier as the main research questions cum objectives of this study.

The questionnaire has so many advantages, which influenced its choice by the researcher. It is simple and easy to administer and analyse. It is just like an employee survey which provides vital insight into what employees think and how they feel. This make the work very useful to stakeholders.

Also, during the course of this research, other techniques will be adopted to elicit information on the impact of merger and acquisition on the employee morale in the organisation. This will include discussions with staff of the company, oral interviews, library, and internet research.

QUESTIONNAIRE DEVELOPMENT AND ADMINISTRATION.

The instrument for data collection will be a structured questionnaire, which will be designed to get answers to questions. The questionnaire will be made up of two sections. The first section will be for demographic information, while the second section will be an answer generating section.

It will be used primarily because it is considered by the researcher as the easiest means by which the necessary information can be obtained. It will be designed in such a way as to avoid misunderstanding of intention, and to make respondents feel at ease especially those who may not want to answer some kinds of questions.

The questionnaire will ask questions on the respondents' personal data such as name (optional), address (optional), age, and length of service. It will not probe much into the personal details of the respondents so as to make it as anonymous as possible, so the respondents can feel freer to give their opinion.

In the section two of the questionnaire it will ask such questions such as: the extent to which they have been affected individually by the acquisition, management's effort in blending them into the new system, the extent to which things have changed since the acquisition, the extent to which the tradition of the company has been replaced since the acquisition, feelings on their job security before and after the acquisition, the extent to which the acquisition has influenced the performance of the staff, the extent to which they are satisfied with how the acquirer has run things since the acquisition, job satisfaction before and after the merger, the extent to which things have differed since the acquisition, the extent to which the acquisition has influenced the alteration of the contract, the extent to which the feelings of the staff was overlooked during the merger process, the extent to which mergers and acquisitions affect employee morale, the extent to which this morale influences performance, the extent to which the aims and objectives of the merger has been achieved, suggestions on ways by which employee morale can be taken into account in a merger situation, and suggestions on ways though which management can help them blend into the new family.

A five (5) point like scale varying from 'very great extent' to 'very little extent' will be used in the questionnaire, exempting the personal/background information of the respondent, all the items in the questionnaire will be developed from the literature as has been elaborated on in chapter two. Also, respondents will be asked to freely list five (5) problems they have experienced due to the merger, and how they would have been avoided, and resolved.

In administering the questionnaire, fifty (50) copies will be distributed by hand to the respondents, and later collected by the same method personally. There will be no specific breakdown as to the departments or status in the company in this distribution, it will be distributed at random to the staff across all departments, and positions, as long as they have been with the company for at least eight (8) years, that is the years before and after the acquisition took place in 1999.

The outcome of the questionnaire and its analysis will be dealt with in the chapter four (4) of this study.

CHAPTER FOUR.

RESULT AND ANALYSIS

INTRODUCTION

This chapter contains the presentation, interpretation, and discussion of the findings obtained in the course of this study. The hypothesis earlier formulated in the chapter one of this work, to guide data collection and analysis found to be corresponding with certain items raised on the questionnaire administered will be tested in this chapter.

Research can be said to be an investigation due or conducted to search for facts or knowledge. Research activities also provide solution to problems. Conclusions are sometimes drawn from the researcher's findings/investigations whenever there is need to do so.

For this research work, fifty (50) copies of questionnaire were administered to the respondents. All copies were returned, however only 43 were found to be suitable for the research, resulting in an effective response rate of 86%, which the researcher considers significant enough to continue with the work.

The breakdown of the division and number of copies administered to each department will not be specifically stated here. Also, the respondents profile e.g sex, age, marital status, length of service will not be tabulated here. This is to keep the identity of the respondents as anonymous as possible.

The responses will be manually analysed using descriptive statistics, sample percentage and frequency. The problems which arose as a result of the merger which the respondents faced, as have been freely listed by them were subjected to content analysis. The results from the analysis will be shown in table 4.1 to 4.21 in this chapter.

The tally methods will be used in analysing the information obtained from the responses on the questionnaire. It (tally method) is being used because it is one of the simplest statistical means of analysing data and will be done case by case for all the questions in the questionnaire. The data collected will be analysed statistically by simple application of percentage for all the questions on the questionnaire.

