Analytical Summary Paper


Have to write an analytical summary paper based on the article : The role of the corporate HR function in global talent management.(attached) Description of what the instruction is looking for is on page 5 of the syllabus (attached) I also have to compare this article to the same topic discussed in textbook: Human Resource Managment: Gaining a Competitive Advantage 10th edition by Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart and Wright. The questions that need to be answered are on page 6 of the syllabus (attached). I have also attached a sample of what the paper should look like and the rubric it will be graded against.

WED 465
The Human Resource Specialist
Spring 2018
Instructor: Yvonne Hunter-Johnson, Ph.D.
Office: 217D Pulliam
Phone: 618-453-1989
Office Hours:
Tuesday 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Thursday 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Course Description – This class is an overview of the theoretical framework and
practices related to human resource development and management. It examines the
strategic alignment of human resources functions with organizational goals.
Course Objectives – The following are the general outcomes of the course. Students
1. Comprehend the various job categories within human resources.
2. Comprehend the theories associated with the various job categories within
human resources.
3. Analyze how various human resource theories are utilized in practice in
4. Analyze how human resource functions align with organizational goals.
5. Analyze how organizations utilize human resource functions to achieve
extraordinary results with ordinary people.
Course Requirements – Assessment of student performance will be based on the
following requirements:
1. Discussion Forum/Weekly Assignments
2. Organizational Analysis/Presentation
3. Analytic Summary Papers (1)
4. Quizzes (4)
5. Learning Journal (1)
Grading Scale
92 – 100%
67 and below
Rubric for Online Discussion
0-1 point
2-3 points
You will get 0-1 point if
You will get 2-3 points
your entries do not add to if your entries contribute
the discussion in any
some original thinking
to the discussion but a)
manner. These are
are somewhat superficial
typically entries that
in thought b) do not use
simply agree with what
the technical or
someone else said or just conceptual terminology
restates what someone
of the course or concepts
else said. Original
from readings c) if you
postings that are not
simply reply to another
relevant to the topic at
posting and do not enter
hand also fall into this
an original posting of
your own.
4-5 points
You will get 4-5 points if your
entries contribute substantially
to the discussion and use the
terminology of the
course/article. These entries
are what we are striving for as
a knowledgeable practitioner
group working toward graduate
degrees. The minimum word
count requirement was met for
discussion board
Note: Students would be required to post a primary post (minimum of 150 words) and
three secondary post (response to classmates, minimum of 25 words) on days specified
by the instructor.
Course Readings
Required Readings:
1. Noe. R., Holenbeck, J, Gerhart, B & Wright, P. (2015) Human resource
management, 10th Ed. New York: McGraw Hill. ISBN 978-1-259-57812-0
2. Reading as assigned.
3. APA website –
Policies and Standards
1. The grade of A will not be assigned to late assignments. Assignments are considered late
if they are not submitted at the beginning of the class period of the due date. Late
assignments (under extenuating circumstances as determine by the instructor) will not be
accepted past one week of the due date. Points will also be deducted for each day late at
the instructor’s discretion.
The course week begins on Sunday of each ,
Assignments are to be submitted via D2L and not email to the instructor.
Quizzes would be available the entire week. Late quizzes would not be graded.
It is each student’s responsibility to get class information from classmates when s/he
misses a class. The professor will not repeat lectures during office hours. Further
clarification of course concepts and answers to questions can be provided during office
Assignments and schedules may change at the professor’s discretion.
Assignments should be written in accordance to APA
Students will follow proper etiquette for communicating electronically. Proper
“netiquette” includes: identification of the writer (including affiliation and title if
applicable), avoidance of excessive punctuation (e.g., exclamation points), abbreviations,
highlighting (e.g., bold face type), inappropriate language, and emotion (e.g. all caps).
Any student with a physical or learning disability that may require reasonable
accommodations (seating, hearing, testing, reading, etc.) should contact the
professor early in the course for assistance. It is the responsibility of the student to
disclose and provide evidence of a health condition that may impact her/his ability
to complete assignments/the exam. Students should go to the SIUC Disability
Support Services office to receive documentation of the need for accommodations.
Plagiarism is defined as the use, without proper acknowledgement, of the ideas,
phrases, sentences, or larger units of discourse from another writer or speaker.
Unauthorized copying of software and violation of copyright laws are also serious
infractions. A claim of ignorance regarding what constitutes plagiarism is not an
excuse to use other(s)’ works. Plagiarism will result in the grade of F on the
assignment that included plagiarism and will be reported to the department chair.
