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Darla Moore School of Business

Management professors write global talent book with unique blending of research, application

April 16, 2018

Darla Moore School of Business management professor Robert Ployhart and lecturer Julian Dalzell, as well as UT Dallas clinical professor Jeff Weekley, celebrated the publishing of their book, "Talent Without Borders: Global Talent Acquisition for Competitive Advantage," by Oxford University Press. This is the third book for Ployhart, who considers it "a blending of science, research, consulting and practice."

"The book is really about the strategic choices that a company has to make, as well as how it would go out and make them," Ployhart said. This is conveyed through a realistic fiction component in which the reader follows a fictional recruiter as he attempts to navigate typical global talent issues.

"You see the world through his eyes, which helps you frame the questions you don't even know to ask yet," Ployhart said. "The idea is that people who are actually doing this job could pick up the book and read it as a sort of manual."

The focus of the book is how companies attract and hire talent in a global context from the perspective of talent as a strategic resource. Just like tangible resources, the flow of talent is something companies have to manage in order to be successful.

"Firms that can't get the talent they need become 'talent constrained,' so they're unable to pursue growth opportunities and actually implement their strategies in the ways they might want to," Ployhart said of the central issue.

Ployhart also emphasizes the timeliness of the book given the cyclical nature of the economy.

"Companies are dealing with this very uncertain global economic environment and a very uncertain political environment, and people are right at the intersection of that," he said. "The way you manage all of these events is by betting on the people you have within the firm, which makes it very important to know who you need at what time and in what quantities."

In order to make this book an easier read, Ployhart and his coauthors used detailed tables to convey their research without going into too much depth. Many of the figures are from Ployhart's own slides for the global talent class he taught in the Moore School's Master of Human Resources Program.

"This book is really intended to be for people who are doing this or for students who could see themselves doing this someday, so it's a very conscious attempt to blend the research side and the practical application side," Ployhart said.

By Madeleine Vath

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