Has the British National Health Service (NHS) got talent? A process evaluation of the NHS talent management strategy?

Martin Powell, Jo Duberley, Mark Exworthy, Fraser Macfarlane, Phil Moss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In 2004, the British National Health Service (NHS), an organisation with one of
the largest workforces in the world, adopted a new approach to identifying and
developing managers, which was refreshed in 2009 with ‘guidance for NHS talent
and leadership plans’. This paper explores the introduction of talent management (TM) in the British NHS, focusing on process evaluation. It discusses the introduction of TM in the NHS before examining the stated principles, objectives and measures of TM in the NHS. It draws on a mix of research methods, including a literature review, focus groups, qualitative interviews with policymakers, qualitative interviews with managers, a questionnaire survey, and
qualitative interviews in high performing organisations. It is found that there
are a number of issues that may undermine the TM strategy, including unclear
definitions, conflicting principles, problematic measures; exclusive focus, sustainability; and lack of necessary infrastructure, culture and data.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-309
JournalPolicy Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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