Southern Illinois University Carbondale is committed to providing a safe and
healthy environment for study and work. Because some health and safety
circumstances are beyond our control, we ask that you become familiar with the
SIUC Emergency Response Plan and Building Emergency Response Team (BERT)
program. Emergency response information is available on posters in buildings on
campus, available on the BERT’s website at, Department of Public
Safety’s website (disaster drop down) and in the Emergency
Response Guidelines pamphlet. Know how to respond to each type of emergency.
Instructors will provide guidance and direction to students in the classroom in the
event of an emergency affecting your location. It is important that you follow
these instructions and stay with your professor during an evacuation or
sheltering emergency. The Building Emergency Response Team will provide
assistance to your professor in evacuating the building or sheltering within the
Course Topics and Tentative Schedule
Week of
Jan. 20
Week 1 – Welcome and Course Orientation
Introductory Video and Welcome Discussion
Syllabus Quiz
Learning Style Inventory
Chapter 1 Gaining a Competitive Advantage
Jan. 28
Week 2 – Strategic Human Resource Management
Chapter 2
Feb. 4
Week 3 – The Legal Environment: Equal Employment Opportunity and
Chapter 3
Quiz 1
Feb. 11
Week 4 – The Analysis and Design of Work
Chapter 4
Feb. 18
Week 5– Human Resource Planning and Recruiting
Chapter 5
Feb. 25
Week 6 – Selection and Placement
Chapter 6
Quiz 2
March 4
Week 7 – Training/Performance Management
Chapters 7&8
Assignment: ASP Due
March 10 – 18 Week 8
Spring Break
March 19
Week 9 – Employee Development
Chapter 9
March 25
Week 10 – Employee Separation and Retention
Chapter 10
April 1
Week 11 – Pay Structure Decision
Recognizing Employee Contribution with Pay
Chapters 11 and 12
Quiz 3
April 8
Week 12 Employee Benefits
Collective Bargaining and Labor Relations
Chapters 13 and 14
April 15
Week 13 – Quiz 4
Organization Analysis and Presentation Due
Assignment: Learning Journal Due
Explanation of Assignments
1. Analytic Summary Papers (ASP)
Analytic summary papers expose you to the professional journals in the HRM field and
most importantly provide an opportunity for you to explore issues as well as current
trends in HRM. You are asked to complete two analytical summaries.
ASP Farndale, E., Scullion, H., & Sparrow, F. (2010). The role of the corporate HR
function in global talent management. Journal of World Business 45(2), 161-168.
Note: Analytic summary papers should be typed, and double-spaced. The title for this
assignment is the article’s bibliographic form (use the same format as for an APA
reference list). A sample paper and rubric is provided on D2L.
An analytic summary requires two things: 1) that you condense key thoughts in the
original article and 2) that you break the article read and its ideas apart. When you
analyze you take a position about the article’s content.
2. Organizational Framework for your ASP: (Adapted from R.B. Closson)
Use the following as sub-heads for your paper
1) State the most important point of the article in your estimation.
2) Identify evidence in the article that supports or illustrates the most important point or
theme as well as anything that seems to contradict it.
3) Identify in what ways, if any, the article supports or contradicts concepts, theories or
points of view in our text or other articles that we have read.
4) Identify the work’s underlying assumptions about the subject, as well as any biases it
5) Explain how the author’s points resonate with your experience as a practicing HRM
professional (if you are) or as an employee. If you have had no experience in either
capacity with the topic then project situations where you think it might have been helpful
or why it would not have been useful.
6) Identify new concepts and/or insights that the article provided you (be specific). Make
a statement about the value of this new information to you. Or if nothing is new, explain
why nothing new is apparent to you in the article. For example where have you
encountered these concepts previously?
7) Identify questions the article generated about the topic and/or the field of HRM and
why (be specific).
3. Organizational Analysis (Site Visit Report Adapted from R.B. Closson)
Have your site approved by the professor well before you schedule an
This assignment requires you to visit a human resource management office/department
and conduct an interview with a HRM professional in that area. This assignment consist
of two components: a) paper and b) visual summary presentation to be posted on D2L.
You should be looking for the following kinds of information:
Overview of the organization and the person(s) interviewed.
Organizational context of the HRM department or function (org chart if possible)
o Here you are seeking to find out who authorizes HRM work.
o Who (what office or position) has influence over the work?
