Foteini Kravariti, Konstantinos Tasoulis, Hugh Scullion & Manar Khaled Alali
Received 23 Jun 2020, Accepted 17 Jan 2022, Published online: 02 Feb 2022

While research shows that talent management (TM) practices are linked to individual and organisational outcomes, little is known about the mechanisms through which these processes unfold, especially in the public sector of emerging market economies. This exploratory study investigates TM in the public sector context of Bahrain addressing an important research gap. Drawing on Organisational Support Theory (OST) and strategic human resource management (SHRM) literature, we test the role of line managerial support for development (LMSD) and organisational support for development (OSD) as mechanisms through which TM practices influence individual talent performance. Results from a survey based on a talent pool of a Bahraini governmental administrative institution show that LMSD fully mediates the relationship between TM practices and each of the individual talent performance indicators, apart from task performance. We also find that the indirect relationship between TM and individual talent performance was significant at low levels of OSD. The study contributes to unlocking the TM black box in the public sector of developing countries by highlighting the key role of line managers in the implementation of TM practices revealing a substitution effect between LMSD and OSD, as interchangeable sources of developmental support that can enhance talent performance in this context.

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