The demographic data presented in the following tables:

DATA ANALYSIS :

From the above table (4.1), it can be seen that most of the respondents (81.5%) were of the opinion that the merger has affected them to a 'very great', 'great', and 'some extent'.

Only a few opined that it affected them to a 'little', and 'very little' extent. Hence, the majority opinion was that it affected them to a large extent.

These findings will be comprehensively discussed in the next chapter (chapter five) of this work, with regard to the research questions, literature of the research, relevance of it, conclusion and recommendations.

CHAPTER FIVE

CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Talent management tools beyond recruiting are important in the downturn as well, observers say. Companies still must track how employees perform, manage their development and figure out how much to pay them.

"The talent challenges don't go away just because there's a bad economic climate," says Jim Holincheck, an analyst at research firm Gartner.

Mollie Lombardi, an analyst at consulting firm Aberdeen Group, says firms can raise employee engagement these days by using their existing employee performance and development software. Detailed conversations about performance and learning goals prompt workers to care more about their firm, she says.

While many companies review employee performance just once a year, Forrester's Thomas recommends moving to quarterly performance reviews. "During an economic downturn, it's imperative that you institute more frequent reviews where employee goals are similar across similar roles, are tied directly to revenue generating tasks, and are reviewed consistently," Thomas wrote in his February report.

He also argues that talent management applications can help make smart and defensible job cuts. 'You can mitigate risk by having data to substantiate workforce decisions," Thomas wrote.

SUMMARY OF THE MAJOR FINDINGS.

The impact of mergers and acquisitions has been found to be significant in the chosen case study - ASDA Store Limited, as shown in table 4.1, most of the respondents (81.5%), posit that the acquisition of the company eight years ago has affected them to a 'very great', 'great', and 'some' extent.

Table 4.2 shows that there has been a lot of changes in the way of doing things since the acquisition. Most respondents (93%) attest to this. Table 4.4 also concurs to this, with a large majority of the respondents 83.9% feeling that their organisations tradition has been eroded and replaced in the past eight years as a result of the acquisition.

Tables 4.5 and 4.14 indicate that most of the respondents have had a feeling of job insecurity ever since the acquisition. With 76.7% feeling that their jobs were better secured before the acquisition, and a huge 88.4% of them listing 'a feeling job insecurity' as a problem they have faced as a result of the acquisition.

In responding to the extent to which management's corporate actions such as mergers and acquisitions has an impact on employee's morale, all the respondents felt that it has impacted on their morale to a 'very great', 'great', and 'some' extent.

Also table 4.12 shows that all of the respondents say that employee morale influences their commitment and performance to a 'very great', 'great', and 'some' extent.

The results of this study show that people are aware of and conscious of management's corporate actions such as mergers and acquisitions, and that it affects the morale of the employees in the organisation involved.

The outcome of this study also further confirmed the work of many renowned writers, scholars, and authors who have been cited during the course of the literature review of this work.

DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS.

In the course of undertaking this research work, a thorough analysis was made on the subject matter; the impact of mergers and acquisitions on employee morale.

In this research, it was discovered that a mergers and acquisitions has affected employees morale to a reasonable extent. This confirms that mergers and acquisitions has a significant impact on employees (Sudarsanam, 2003).

Lack of proper Communication and awareness was also observed. Most of the respondents suggested more communication to them. On the question as th the achievement of the aims of the merger, most of the respondents gave no response, this to an extent indicates to the researcher that they are not fully aware of the actual aims of the merger.

Improved training programmes will not only better the employees, but will also boost their morale, as was observed in the responses.

CONCLUSION

The dissertation investigated into Talent Management practices within the UK hospitality industry. The survey questionnaire was based on and supported by the various literature reviews in Talent Management theory and practices.

RECOMMENDATIONS

After all these discussions, it becomes necessary to make some recommendations. These however, are strictly based on the findings of this research work.

This study examined the impact of mergers and acquisitions on employee morale. Mergers and acquisitions occur basically to place the organisation in a better position to survive, and increase. This is the basic reason why companies merge or acquire.