Department structure (org chart if possible)
Major purpose(s) and/or mission
HRM professional position titles
Scope of HRM Services
o What are the types of tasks done by folks in HRM?
Design inputs for Programs/Activities/Services
o What sources are used for gathering ideas about ensuring a competitive edge,
strategic planning, legal issues, recruitment etc.?
How HRM functions align with organizational goals
HRM professional background & preparation for the position
o What type of background do HRM professionals have?
o What type of qualifications does the organization seek?
Why have you selected this particular organization for this assignment?
How have the information gleaned contradicts or supports what you have learned from your
text or other related course readings.
What recommendations you would make to this organization regarding human resource
management as a result of your findings?
Note: Your organizational analysis should thoroughly discuss the HRM concepts you
included in your paper and you should take every opportunity to discuss your findings as
compared with concepts identified in our text and in other sources used in our course.
You are also to provide recommendations based on your findings from the interview.
4. Learning Journal
Learning Journal: This assignment requires you to keep a learning journal or “log” of
what you are learning about yourself, about HRM experiences of others, about HRM as a
profession, or about the learning process itself. No one will see your learning log except
you and the course instructor. To complete this assignment, I encourage you to submit a
summary of your most thoughtful reflections from your learning log on a weekly basis. It
is a good self-check for you not only about WHAT you learn but HOW you learn it and
HOW the information learned can be applied with the workplace. The assignment is to
be submitted on the date indicated in the syllabus. Submission should be between one and
two pages in length and written according to APA guidelines.
5. Quizzes
There would be a total of four quizzes which would relatively cover three to four chapters
of the text. The quiz would consist of multiple choice, true/false, matching and short
answers and would not be longer than 15 questions.
Be advised that the syllabus is not a binding contract and is subject to change at the
instructor’s discretion.
Scoring Rubric for Analytical Summary Paper (50 points/10%)
Poor (0-3)
Main point is not stated. No evidence for
support provided.
Good (4-7)
Main point of the article is
identified but is not clearly stated.
Supporting evidence is not clearly
Best (8-10)
Main point is clearly stated and
supporting evidence is clearly stated.
No effort is made to relate the article’s
content to the content in course readings.
Some effort is made to connect the
article’s content to our text or other
Effort relating the article’s concepts to our
course readings is evident and clearly
No statement about assumptions or biases is
Assumptions and biases are
addressed but not clearly stated.
Assumptions and biases are addressed and
clearly stated
IV. How do the
No discussion relating the learner’s
author’s points
experience to the article’s concepts or point
resonate with
of view.
your experience?
There is discussion relating the
learner’s experience to the article’s
concepts and/or point of view but
these are not clearly stated.
Learner discusses her/his experience in
regard to the author’s concepts or point of
V. What is new,
or why is
nothing new?
What are your
Learner makes moderate effort to
discuss new ideas or to explore why
these ideas are familiar. Questions
are posed about the article’s
Learner has a substantive discussion
about new ideas or explores in some
depth why these ideas are not new to him
or her. Questions are posed about the
article’s content.
I. The most
important point
of the article.
Citing evidence
for support.
II. Article and
the text.
III. What are the
&/or biases?
No discussion of ideas or thinking that is
new to the learner; no effort to project why
these topics are familiar. No questions are
posed by the learner.
Doe, ASP 1
Note running header.
Doe, Jane
October 21, 2015: Analytic Summary Paper #1
Lohman, M. (2002). Cultivating problem-solving skills through problem-based
approaches to professional development. Human Resource Development
Quarterly 13(3), 243-261.
1) The most important point of Lohman’s article:
Note paper
heading is the
APA reference
The most important point of Lohman’s article is her finding that not all problembased learning approaches develop the same level of problem-solving skill in the learner.
She notes that case study seems to result in learning where the learner detects and
corrects a problem that is well-structured without addressing the underlying assumptions
of the problem. Action learning on the other hand, she says, seems to result in learning
where participants examine the problem’s underlying assumptions.
2) Identify evidence in the article that supports or illustrates the most significant
point or theme as well as anything that seems to contradict it.
Evidence in Lohman’s article that illustrates the point above is present but not
very strong primarily because not much research has been done assessing participant
learning outcomes using case study and action learning. As a result, Lohman can only
speak tentatively about the level of problem-solving skill development of participants
based on what a few other researchers have found.
Doe, ASP 1
3) Ways in which our text or other readings support or contradict the author’s
findings on problem-based learning approaches.
