Despite long traditions of management and leadership development it is only recently that organizations have become attracted to the notion of ‘talent’, to talent’s apparent impact on organizational performance, and to the best ways of finding and deploying talent. In the context of organizational talent management, this article illustrates how the processes and politics of becoming and staying talented can be understood using insights from figurational sociology. We first discuss the features of talent status that figurational sociology helps to illuminate. Second, we apply figurational analysis to two aspects of exclusive talent management: maintaining organizational order and control, and being seen as talented. This is followed by a discussion of how figurational analysis can be used to explain individual performance in exclusive talent programs, and how talent programs can be treated as a means by which the holders of elite power can thwart dissent in order to maintain ‘civilized’ organizational order and control.
|Early online date||21 Nov 2022|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 21 Nov 2022|