Academic journal article The Qualitative Report

Identification of Individuals for Directorship Roles: Evaluation of a University's Succession Management

Academic journal article The Qualitative Report

Identification of Individuals for Directorship Roles: Evaluation of a University's Succession Management

Article excerpt

Introduction

There is no subject in the last two decades that has received as much attention in the human resource management literature as "talent management." An appreciable amount of literature has been produced by eminent scholars and experts like Pfeffer (1998), Woodruffe (1999), Barner (2000), Michaels, Handfield-Jones, and Axelrod (2001), Berger and Berger (2004), Ulrich and Brockbank (2005), Rothwell (2005), Cappelli (2008), and Meisinger and Schiemann (2009) on what organisations should do to attract, hire and retain talent. Recent publications such as by Tansley (2011), Devins and Gold (2014), and Oppong (2013, 2015) have added to the literature. All these experts recognise that talent provides organisations with a competitive advantage, and they also highlight a common concern that not only is talent scarce, but also that most organisations are not doing enough to manage talents. For instance, Oppong (2015) observed that even when this was mandated by law, companies in the Ghanaian mining industry were not implementing the talent management (a programme of identifying and developing potential employees for higher and/or critical positions). This is because the expatriates did not see the business need for it, and also because they were afraid of developed subordinates taking over their positions. However, Pfeffer (1998) had earlier revealed that as the greatest source of competitive advantage for any organisation is its human resources, they deserve the attention and time of managers more than any other organisational resource or asset. This view of Pfeffer is deemed to relate to the traditional way of managing human resources but managing talent should go a step further to embrace strategic consideration. Therefore, the view of Ashton and Morton (2005) on managing human resource in contemporary business is welcome. They believe that placing the right people in pivotal roles at the right time is something that HR professionals are familiar with, but this can be done differently - through talent management - to create a long-term organisational success. This implied that creating talent mindset in organisations is an important success factor.

Succession planning, a component of talent management that is concerned with the process of ensuring continued availability of top management/leaders in pivotal roles, has become more critical than ever because great leaders are scarce and struggle among organisations for such leaders has become keener. Succession planning (or management) therefore becomes a serious human resource issue as "over the last decade, CEO turnover has increased by over 50 percent" (Paese, 2008, p. 19). This affirms Elegbe's (2012) view that organisations that do not attach importance to planning for succession may face a crisis when they lose their executives unexpectedly. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Foundation conducted a research in 2007 and reported by Elegbe (2012) revealed that three out of every four executives in the United States said that succession planning was their most significant challenge for the future, while about 71 percent of the respondents mentioned providing leaders with the skills they needed to be successful as their next most pressing problem. These studies and related findings paint a vivid picture about the business case for succession planning. As "an effort designed to ensure the continued effective performance of an organisation, division, or work group by making provision for the development, replacement and strategic application of key people over time" (Rothwell, 2005, p. 10), succession management is to meet the strategic need of an organisation by creating a pool of high-performance leaders. Succession planning is and should be regarded as a business imperative and not just one of the numerous human resource management activities.

Like talent management, a critical consideration in succession planning is the identification of potentials for leadership roles. …

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