This study thus posits the following recommendations:

  1. Management should not only improve the communication and information channels between them and the employees, they should also involve employees in these decisions. This is necessary so that the employees will be better informed and updated as to the actions of management. This is necessary so as not to undermine the trust between the management and employees.
  2. Change in the running of things is a certainty in a case of change in ownership, however, these changes should be implemented gradually, so as to carry everybody along.
  3. More training and awareness programmes should be introduced to incorporate employees into new ways of doing things in a merger situation, and to make all employees feel like one family.
  4. Employees of an acquired company need to be given an honest assurance as to their positions and status in the event of a merger or acquisition.
  5. Ill feelings amongst employees should be looked out for, monitored and curbed, so that the employees do not constitute sabotage to the success of a merger.

Since employees are the fulcrum of any organisation, proper attention should be given to their feelings, hence morale always, as is this is kept high, they are bound to give more commitment to the cause of the merger.

SUGGESTION FOR FUTURE RESEARCH

The researcher hereby advises future researchers to explore the following issues:

  1. The impact of trade union activities on employees' morale.
  2. The impact of personnel practices on employees' morale.
  3. The impact of production practices on employees' morale.
  4. The impact of marketing practices on employees' morale.
  5. The impact of management style on employees' morale.

These suggested research areas will go a long way in clarifying some of the other relevant issues which constitute factors that have impacts on employees' morale.

References

Books:

  • Besanko B. et al, (2004), Economics of Strategy, Third Edition. John Wiley and Sons Inc.
  • DePamphilis D. (2005), Mergers, Acquisitions, and Other Restructuring Activities. Third Edition. Elsevier Inc.
  • Devine M. (2002). Successful Mergers; getting the people issues right. The Economist.
  • Ferguson S. (2003), Financial Analysis of M & A Integration. McGraw-Hill.
  • Harvard Business Review on Mergers and Acquisitions. (2001). Harvard Business School Press.
  • Frankel M. E. S. (2004), Mergers And Acquisitions Deal-Makers; building a winning team. 2nd Edition. John Wiley and Sons Inc.
  • Gertsen C. M. et al (1998), Cultural Dimensions of International Mergers And Acquisitions. Walter de gruyter.
  • Schneider S. C. and Barsoux J. (2002), Managing across cultures. 2nd Edition. Prentice Hall.
  • Sudersanam, S. (2003), Creating Value from mergers and Acquisitions. The Challenges. Pearson Education Limited.
  • Thaler, R. H, (1992), The Winner's Curse: Paradoxes and Anomalies in Economic Life. Princeton University Press.

Journals and Articles:

  • An article by McKinsey On Finance, Issue 24, Summer 2007
  • Frank Holmes. (2006), '2006: a year of mergers and acquisitions', The Western Mail, December 22.
  • Frank R. and Burton T., (1997), 'culture clash causes anxiety for Pharmacia & Upjohn inc.', Wall Street Journal, February 4.
  • Kenneth H. W., (1991)'Merger mania: Human and economic effects', Review of Bunsiness, June 22.
  • Korman, A.K., (1970), 'Toward a hypothesis of work behaviour', Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol. 52 pp.484-90.
  • Michael Wolf, (2002), 'Here comes another wave of media mergers', The Wall Street Journal. February 21.
  • Schein E. H, (1992), 'Organisational Culture and Leadership', The International Journal of Human Resource management.
  • The International Labour Organisation (ILO) report on the employment effects of mergers and acquisitions in commerce, 2003.

Websites:

  • http://www.stock-market-crash.net/1929.htm
  • http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/6901309.stm
  • http://www.get.hobsons.co.uk/advice/rms_today
  • www.statistics.gov.uk
  • http://www.asda-corporate.com/about-asda/history.asp
  • http://www.corporatewatch.org.uk/?lid=800
  • http://www.fooddeserts.org/images/supshare.htm
  • http://www.walmartstores.com/GlobalWMStoresWeb/navigate.do?catg=5
  • http://www.investopedia.com/terms/m/mergersandacquisitions.asp
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mergers_and_acquisitions
  • http://www.investopedia.com/university/mergers/mergers1.asp
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mergers_and_acquisitions#Motives_behind_M.26A
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hubris
  • http://www.key-strategy.com/documents/MergersFailImproveChances.pdf
  • http://www.orgdct.com/mergers_and_organizational_cultu.htm
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morale
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morale#Morale_In_The_Workplace
  • http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0FAU/is_3_24/ai_n19394406
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morale

APPENDIX 1

Proposed Research Aims:

The aim of this paper is to explore one of the biggest issues and challenges now faced by hospitality industry, that of how to attract and retain talented people during the down turn especially given the fact it is one of lowest wages paid in industry in UK.(www.cipd.co.uk) It will focus in exploring the manager's view on challenges and opportunities around in UK Marriott group of hotels during the current recession and its implication to the long term human resource strategy and the business strategy as a whole.