Lohman examines four approaches that she considers fall into the category of
problem-based approaches: case study, problem-based learning, goal-based scenario, and
action learning. The approaches discussed in our text are case study (Chapter 6,
Classroom training approaches), and action learning (Chapter 13, Management
Development). The discussion in our text on both these approaches is brief because they
are just part of a much larger chapter focus; however, there are points that I can mention
that support Lohman’s discussion. Lohman’s outline of the case study process follows
pretty closely the description in our text. However, a significant area of difference is that
Lohman indicates the case study method should be conducted by an expert whereas our
text does not. This seems like an important point that should be discussed in the text
since it is designed as an introduction to the field. Future HRD professionals should be
informed of this.
Action learning is discussed in our text as an experiential learning approach for
developing managers. So one of the major differences between Lohman and our text is
the way action learning is categorized. Lohman categorizes it as a problem-based
learning approach while the text categorizes it as an experiential learning approach.
However our text, like Lohman, notes that there is little evidence documenting the effect
of action learning on any type of cognitive problem-solving skill development (Werner &
DeSimone, 2006 p.542). Lohman also notes that action learning “can be an unexpectedly
Note: type
in the subhead from
Doe, ASP 1
difficult and emotional process” (Marsick, 1990; Weinstein, 1998 cited in Lohman, p.
254) which is not mentioned by our text either. This point also holds important
implications for the HRD professional who might consider using an action learning
approach as part of their management development program but actually may not have
the expertise to do it.
4) Identify the work’s underlying assumptions about the subject, as well as any
biases it reveals.
Note: This is
how you refer
to secondary
you would
list Lohman
in your
reference list
not Marsick
or Weinstein
but since
paper is the
topic you do
not have to
list it in your
Lohman’s article seems to assume that the reader is a fairly seasoned HRD
professional because the four learning approaches she focuses on all require the facilitator
to have expertise if not in specific content matter then in the process itself. For example,
in action learning she notes that the process can be emotional for the participant. To me
that requires a skilled facilitator not a novice.
5) Explain how the author’s points resonate with your experience as a practicing
HRD professional (if you are) or as an employee. If you have no experience in either
capacity with the topic then project situations where you think it might have been
helpful or why it would not have been useful.
As someone not having any experience in HRD I can say that in my experience as
an employee I have not attended any organizationally sponsored training that used either
case study or action learning. However, when I was trained as a leadership coach I think
Doe, ASP 1
a case study might have been helpful. As a leadership coach although each coaching
situation is different there are some types of problems that consistently crop up. For
example, frequently coachees want to blame their superior for the problems they
experience or the negative feedback they have received from their own direct reports.
This type of problem could have been dealt with through a case study during our training.
The case study would not be as technically oriented as Lohman describes (p. 247) with
organizational charts, financials, market data etc. But an elaborated description of the
Note: p. #
coachee’s experience in the leadership development program, along with some sample
negative feedback from direct reports could have provided the basis for critical discussion
among us as coaches in training. Lohman indicates that a case study approach is ideally
facilitated by an expert who guides the learners to one of several appropriate solutions.
The resultant dialogue between a seasoned coach and coaches in training drawn from a
structured problem based in the coaching practice would have been extremely helpful.
6) Identify new concepts and/or insights that the article provided you (be specific).
Make a statement about the value of this new information to you. Or if nothing is
new, explain why nothing new is apparent to you in the article. For example where
have you encountered these concepts previously?
The goal-based scenario was new to me. The description Lohman provides (p.
250) makes it sound too involved for me to ever actually use it. In some ways it sounds
similar to the in-basket exercise described in our text (p. 210) but more complex. I like
Doe, ASP 1
the general concept of learners developing a product that has an ideal framework as its
goal. I think for novice learners it could be extremely beneficial.
7) Identify questions the article generated about the topic and/or the field of HRD
(be specific).
This article raises a question for me about the limited empirical research on the
learning outcomes of problem-based learning. A related question is how do I as an HRD
professional determine which of these approaches might be appropriate if there is so little
research about the outcomes?
Werner,J. & DeSimone, R. (2006). Human resource development (4th ed). Mason, OH:
Thomson Learning.
Note: You
don’t need to
list Lohman’s
article as a
You do need
to list the text
or any other
when you
refer to them.
