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date: 03 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Despite longstanding research interest in understanding causes and consequences of employee turnover, much less is known about the turnover of top talent such as high performers or “stars.” Star employees are disproportionately productive, highly visible, and often maintain strong social networks, all of which makes them desirable to organizations. In this chapter, I review theory and research related to the retention of talented employees including stars, high performers, high potentials, critical roles, and core employees. I structure the review around five key questions: (1) How is talent defined and measured? (2) Are talented employees more likely to quit? (3) What frameworks help us understand star performers? (4) What are the drawbacks of attempting to retain top talent? (5) What additional research is needed?

Keywords: talent, talent management, turnover, retention, star employees, high performers

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