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Making Talent a Competitive Advantage

 Digital Workplace; Employee Experience; Talent

One of the perennial challenges to organizations globally has been how to develop and sustain a skilled workforce. This challenge has recently been magnified by the need to fill clear gaps in terms of technical skills that are required to become an increasingly digital organization, and by changes in the expectations of talent. Turning the talent challenge into a competitive advantage requires a strategy that meets the needs of both employees and employers.

This study will rely on exploratory qualitative case studies, in conjunction with quantitative analysis of the exploratory survey data in the recent MIT CISR 2022 Decision Rights for the Digital Era Survey.

We will focus on the following research questions:

  • How are large, established organizations approaching their strategic workforce planning process?
  • Which approaches to filling digital skills gaps (i.e., hiring, acquiring, contracting, training) are proving most effective for them?
  • How are these organizations using technology to identify and meet the unique needs of individual employees?
  • What practices have proven effective at creating a work environment that fits employees' expectations?

This project is a continuation of MIT CISR’s 2022 research project on Developing a Digital-First Workforce.

SEEKING: We are seeking interviews with leaders who are involved in (reimagining) their organization’s strategic workforce planning and/or talent-related efforts. In addition, the research team would welcome the involvement of an organization that has made significant progress in developing a workforce that is digital-first.

CONTACT: Nick van der Meulen


Nick van der Meulen, Research Scientist

Nick’s work centers on how companies need to organize themselves differently in the face of continuous technological change. Nick is passionate about separating hype from reality using quantitative data, while also studying the complexity of business practice through in-depth case studies.

Cynthia M. Beath, Professor Emerita & Researcher

Cynthia is a professor emerita at the McCombs School of Business, University of Texas at Austin and an MIT CISR academic research fellow. Her research interests include the study of how organizations redesign themselves for the digital era and how they get value from data assets.

Dorothy E. Leidner, Ferguson Professor of Information Systems

Dorothy is the Ferguson Professor of Information Systems at Baylor University and the director of the PhD program in Information Systems, as well as an MIT CISR academic research fellow. Her research focuses on how individuals, groups, and organizations change through the use of information and digital technologies. She has a deep understanding of the behavioral, emotional, and cultural changes brought about by digital technologies.

Olgerta Tona, Senior Lecturer

Olgerta is an assistant professor at the department of Applied IT at the University of Gothenburg and an MIT CISR academic research fellow. Her research focuses on the digitalization of personal data and the use of data analytics in organizations. 

Related Publications

MIT CISR research is funded by the more than seventy-five member organizations that support our work and participate in our consortium. 

MIT CISR Patrons
Axway, Inc.
Pegasystems Inc.
The Ogilvy Group
MIT CISR Sponsors
Alcon Vision
Allstate Insurance Company
ANZ Banking Group (Australia)
Banco Bradesco S.A. (Brazil)
Banco do Brasil S.A.
Bank of Queensland (Australia)
Barclays (UK)
BlueScope Steel (Australia)
BNP Paribas (France)
Caterpillar, Inc.
Cemex (Mexico)
CIBC (Canada)
Cochlear Limited (Australia)
Commonwealth Superannuation Corp. (Australia)
Cuscal Limited (Australia)
CVS Health
Dawn Foods
DBS Bank Ltd. (Singapore)
Doosan Corporation (Korea)
Fidelity Investments
Fomento Economico Mexicano, S.A.B., de C.V.
Fortum (Finland)
General Mills, Inc.
Gilbane Building Co.
Henkel AG & Co. (Germany)
Johnson & Johnson (J&J)
Kaiser Permanente
King & Wood Mallesons (Australia)
Koç Holding (Turkey)
Nasdaq, Inc.
NN Insurance Eurasia NV
Nomura Holdings, Inc. (Japan)
Nomura Research Institute, Ltd. Systems Consulting Division (Japan)
Novo Nordisk A/S (Denmark)
OCP Group
Pacific Life Insurance Company
Posten Bring AS (Norway)
Principal Life Insurance Company
Ramsay Health Care (Australia)
Raytheon Technologies
Scentre Group Limited (Australia)
Schneider Electric Industries SAS (France)
Stockland (Australia)
Tabcorp Holdings (Australia)
Telstra Limited (Australia)
Terumo Corporation (Japan)
Tetra Pak (Sweden)
Truist Financial Corporation
UniSuper Management Pty Ltd (Australia)
Uniting (Australia)
Webster Bank, N.A.
Westpac Banking Corporation (Australia)
WestRock Company
Wolters Kluwer
Xenco Medical
Zoetis Services LLC

MIT CISR Associate Members

MIT CISR wishes to thank all of our associate members for their support and contributions.

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Sloan School of Management
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