Kravariti, F., Voutsina, K., Tasoulis, K., Dibia, C., & Johnston, K. 2021. Talent management in hospitality and tourism. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management. 34(1): 321-360.



This study aims to provide a systematic literature review (SLR) of extant research on talent management (TM) in hospitality and tourism (H&T). The objectives are first, to offer an empirical mapping analysis of TM research in H&T; second, to identify and discuss key research topics; and third, to recommend avenues for future research.


The authors conducted a SLR of TM literature in the context of H&T by analysing peer-reviewed papers published between January 2000 and October 2020. Following the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analysis process, three independent coders undertook a content analysis of 74 papers for the SLR.


The authors found that TM in H&T offers contextualised evidence consistent on five key research topics: TM practices; conceptualisation of talent and TM; TM antecedents and outcomes; key TM stakeholders; and talent education and graduate careers. The analysis indicated that most studies are qualitative, focussed on Europe and North America and that primarily examine hotels. The small number of TM studies in H&T along with the lack of strong theoretical groundings show that the field is at the early stages of the growing stage, yet the sharp increase demonstrates an exponential growth in interest.

Practical implications

This study highlights the importance of TM and indicates that businesses in the sector need to reconsider the definition of talent, their approaches to TM and the bundling of TM practices to improve their effectiveness. It also calls for partnerships among the industry’s key stakeholders and a revisiting of agendas for educators.


To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study that offers a holistic examination of research on a wide range of TM topics within various H&T sectors over the past 20 years. It clarifies the conceptualisation of talent and TM in this field and provides insights, as well as context-specific evidence on the management of H&T talent. This study is the first to argue that the research stream is moving towards a growth stage and offers recommendations on advancing the field.

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