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Locate, Read and Review Tansley, C. and Tietze, S. (2013) ‘Rites of Passage Through Talent Management Progressions Stages: an Identity Work Perspective’, the International Journal of Human Resource Management 24(9): 1799—1815.

In: Business and Management

Submitted By Master120Pray
Words 1769
Pages 8
Programme: MBA DL
Student Number:
Module: Foundations of Knowledge and Professional Skills
Assignment Question
Part A. Locate, read and review the following article:
Tansley, C. and Tietze, S. (2013) ‘Rites of passage through talent management progressions stages: an identity work perspective’, The International Journal of Human Resource Management 24(9): 1799—1815.
Part B. Reflect on the discussions that you have engaged in within your study groups on Blackboard. Explain how the lessons that you have learnt from the activities have influenced how you have approached and written your assignment
Word Count: Part A: 1,054 Part B: 509 Total: 1,563

Research Questions Addressed by Study
The research questions by Tansley & Tietze (2013) are ‘What constitutes rites of passage across successive levels of a talent management programme?’ and ‘What is the role of identity work in ensuring successful advancement through each talent management rite of passage?’
Theoretical Framework Underpinning the Study
The study was to build on the literature of talent management at the individual and communal levels since existing talent management literature is mainly concerned with the structural aspect of talent management strategies. Therefore, not much emphasis has been placed on how management strategies and protocols are experienced and responded to by talent at different stages of talent management process and how these responses inform, incorporate and involve identity work by such talent (Huang and Tansley 2012, cited in Tansley & Tietze (2013: 1799).
Research Design and Methods of Data Collection and Analysis
The empirical research design was a case study of a major accountancy consultancy organisation called ‘The Firm’ which was part of a larger case study research programme undertaken recently.
A qualitative method of data collection was used which involved secondary data analysis drawn from documents such as Annual Report of ‘The Firm.’ The method also involved semi-structured, one-on-one, interviews with six staff responsible for talent management and two focus groups of twelve different career levels staff. All sessions were taped and notes, transcripts and documents were collated.
Data analysis was based on a grounded theory approach (Glaser and Strauss 1967; Locke 2001, p. 103)
Results Summary and Authors’ Contribution to Knowledge
The empirical analysis showed that talent advancement is rooted in the developments of technical expertise and particular dispositions and work orientations, which require the development of identities enabling individuals to cope with continuing contexts of ambiguity and change, with the ultimate goal of becoming part of the organisational elite and leadership (Alvesson and Robertson 2006, cited in Tansley & Tietze (2013: 1813).
The Firm was clear on how it identified talent and believed that talent could perform individually and as a collective. Talents were also identified and developed in ways other than the normal, in preparation for key leadership roles.
In achieving required leadership qualities, talents usually pass through a series of career levels.
‘Rising Talents’, become part of a talent pool where they receive training through ‘stretch projects’ and passing professional exams and assessments in order to transform themselves into professionals. The process of developing their technical and professional skills provided opportunities to freely test their technical abilities, develop their emotional and mental strengths associated with prioritizing for conflicting demands, deadlines and requirements which eventually prepare them for career level of ‘Emerging Leaders’.
At the ‘Emerging Leaders’ career level, further training and education specific to managerial level positions continue for that talent communitas, and include achievement of Masters degrees and meeting corporate core competencies vital for performing in rites of passage at talent levels 3 and 4.
“Next Generation Leaders” and “Corporate Next Generation Leaders” who possess particular personality traits are provided temporary leadership development training, and planned mentoring and coaching programmes. Instead of a talent pool, as in career levels 1 and 2, the focus is individualized at levels 3 and 4 where talents are able to make choices about their career progression thereby preparing for engagement in identity work.
To successfully navigate through rites of passage, talents must be able to recognize the benefits of remaining focus on work related task whilst maintaining a balance between team and individual related identity work and aligning and realigning appropriately with respect to norms and values of the organization.
In its contribution to knowledge, the study revealed “Employee with talent have to connect deeply and meaningfully with corporate norms and values . . . in order to remain ‘connected’ to the communitas/organization; yet at the same time they have to be able to disconnect . . . quickly and determinedly” Tansley & Tietze (2013).