Journal of World Business 45 (2010) 161–168
Contents lists available at ScienceDirect
Journal of World Business
journal homepage:
The role of the corporate HR function in global talent management
Elaine Farndale a,*, Hugh Scullion b,1, Paul Sparrow c,2
Department of Human Resource Studies, Tilburg University, PO Box 90153, 5000 LE Tilburg, The Netherlands
National University of Ireland, Department of Management, J.E. Cairnes Graduate School of Business & Public Policy, University Road, Galway, Ireland
Lancaster University Management School, Bailrigg, Lancaster LA1 4YX, UK
Corporate HR function
Global talent management
Multinational corporations
We currently know little of the role of the corporate human resource (HR) function in multinational
corporations regarding global talent management (GTM). GTM is explored here from two perspectives:
increasing global competition for talent, and new forms of international mobility. The first considers the
mechanisms of GTM, and the second, individual willingness to be mobile, especially in emerging
markets, and the organizational capability needed to manage this talent. New corporate HR roles are
identified which show how these issues might be addressed. We then advance our understanding of
GTM theory and practice by considering the major future challenges facing corporate HR.
ß 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
1. Introduction
It has been argued that the more rapid pace of internationalization and globalization leads to a more strategic role for Human
Resource Management (HRM) (Novicevic & Harvey, 2001; Scullion
& Starkey, 2000). While there have been some attempts to
integrate international corporate strategy and human resource
strategy (see, for example: Taylor, Beechler, & Napier, 1996), the
role of the corporate human resource (HR) function has until
recently been relatively neglected in the international HRM
literature, particularly in the context of the multinational
corporation (MNC) and its attempts to manage talent on a global
The issue of global talent management (GTM) has become an
important area for research for a number of key reasons.
Competition between employers has become more generic and
has shifted from the country level to the regional and global levels
(Ashton & Morton, 2005; Sparrow, Brewster, & Harris, 2004). This
competition can be broken down further into two primary drivers:
1. Supply factors: A number of factors have increased the level of
international mobility and opportunity for new forms of
mobility, such as: the volume of migration and the shift
towards skills-related immigration systems (Salt & Millar, 2006;
* Corresponding author. Tel.: +31 13 466 2371.
E-mail addresses: (E. Farndale),
(H. Scullion), (P. Sparrow).
Tel.: +353 91 493079; Fax: +353 91 494510.
Tel.: +44 1524 593049; Fax: +44 1524 381454.
1090-9516/$ – see front matter ß 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Sparrow et al., 2004); and the globalization of a number of
professional labor markets, such as healthcare and information
technology (Clark, Stewart, & Clark, 2006).
2. Demand factors: An increase in demand for: skilled expatriates to
help build emerging international markets, even as the world
economy is in general decline; temporary and short-term access
to specialized talent to assist the execution of overseas projects
and to develop emerging markets; and the need for highly
mobile elites of management to perform boundary-spanning
roles to help build social networks and facilitate the exchange of
knowledge necessary to support globalization.
While companies are facing significant talent management
challenges in several regions of the world, such as Europe and
North America, the challenges are most acute for young professionals and new managers in the emerging markets such as the
BRIC economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and the economies of
Central and Eastern Europe (Bhatnagar, 2007). The need for
effective talent management strategies and practices that work in
emerging markets is increasingly recognized by top MNC
managers yet there has been little systematic research of talent
management in these markets (Bhatnagar, 2007; Sparrow &
Budhwar, 1997).
There is evidence of a number of constraints that limit the
effectiveness of responses to these pressures. For example, in many
leading European firms, shortages of international management
talent have been shown to be a significant constraint on the
successful implementation of global strategies (Scullion &
Brewster, 2001). It is argued, in particular, that a shortage of
leadership talent is a major obstacle many companies face as they
seek to operate on a global scale. The rhetoric of maximizing the
E. Farndale et al. / Journal of World Business 45 (2010) 161–168
talent of individual employees as a unique source of competitive
advantage has been a central element of strategic HR policy in
recent years (Frank & Taylor, 2004; Lewis & Heckman, 2006).
However, the extent to which organizations effectively manage
their talent in this respect often fails to live up to the hype
(Cappelli, 2008).