It will also consider the impact of the down turn on managerial and developmental concept of talent management in the context of the weak labour market attributes of the hospitality industry in UK.

The other important issue the research will look in to ongoing debate of talent management, whether it is for the high potentials only (talent pool) or is for everyone in the organisation?

Research Context :

The key differentiator between good and great organisations is their ability to find, develop and retain talent. If an organisation is to survive, then it will only be through ensuring the continuity of its management and having the right people in the right place at the right time with the right skills. (Cannon,James),talent mangement anmd successioon planning)

The 'exclusive' mode of talent management is characterised by a concentration on those in one or two segments (or talent 'pools') of the workforce who are either at the top or who are identified as having the potential to get to the top by demonstrating high levels of potential or performancehttp(cipd, talent Management understanding the dimension0://www.cipd.co.uk/NR/rdonlyres/6101AA06-F0C7-4073-98DA-758E91C718FC/0/3832Talentmanagement.pdf

Our work so far has shown a variety of different approaches to talent management. What is clear is that there is no single 'blueprint' for effective talent management that can be applied to all organisational contexts. Each organisation will have different resourcing requirements for its current and future talent pipeline, and also different issues concerning how best to meet these requirements. It is these that should determine the talent strategy that an organisation develops (Reflection on talent Management0

Talent management additionally implies a level of strategic integration (i.e. a set of talent management activities that are integrated and aligned with internal organizational systems and external environmental factors), sophistication (i.e. the development of integrated data management and information systems) and broad-based accountability (for all managers and supervisors) that HRM has traditionally not engendered (in practice if not in theory). In this way, talent management presents the opportunity to elevate the practice of HRM to its theoretical potential, with evidence, shared responsibility and a supportive culture being key cornerstones of its practice(Talent management

  • The value of a tailored, organisation-wide talent management process is that it provides a focus for investment in human capital and places the subject high on the corporate agenda. It can also contribute to other strategic objectives, including:
  • building a high performance workplace
  • encouraging a learning organisation
  • adding value to the employer of choice and branding agenda
  • contributing to diversity management.

A strategic approach to talent management can therefore provide a host of tangible benefits that cross over into other areas of the HR function.

Literature Review :

In order for organisations to gain competitive advantage they must a strategic approach to talent management that suits their business and gets the best from their people . "Talent management" has emerged as the latest "it" word in the human resource management (HRM) lexicon (Hughes and Rog, 2008). According to CIPD (www.cipd.co.uk), the effective management of organisational talent is without doubt a complicated process, with many issues and functions to consider ensuring a systematic approach. A resultant Talent Development System (TDS) takes effort to create and requires integrative practice and ongoing maintenance or it will undoubtedly fail. This includes attention to career management, training and development, performance management, strategic HR planning, recruitment and selection as well as succession planning activity. These factors will be prioritised according to fit with organisational requirements. A notable development of recent years is that individuals no longer devote or trust their careers to one employer.

Baum (2008) argues that talent, in the context of hospitality, however, does not necessarily mean the same thing as it might in other sectors of the economy. He further elaborates this as in the understanding of skills encompasses that goes beyond the technical to incorporate other aspects of human behaviours such as emotional, aesthetic and informational processing and analysis dimensions with a strong focus on the delivery of service to diverse consumers.

While others such Ireland ( 2005, cited Baum,2008) argues that , the intellectual property being the most important property, and not physical property. The emergence of the knowledge society means an ever-increasing demand for a well-educated and skilled workforce across the whole economy.

Haque (1999) a lack of interest in HRM and a continued absence of strategy within the industry. For example, Price (1994: 52) concludes from her research that there is a worrying lack of basic professionalism in personnel practice. Lucas (1995: 28) is supportive of this conclusion, commenting that: Although strategy is deemed to be a `good thing', there is little evidence to suggest that an explicitly strategic approach is used to any extent in the industry. If this is the case, then the industry may be more non-strategic than strategic and it would seem that a strategic approach to managing employee relations, expressed through an HRM strategy, is unlikely to be a prominent feature. Empirical analyses have also supported this view as Hales (1987, cited Haque,1999) found hotels to be using some innovative techniques but, for the most part, they were applied only to management and their primary intention was to control costs and improve productivity via job loading.