Critical Examination
The research questions have caused me to examine my organisation in terms of recruitment and development practices, the promotion process, strategies used by employees to get promoted and the animosity some promotions have caused.
In the past, members of my Unit, a specialize department, would work for years learning on the job, gaining experience, and receiving formal specialized training according to their areas of work, such as navigation and engineering. When promoted, not only would they possess position power, but also expert power, which would help make them more effective supervisors.
Currently, many younger staff members have expressed that the department should not consider seniority and experience with regards to promotion. They believe that once one has passed the organization’s promotional examination, one should be promoted since the new role would be to supervise those who can do the work although the examination does not necessarily take into consideration ones level of expertise within that particular department.
Such cases have caused mutiny within the department, and the closing of ranks against the individuals in question by those who were directly involve in training them, but who are now to be supervised by their former trainees.
The qualitative method used to explore the research questions seems appropriate since the method allows for more in-depth details, Kelan and Jones, (2009) and Adams & Crafford (2012).
According to the study, talents gained experience in transforming themselves within communitas, in their engagement in temporary ‘stretch projects’, the freedom provided in testing their technical competences, and in developing their emotional and mental disposition coping with ambiguity. The need to continuously redefining relationships and values Watson’s (2009), to readjust identity and realign from one talent to the next, thereby showing the necessity of identity work in talent development was also addressed.
The revelation that out of 18 participants, most were white allows for conducting ethnic-variety studies within an organization to provide for multiculturalism.
The authors intended to build theory in the area of talent identity work to clarify the differences in elements of rites of passage, thus extending existing work in talent management research and refining work on rites of passage and identity, Tansley & Tietze (2013).
The role of regulated behaviour and self-discipline concerning talented individual were highlighted, but did not clarify the extent to which talent management programmes allow for critical self-reflection.
Future researchers could explore ethnic-variety studies within an organization that involve multicultural personalities.

Group Discussions and Activities
When I started on blackboard, the orientation period was confusing to me. Therefore, I only utilized areas that became relevant as I proceeded. The podcastforFOK presentation in materials and activities week 1 help prepare me for the challenge, to an extent, because its message was clear that the tasks ahead were not easy and that students would be questioning their decisions to undertake the program, which I still do.
However, accessing the discussion board to discuss weekly activities was very frustrating since I could not easily find my way around it. That period of frustration tempted me to quit.
Attempting to balance the weekly reading assignments of so many chapters in such a short space of time and performing my duties at work and home were very demanding. It was during this period that I found myself behind in the activities and I decided to seek the assistance of the other students on discussion board on their approach to the reading assignments, to which I did not get a response. However, other discussions were very helpful as they revealed areas that I needed to pay attention to.
Having read the two sample assignments in materials and activities week 7, I attempted to understand how and why the students answered the assignment questions the way they did and how they went about citing sources, which seems complicated, to avoid plagiarism. I then realized that I had not retained much of what I read on the subjects and that I needed to start all over. It appeared that time was short and I would have to make an extra special effort to understand and apply what was required for the assignment, and the question of referencing is one that I need to spend more time studying.
Seeing the length of the article that I had to review and the sections that I had to refer to for further guidance put more pressure on me. The assignment was becoming an impossible task.
The discussions with the moderator during the academic mentor’ meeting was refreshing to me and this direct discussion provided that sense of support which I needed at the time to keep me motivated.
I had to change my study time to late hours of the night till next morning since distractions were unavoidable at home and the workplace and I never got to follow my time table as planned. Sometimes, if I had to make any progress, I would have to leave the house and go elsewhere, but without access to blackboard.
The weekly activities on blackboard help keep me engaged in the module, meeting targets. Without these activities I might have skip weeks of activities thinking that I would always have time to catch up.
In writing the assignment, I search for related articles to read on other author’s findings. Examining the two sample assignments mentioned above while referring to research reading, reading critically and note taking gave me some idea as to what was required. However, I must continue to work in the requirements.

Adams, B.G., & Crafford, A. (2012). Identity at work: Exploring strategies for Identity Work. SA Journal of Industrial Psychology/SA Tydskrif vir Bedryfsielkunde, 38(1), Art. #904, 11 pages
Carole Tansley & Susanne Tietze (2013): Rites of passage through talent management progression stages: an identity work perspective, The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 24:9, 1799-1815
Elisabeth Kelan, Rachel Dunkley Jones, (2009)”Reinventing the MBA as a rite of passage for a boundaryless era”, Career Development International, Vol.14 Iss: 6, pp. 547-569-See more at:

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