Original Research

Talent development as a source of sustainable competitive advantage for higher education institutions during the COVID-19 pandemic

Lawrence Abiwu, Isabel Martins
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 20 | a1777 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v20i0.1777 | © 2022 Lawrence Abiwu, Isabel Martins | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 20 September 2021 | Published: 18 October 2022

About the author(s)

Lawrence Abiwu, School of Management, IT and Governance, College of Law and Management Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Isabel Martins, School of Management, IT and Governance, College of Law and Management Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

Abstract

Orientation: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has had profound consequences on all sectors of the economy. This global pandemic threatens the sustainability of all sectors, including higher education.

Research purpose: This study aimed to investigate talent development strategies that promote the sustainability of higher education institutions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Motivation for the study: Several higher education institutions are struggling to survive during the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, this study is motivated by the need to promote the sustainability of South African higher education institutions through talent development.

Research approach/design and method: A quantitative research approach was adopted to quantify the research phenomenon. A structured questionnaire was used to collect the data from 265 academics in three South African universities. The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences, version 27.0, was used to analyse the data. Cronbach’s alpha coefficient and factor analysis were computed to determine the reliability and validity of the questionnaire. Pearson’s correlations and regression analysis were used to determine the relationship between talent development strategies and sustainability.

Main findings: The results showed that talent development strategies (training and development as well as career development) positively influenced the sustainability of South African universities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Practical/managerial implications: Universities can obtain sustainability through investment in their intellectual capital. This can be achieved through continuous training and development as well as career development.

Contribution/value-addition: The study expands on limited empirical research on talent development and sustainable competitive advantage.


Keywords

Career development; COVID-19; sustainability; talent development; talent management; training and development

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