Works by O' Leary and Deegan,( 2005, cited Watson, 2008), supports this suggests that he industry is still associated with long, unsociable hours and poor working conditions which view is further reinforced by Martin et al. (2006,cited Watson, 2008) highlighting the poor pay, low skills and lack of career opportunities as characteristics that influence the attraction, development and retention of managers.

Leibman et al (1996) says that with change in business environment, societal expectations and internal processes, the organisations are re-designing there successive planning to remain competitive by developing strong leadership teams.

O'neil (2009) believes that at current economic downturn, time of extreme change, corporate leaders have widely and wisely prioritised in keeping their organizations' best people but he is sceptical of this trend as the recession deepens, and it has, some leaders are tempted to choose between retention of top talent and cost reduction. He says In fa they must do both by focussing intensely on the management of business by controlling costs, creating efficiencies and restructuring to keep the organization vibrant and healthy so that it may later prosper. They also must focus on retaining and strengthening their best people.

Walker and LaRocco (2002) contradict this view and place the importance of recognizing The development potential in everyone. They argue that the concept of talent pool will have a negative psychological impact and firmly believes that the most managers are best-suited for continuous development and growth in their current roles, next-level roles, or roles that are expanded and redefined as business changes.

Cipd(www.cipd.co.uk) There is no one model for succession planning and there are no hard-and-fast rules as every organisation is different. But what is indisputable is that all organisations need leaders with a range of experience and just doing the management training programmes cannot provide that hands-on experience which is crucial in making future leaders.

The CIPD research suggests that talent management becomes more, not less, important in an economic downturn and argues that the downturn is providing an opportunity to review current systems for general effectiveness, to think creatively about doing things differently when resources are tight and to prioritise specific aspects of talent management, such as the retention of high-performers. (www.cipd.co.uk)

Handfield-jones et al (2001), in a research done in American corporation conclude that, there was no concrete evidence of literature found that examines processes for ensuring that metrics are fed back to decision-makers (hiring managers, supervisors, etc.) regarding the talent decisions they frequently make. The validity of managers' choices to send one person over another to a development program, to hire one person over another, or to nominate an individual for a high-potential talent pool are easily calculated, meaningful metrics that have the potential to markedly improve organizational talent decisions. How these measures can be reported, and the accountability framework needed to ensure action, remains unstudied.

Hence they conclude that , "Talent management as it is used is a term without value but by grounding Talent management in a strategic decision framework that clearly guides talent decisions, developing systems-level models that illustrate the multi-pool impacts of talent choices, and developing reliable, validity, and theoretically meaningful measures researchers can markedly improve the quality of talent conversations in organizations".

In a Belbin team role exercise taken by Senior (1998), she has this view that, "in organisations which increasingly value innovation and dynamism, care should be taken not to overlook people who are not `go-getters', do not have brilliant ideas and are not particularly interested in doing a task themselves. These are the relatively rare oordinators who, on the whole, do not overlap other roles but who are indispensable for keeping the team effort together and on course".

Hence this research aim to look in to this area of choice between talent pool or the all inclusion talent in an economic downturn in Marriott brands of hotels in UK and will attempt to understand through manager's perspective.

In the early part of 2009 there are signs everywhere of the economic downturn that has been gaining momentum since late 2007. It is impacting both our work and personal lives and is played out and reinforced on a daily basis by unrelenting media coverage of business closures, widescale redundancies and the threat of more to come. It is precisely because we have so many sources of information and media available to us now that we can't escape from all the depressing news of the negative impact on business and employment. The impact is clear to see on the well-being and psyche of the nation.

Rather than a 'war for talent' there currently seems to be a 'war on talent'. We wanted to find out how important organisations consider talent to be when times get tough. Our reason for surveying organisations about the impact of the downturn on talent management practices was not to further contribute to the negative press but rather to focus on some of the positive measures that can be taken to make the best of the situation, grasp any opportunities that present themselves and ensure through their continued focus on talent that organisations are able to bounce back faster and harder than competitors. We are therefore highlighting some of the practical steps that CEOs, HR professionals and all people managers can implement to fight against the likely 'war on talent', help lift us out of this current decline and ultimately contribute to the long-term success and sustainability of our organisations.

