High-paid ‘stars’ could do more harm than good

Parachuting in ‘stars’ and paying them huge sums of money in the name of talent management can cause organisations more harm than good, according to a leading academic.

Professor Graeme Martin, director of the Centre for Reputation Management through People at the University of Glasgow Business School, said the ‘culture of celebrity’ was becoming extremely hard to manage.

“This focus on individual talent in an organisation creates hero worship, narcissism and a reliance on financial incentives, and you risk neglecting the rest of the organisation,” he said.

Martin was addressing delegates at last week’s HR Directors Club workshop on talent management. The event was sponsored by technology consultancy Diagonal Consulting, which has conducted research into what is holding businesses back from adopting talent management.

Martin Reddington, research associate at the Roffey Park Institute – who was also a speaker – said that line managers were often suspicious of talent management initiatives. “Being told by HR that they have to appoint a high potential in a role raises concerns among managers that normal recruitment processes are being circumvented,” he said.


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