Talent Management in Public Services in Scotland

Sarah Gadsden, Dot McLaughlin, Kirsteen Grant, Robert Mackie, Nick Cassidy, Hannah Derbyshire

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


Against a backdrop of exponential public service reform and growing recognition of the need for increased collaborative activity within public services, this research examines stakeholder perceptions of the drivers, barriers and enablers of talent management within a public service context. The purpose of the research is to provide evidence on the current talent management landscape and to explore barriers, enablers and opportunities for future collaborative talent management initiatives across our public services. Our methodology comprised an online survey of HR/OD leads from across Scotland’s public service organisations, followed by 35 in-depth interviews with a representative sample of the public sector in Scotland. The survey provided a baseline perspective on four emergent themes which comprise the nature, context, practices, and collaboration in talent management, which were then explored during the interviews.
The report establishes the extent of current talent management practices and evaluates the scope for improved collaborative talent management interventions to better meet future workforce and organisational demands. Interview findings reveal vast conceptual ambiguity in defining the collective nature of, need for, and value add to be derived from collaborating in talent management. Further, the concept of ‘collaboration’ itself is exposed as ambiguous, thus constituting a key barrier to initiating and progressing sustainable collaborative talent management interventions.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherImprovement Service
Commissioning bodyImprovement Service Scotland
Number of pages50
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017


  • Public management Talent Management Scotland


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