Indeed our findings show a number of surprising positives reported in relation to managing talent in a downturn:

  • Organisations are focusing more of their time on engaging, motivating, retaining and fully using the skills of their existing workforce.
  • There are increasing opportunities to recruit talent discarded by competitors.
  • Greater scrutiny is being placed on talent management systems and processes - this seems to be both from a return on investment perspective and also by placing greater emphasis on more robust and transparent criteria for the selection and development of high-performing individuals - which can only be a good thing.
  • Uncertain times, for the most part, have led to more honest and frequent communications between managers and employees, with individuals having a greater understanding of where the business is, for better or worse, and how their performance can make a difference to overall business success.
  • Lighter margins are leading to greater scrutiny around pay and reward - the positive here is this might help to avoid some of the mistakes we have recently seen in the City, which some believe kick-started the decline.
  • Companies are also thinking more creatively about approaches to non-financial rewards - small things that can have a big impact.

CIPD ( Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) did a survey o According to Watson and brotherton ,'' The hospitality industry is also becoming increasingly international in context and character. Many academic researchers have commented on the international dimension of the industry - Dunning and McQueen[10], Dave[11], Littlejohn[12], and Littlejohn and Beattie[13] - which has highlighted an enhanced understanding of many hotel operators' international strategies and actions. Within the context of management development, there are two vital aspects of this process which require comment. First, there is the issue of companies being able to develop managers who can survive in this complex international environment. Watson and Littlejohn[14] propose a two-tiered approach:

  1. At a tactical level, organizations will have to ensure that managers can operate in different locations in a way which is sensitive to the local environment.
  2. At a strategic level, managers are required who can think globally and view the organization in an international context.

The requirement for a broader knowledge/competency base, and the development of managers who can operate in an international context, will warrant the provision of a wider range of management development opportunities and career counselling in order for managers to reach their full potential.

Second, there is the issue of companies being able to attract and retain the calibre of management required. Research into hospitality management recruitment has found that many graduates are seeking employment in other industries - NEDC[15], Brotherton [16], Purcell and Quinn[17]. One particular theme which emerges from this research is the concern over differences in expectations between students/ graduates and the industry. Management loyalty will be a key business focus for the 1990s as the skills/abilities of managers who are able to perform effectively in the international market become more complex[9].

"Talent management" has emerged as the latest "it" word in the human resource management (HRM) lexicon. A 2007 search of the term talent management on Google™ revealed approximately 5,750,000 hits, with talent management solutions, talent management tools, talent management software and talent management guides dominating various HRM periodicals and websites. Despite this apparent popularity, and like so many other HRM trends, a precise definition of talent management remains somewhat elusive. Further, there appears to be a disconnect between the fervour with which talent management is being proselytized by practitioners and its treatment within the academic community. Indeed a recent on-line search of peer reviewed academic journals through ScholarsPortal™ revealed a scant 57 articles on "talent management". Providing a critical review of the talent management literature, Lewis and Heckman (2006) raised significant concerns about both the lack of common definition and the lack of evidence underpinning its practice

with much debate on how graduate talent might be developed and rewarded, as it manages increasingly sophisticated hospitality business and consumer demands. The adoption of holistic talent management strategies will allow hospitality businesses to be more proactive from the outset. This will engage reflexive ability, in response to changing objectives and taking into account external issues such as the changing demographics of the workforce (Clake and Winkler, 2006a The effective management of organisational talent is without doubt a complicated process, with many issues and functions to consider ensuring a systematic approach. A resultant Talent Development System (TDS) takes effort to create and requires integrative practice and ongoing maintenance or it will undoubtedly fail. According to CIPD (2007), this includes attention to career management, training and development, performance management, strategic HR planning, recruitment and selection as well as succession planning activity. These factors will be prioritised according to fit with organisational requirements. A notable development of recent years is that individuals no longer devote or trust their careers to one employer cipd (

Succession planning needs to be owned by line managers, and should be actively led by the chief executive who has a key role in ensuring that it is given the importance it deserves by other senior managers; ensuring that there is a healthy pipeline of potential leaders is about nothing less than the future of the organisation. But it is not realistic for CEOs and those around them to have sole responsibility for this; they have neither the time nor the expertise.

