HRD practitioners have long shown concerns about the status and legitimacy of the occupation, and, arguably, this has not been unconnected to the range of titles HRD has been given over the years. Has there been an element of "management fashion‟ about this, or have they reflected some real change at the level of practice? The paper considers whether "Talent Management‟ (TM), as a recently-emerged area of interest for HRD, can be argued to display features of a management fashion. On the basis of a review of three main perspectives, we conclude that it is too early to say with regard to two of them, given TM's recent emergence and the paucity of empirical material, but that TM displays features of institutionalism in TM talk in the business and professional literature. A research agenda, based primarily on institutional theory, is developed and a number of research questions outlined.