Roland S Persson, Opens in new window. "Accountable talent: under and overachievement as investible human capital":

The notion of underachievement seems often accepted uncritically at face value by educators and policy-makers alike. Few consider the origins of the terms and the cultural values motivating them. This chapter, therefore, aims at contextualizing how underachievement, and by extension, inevitably also overachievement and talent, are currently understood in educational settings to demonstrate that both definition and application are coupled with market-oriented industry management strategies, and that these, in turn, are tied to current socioeconomic ideology and discourse. Individual consideration and empowerment by means of education are no longer favored values in society. Globalized world economy and the ideologies sustaining it, have made explicit demands on what education must be and do. The meaning and nature of both underachievement and overachievement, therefore, have changed dramatically in a relatively short period of time, prompted by policy changes based on a number of doubtful assumptions, all argued to prompt both school systems and societal systems’ development into excellence. However, in scrutinizing research done on underachievement, overachievement, and talent since the 1990s, this demonstrating how meanings and their underpinning values have discretely changed, it is quite possible to conclude that it is perhaps better for most students and employees to remain unexcellent rather than to potentially sacrifice health and sanity being more or less forcefully assimilated into a culture of excellence.