This globalization of talent management brings with it a
requirement to create new HRM tools, methods and processes to
provide the necessary co-ordination systems to support global
integration (Kim, Park, & Prescott, 2003). This has led to an
expansion of the territory that might legitimately be considered
part of a GTM system into marketing-driven concerns such as
market-mapping and employer-branding (Sparrow, 2007). This
also implies new roles for the Corporate HR (CHR) function: in
addition to the well known strategic roles for HR laid down by
Ulrich and Brockbank (2005), the multinational context requires a
more nuanced approach which considers additional international
pressures (Farndale et al., 2010). Here we focus our discussion on
four core roles for CHR derived from the extant literature
(champion of processes, guardian of culture, network leadership
and intelligence, and managers of internal receptivity) and explore
how these roles support GTM in MNCs. These four roles are
summarized in Fig. 1, showing each role’s unique activities and
their interconnections. These roles will be discussed in detail in
light of GTM developments.
Despite these developments, and a decade of debate around the
importance of talent management for success in the increasingly
competitive business environment (Michaels, Handfield-Jones, &
Axelrod, 2001; Sparrow & Balain, 2008), the concept is still lacking
in definition and theoretical development, particularly in the
global context. Clearly, it is necessary to examine and clarify what
is implied by GTM in its current context. In this paper we seek to
examine the challenges faced by the CHR function in managing
talent on a global basis and identify the main drivers of GTM,
paying particular attention to the rapidly growing emerging
markets. The paper reviews the research on the issues MNCs face in
the context of two key challenges: global competitive pressures for
talent and new forms of international mobility. We use these
analyses to identify and discuss the key issues which need to be
addressed to advance our understanding of the theory and practice
of GTM and the implications for CHR. First, however, we start our
discussion by looking at current definitions of GTM.
2. A definition of global talent management
Although the notion of talent management has been with us
since the 1990s, and presented as a ‘war’ since the first McKinsey
War for Talent survey of 1997, MNCs now face a new challenge:
they are increasingly coordinating their talent pipelines on a global
basis, leading to this notion of global talent management. Collings
and Scullion (2008: 102) define GTM as ‘‘the strategic integration
of resourcing and development at the international level which
involves the proactive identification and development and
strategic deployment of high-performing and high-potential
strategic employees on a global scale’’. We might add also to this
definition the importance of retention of these high-value
employees, as seen in particular in the emerging markets
mentioned previously.
In the current economic climate, it may no longer be
appropriate to talk about a ‘war’ for talent. For example,
unemployment in East Asia (including China) is expected to rise
for the first time in five years from its 2008 rate of 3.8% to up to 5.5%
by the end of 2009; in South Asia (including India), unemployment
has already been rising to its 2008 rate of 5.4% and is predicted to
either remain stable or increase to up to 6.2% over the next year
(ILO, 2009). However, more people available on the labor market
does not necessarily mean that employers are able to find the level
of skilled managers and professionals they are seeking. For
example, Teagarden, Meyer, and Jones (2008) still emphasize
the growing scarcity of high-level knowledge talent in these
countries. Although the war for talent may no longer be
appropriate terminology, the demand for talent in practice
certainly remains significant (Lane & Pollner, 2008).
3. Challenges faced by the corporate HR function in GTM
From a CHR perspective, firms are facing a number of challenges
in managing talent on a global basis with regard to the two key
challenges: global competition, and new forms of international
3.1. Global competition
There is growing evidence of increasing global competition for
highly skilled talent, particularly amongst MNCs, and the
Fig. 1. Corporate HR roles in global talent management.
E. Farndale et al. / Journal of World Business 45 (2010) 161–168
emergence of a common global talent pool being shared by all the
large organizations. This creates three issues:
1. In order to remain competitive, organizations are demanding
increasingly high skill levels amongst their staff, and are
becoming more specific about the qualities that really differentiate effective international managers (Dickmann, Sparrow, &
Brewster, 2008).
2. The supply of sufficiently educated senior staff is not meeting
this demand. This has been noted in the U.S.A. (Cappelli, 2008),
however it is also a growing problem in transitional and
developing economies, such as China and India (Doh, Stumpf,
Tymon, & Haid, 2008; Ma & Trigo, 2008; Teagarden et al., 2008).
Organizations are broadening their internal search to wider
pools of labor (Boussebaa & Morgan, 2008).
3. In addition to broadening the internal search criteria, organizations are also integrating and extending their talent pipelines
into much more forward planning activity (recruiting ahead of
the curve), which means that issues such as market-mapping
and employer-branding to assist in the attraction and retention
of high-performing employees have become increasingly high
on the corporate agenda.