The HR function therefore has a critical role in supporting and facilitating the process, not least in compiling all the necessary information on potential candidates. Any career move at senior level is a process of multiple dialogues, in which a senior representative from HR will collect views from senior line managers in an iterative fashion, testing, challenging and amending them as the dialogue goes on, making sure that all possibilities are covered, and maybe putting proposals for decision to a succession development committee. HR departments are of course also heavily involved in giving career advice and information to individuals, and assessing and advising on their development needs. The HR function is also centrally concerned in the design and management of assessment processes and information support, including the development and maintenance of computerised databases.

Is succession planning worth it?

There is no one model for succession planning and there are no hard-and-fast rules. Every organisation is different and what has been described above has been drawn mainly from the experience of large organisations; however, smaller organisations may be able to take what they want from this factsheet and adapt provision to suit their own needs.

But what is indisputable is that all organisations need leaders with a range of experience. Management training programmes cannot provide that hands-on experience which is crucial in making future leaders (see our factsheet on developing managers). opportunity, not as a problem."

Managing talent in this very different business environment is a challenge," observes business consultant Edie Goldberg. "Few companies are on top of this" (IOMA, 2008, p. 13). Consequently, executives who become true talent leaders by managing talent well during downturns just might parlay that skill into a competitive advantage for their firms.

MODELS :

One of the main determinants predicted to have a significant role in an individual's decision to leave an organisation is that of the turnover culture. This variable has often been alluded to in the literature on labour turnover, but has been largely untested. This is quite surprising given that the hospitality industry has been characterised in terms of high turnover rates, a part-time and casual workfolre, an absence of an internal labour market - ie low job security, promotional opportunity and career development, plus low wages and low skills levels.

Turnover culture is best characterised as the acceptance of turnover as part of the workgroup norm. That is, it is a normative belief held by employees that turnover behaviour is quite appropriate. The concept is grounded in both the absence culture literature (Ilgen and Hollenbeck, 1977; Martocchio, 1994) and the organisational culture research (Cooke and Rousseau, 1988; Abelson, 1993). Turnover culture can have an impact on the organisation in a negative way by acting as a counterculture to the organisation's main objectives (Cooke and Rousseau, 1988). This is especially true when objectives such as quality of service and reduced costs are used as sources of competitive advantage.

MODEL

The causal model as shown in Figure 1 (overleaf) integrates structural, pre-entry, environmental, union and employee orientations, which were selected from the economic, psychological and sociological perspectives. This study seeks to replicate and mod* previous turnover models (Price and Mueller, 1986; Mueller et al, 1994). Specifically, it includes variables such as turnover culture, union loyalty and job stress in dealing with the public, which were seen as pertinent and specific to the hospitality industry. Definitions of the variables in the model are contained in Table 1 (overleaf

Research limitations/implications :

The findings of this study are limited to a managerial workforce of Marriott brand of Hotels operating in UK only hence does not cover the wider area of other hotels of different brands and hotels with smaller number of rooms typically less than 100 rooms.

  1. Research Questions (s) :
  2. What your current HRM strategy is in terms of Talent Management in particular context the current economic down turn. Is it an opportunity to develop talent during these difficult times?
  3. How difficult do you think is to recruit and to retain talented employee after the recession is over especially given the industry's very low wage rates?
  4. Does your organisation have the strategy of talent pool or all inclusive talent management programs? Which SHRM strategy do you think the best suits to industry in terms of recruiting, developing and retaining employees?
  5. What does return on investment really look like in talent management programmes in your organisation?
  6. How do you see the secession planning and its relationship to talent management? Do you have this system place in your organisation?
  7. How are talent plans translated into concrete actions and talent strategies that produce tangible results?
  8. Can you relate Performance Management to Talent Management? If so does it compliment or antagonise the talent management process?
  9. Do you agree to the view that hotel industry is considered one of the lowest wage paid industry with inflexible working practises and long hour cultures?
  10. Can you identify three most critical measurements tied to your talent planning and business metrics relating to current economic climate?
  • What are the greatest opportunities for your organization, based on your current business and talent challenges?
  • How are talent plans translated into concrete actions and talent strategies that produce tangible results?
  • What does return on investment really look like in talent management?
  • What are the most critical measurements tied to your talent planning and business metrics?
  • What communications will provide the greatest impact and drive the action you need?