Our argument that the type of talent necessary in an
international context is becoming ever more specific rests on
the following observations. Recent research suggests a need for
managers with distinctive competencies and a desire to manage in
culturally and geographically distant countries (Bjorkman &
Xiucheng, 2002; Li & Scullion, 2006). Questions about the nature
of these distinctive competencies have led to debate about what
exactly it is that GTM systems must manage. To deliver effective
global business processes, products or services, global managers
need several forms of capital. Attention has been drawn to the need
for: cognitive capital – the possession of effective mental models of
how knowledge needs to be shared across the globalizing
organization (Murtha, Lenway, & Bagozzi, 1998); social capital –
necessary connections to be able to perform boundary-spanning
roles (Kostova & Roth, 2003); political capital – the legitimacy
necessary to be confirmed as talent (Harvey & Novicevic, 2004);
and human capital – the competencies necessary to operate in
cross-cultural contexts (Earley & Mosakowski, 2004).
There is therefore considerable competition between MNCs for
the small number of global managers who possess such complex
capital and the in-depth knowledge of how to do business
successfully in specific countries. Perhaps reflecting this, much of
the literature on GTM has in practice analyzed global staffing by
focusing only on the recruitment to senior positions in headquarters or subsidiaries (i.e. the resourcing of senior global
managers such as directors or expatriates) with attention being
directed at whether the pattern of such appointments is
ethnocentric, polycentric, regiocentric or geocentric (cf. Perlmutter, 1969). GTM has therefore concentrated on the international
transfer of expatriates or inpatriates (Collings, Scullion, & Dowling,
2009; Harzing & Van Ruysseveldt, 2004; Torbiörn, 2005).
We argue that such competition is in turn leading to innovation
in practice, and these innovations demonstrate the need to go
beyond HR planning for global assignments and to focus on
broader mechanisms of talent identification, development, deployment, retention, and succession planning. As a consequence, it is
now debatable (1) which populations need to be managed under
the auspices of international talent systems (Briscoe, Schuler, &
Claus, 2008; Mayrhofer, Sparrow, & Zimmermann, 2008), (2) what
form talent management is actually taking (i.e. which processes it
encompasses) (CIPD, 2007), and (3) how the HR function is
involved and whether it is a planned or reactive process (Cappelli,
Exploring the first debate, recent research suggests there are
now a wide range of international assignment options ranging
from the traditional expatriate assignment (which usually involves
the relocation of the expatriate and their family) to the growing
number of more flexible forms of global staffing such as short-term
assignments, international commuter assignments, frequent
business commuters, self-initiated movers, immigrants, global
project members, and virtual team members (Collings, Scullion, &
Morley, 2007). Global staffing practices are also related to the stage
of internationalization and the evolution of the international
strategy (Scullion & Collings, 2006). In the early phases of
internationalization, firms will tend to place more emphasis on
expatriates to establish control in the foreign markets. As
international markets expand and regional/global strategies are
developed, there will be greater use of alternative forms of
international assignments. While researchers have highlighted the
absence of empirical data about the utilization of alternative forms
of assignment (Mayrhofer et al., 2008), it can be argued that rapidly
changing world business circumstances mean that more flexible
forms of global staffing will be increasingly used as alternatives to
traditional expatriate assignments. There is therefore an argument
that GTM should not just be focusing on the high-performers and
high-potentials, but should have a broader remit across different
levels of staff.
Secondly, at least until the onset of the current global economic
crisis, the opportunities for the highly skilled, high-performing
strategic employees to move between the top players in the field
were rapidly increasing. Issues of employee engagement, loyalty
and retention have therefore also been taking center stage (GMAC,
2008). Each different strategic employee type has a different profile
(e.g., younger/older, at different points on the career path, more
valued for specialist skills than management skills), which may
require a nuanced approach to talent management strategies.
Unilever is a case in point here. It identifies high-performers
separate from high-potentials. Unilever then rewards them with
additional salary rather than a promotion, reducing the drive to
move to the next management grade purely for salary purposes
(research interview, Unilever, HR Director, 2004).
Thirdly, globalization creates the need for new tools, processes,
and metrics for GTM. These in turn require cross-functional
integration in order to provide the necessary co-ordination
systems to support global integration (Kim et al., 2003). Higgs,
Papper, and Carr (2000) adopted a systems approach to strategic
HRM to show that in response to competitive resourcing pressures
both the horizontal alignment (between sub-HR activities) and
vertical alignment (to internal contextual factors such as vision,
values, brand or culture), have broadened, such that organizations
now include a much wider range of activity under the umbrella of
selection. Sparrow (2007) found that developments in employerbranding strategies were a good example of this: in Barclaycard
International the globalization of international resourcing activity
required aligned developments in expatriate management, the
process of creating and sourcing new in-country operations, talent
management and mapping activity, and the role of HR business
partners in enabling these activities. The boundaries between subfunctions such as international recruitment, development and
rewards became opaque in the pursuit of global talent strategies.