Research Strategy/Methods :

The research will be based on the case study of Managers perspective of Talent Management in downturn in UK Marriott brand of Hotels. Since it is a case study and involves an empirical investigation of a particular contemporary phenomenon within its real life context, a multiple sources of evidence will be used (Robson, 2002; 178, cited Saunders et al, 2007).

It will be based on qualitative data researched from an interpretivist perspective. The methods used will be open-ended questionnaire for primary data and semi-structured interviews for secondary.

Primary Research:

The questionnaires will be sent across electronically using SurveyMonkey.com through emails to about 50 Marriott Hotels across UK with a expected margin error of 5%. The SurveyMonkey.com will be used for the purpose and the questionnaire will be designed to measure manager's attitude, behaviour and perception to Talent Management in current economic climate and any future strategy to tackle the situation.

Secondary Research:

The secondary research will consist of taking semi-structured informal interviews with managers in 10 UK Marriott Hotels. These interviews will be taken face-to- face where possible and through telephone only as an alternative where not possible. The reason for this secondary data is to get more detailed attitudinal and behavioural perspective to validate the primary data. A recording device or notes will be taken down as appropriate to the situation.

The probability sampling method is used hence a small number chosen for both the questionnaire and semi-structured interviews. As it is a case study of a particular brand of hotels, the validity and understanding gained from data will have more to do with data collection and analysis skills rather than the size of the sample(Saunders etal,2007)

The findings of this study are limited to a managerial workforce of Marriott brand of Hotels operating in UK only hence does not cover the wider area of other hotels of different brands and hotels with smaller number of rooms typically less than hundred rooms.

As the research a case study of Marriott brand hotels in UK only, there is a possibility of restriction or denial of access due to confidentiality policy of the organisation.

The research project will mainly focus on the questionnaire and

Data Analysis :

The questionnaires will be distributed to the employees of Asda Stores Ltd., who have being in the company for at least eight (8) years now, so they will be able to give a first-hand account of their experiences before and after Asda became part of the Wal-Mart family, since Asda went under the umbrella of Wal-Mart in 1999.

The data collected from the questionnaires distributed will be analysed in a systematic way, so as to facilitate verification and authenticity of the proposition being tested.

The tests to the propositions will provide answers to the research questions earlier stated.

References:

  • Baum T. (2008), Implications of hospitality and tourism labour markets for talent management strategies, Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Vol. 20 No. 7
  • Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (February 2009 - Reference- 4685), The War on Talent? Talent Management under threat in uncertain times - Part 1, CIPD, London
  • Hoque K. (1999), New Approach to HRM in the UK Hotel Industry, Human Resource Management Journal Vol. 9 No. 2
  • Handfiled-jones H., Micheal E. and Axelrod B., (2001), Talent Management- A critical part of every leaders job, Ivey Business Journal, November/December
  • Hughes J. C. and Rog E. (2008), Talent Management - A strategy for improving employee recruitment, retention and engagement within hospitality organisations, Emerald Group Publishing Limited Vol. 20 No. 7
  • Leibman M, Bruer R.A., Maki B.R., (1996), Succession Management: The Next Generation of Succession Planning, Human Resource Planning, Vol 19, Issue 13, 16-29
  • O'Neil L., (2009), HR's Time to Lead, HR Magazine,April
  • Schuler R. S., (1992), Linking People With the Strategic Needs of Business, Strategic Human Resource Management
  • Senior B., (1998), An empirically-based assessment of Belbin's team roles, Human Resource Management Journal, Vol.8 , No 9
  • Saunders M.,Lewis P., and Thorhill A.,( 2007), Research Methods for Business Students, Pearson Education Limited, Harlow,Fourth Edition
  • Truss C., Gratton G.,(1994), Strategic Human Resource Management: A Strategic Approach, International Jpournal Of Human Resource Management,Vol 5, issue 3
  • Walker J. W., LaRocco J. M., (2002), Talent Pools, the Best and the Rest, Human Resource Planning,Vol 25,issue 3 ,12-14
  • Watson S. (2008), Where are we now? A review of Management development issues in the hospitality and tourism sector, Emerald Group Publishing Limited Vol. 20 No. 7
  • http://www.cipd.co.uk/subjects/pay/general/nmw.htm?IsSrchRes=1 (accessed 12/09/09)

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