3.2. New forms of international mobility and the emerging markets
Recent discussion of talent issues in China and India exemplifies
the second key challenge (Doh et al., 2008; Teagarden et al., 2008).
While China had a pool of around ten million young professional
graduates with work experience, a report published by the ChinaBritain Business Council (Malila, 2007) showed that less than 10%
would have the necessary language and interpersonal competen-
E. Farndale et al. / Journal of World Business 45 (2010) 161–168
cies to work for MNCs in China. A similar problem exists for MNCs
seeking to recruit graduates in India. The retention of knowledge
workers in these emerging markets is a major challenge for MNCs
and it has been suggested that in India annual turnover rates in
some key sectors such as information technology and business
process outsourcing can reach as high as 45% (Bhatnagar, 2007).
In a series of interviews with MNCs in China, talent was by far
the most consistently and frequently cited factor that would
critically affect business success (Yeung, Warner, & Rowley, 2008).
This looming shortage of home-grown talent is said to arise due to
few university graduates having the necessary skills for the
growing services sector (including little practical experience and
still poor levels of English) (Malila, 2007), and a lack of employee
mobility between provinces and the few major commercial centers
(Farrell & Grant, 2005). The sources of management talent, such as
management training programs and MNCs producing their own
managers, are thus unable to deliver sufficient supply (Dickel &
Watkins, 2008). Similarly, localization strategies to develop local
managers either fail or take much longer than anticipated to
achieve results (Evans, Pucik, & Barsoux, 2002). To ensure the
supply of the required talent, organizations therefore seek to
influence the formation of skills through involvement in education
systems and syllabi.
Increasing supply of more job-ready talent however creates
other issues. In India, the supply of English-speaking, highly
educated graduates is perhaps becoming less restricted. However,
young ambitious workers are demanding immediate rewards. This
is a result of the earlier talent shortage which meant that
individuals could demand almost anything they wanted due to
their scarce skills. Today supply is increasing and so the immediate
promotions and high salary increases are less of a feature in the
marketplace, although still expected by employees. Research in
this area is currently lacking. From a practitioner perspective,
Hamm (2008) suggests that India may be the blueprint for other
emerging nations in the way in which this talent shortage has
played out. The key focus for firms now is on exploring how to
improve employee engagement and retention, rather than sourcing challenges.
Such developments in the emerging markets create two major
1. changes in the preparedness of individuals to be mobile, both at
the individual level, and at the level of the relative differences
between predominantly internal or external labor markets in
different national contexts, and
2. silo mentalities rather than global approaches to managing
talent across businesses and countries.
Preparedness of talent to move to the new strategic markets
where they are most needed cannot be guaranteed. Due to the
intense competition for scarce highly skilled senior staff, these
employees are also able to be more selective in the assignments
they choose to accept. Mobility across international borders, and
particularly to higher risk locations such as Africa or China, is
proving increasingly difficult to achieve (Yeung et al., 2008). In the
Global Relocation Services survey (GMAC, 2008) three countries
have emerged as the fastest growing new international assignment
destinations: China, India and Russia. These three countries also
present the highest level of assignment difficulty both for project
managers and for expatriates: 21% of firms reported China as
having the highest assignment failure rates. Although a full
exploration of the many varied reasons behind this failure is
outside the scope of this paper, typical issues include immigration
formalities, tax laws, language and cultural differences, and the
salary differential experienced by employees arriving from high
cost locations (GMAC, 2008).
Constraints to mobility have led organizations to draw upon
new sources of talent. One well documented source includes selfinitiated movers (Tharenou, 2003). Recent research also suggests
that Third Country Nationals (TCN) – individuals of other
nationalities hired by an MNC to operate in a host country, but
whose nationality is neither that of the host country nor the
country-of-ownership of the MNC – may be growing in importance. TNCs have become a source of talent for MNCs in monitoring
foreign subsidiaries, particularly in the context of standardized and
formalized managerial policies and practices and incentive
schemes (Harvey & Novicevic, 2004). For example, one clothing
manufacturer, Adidas, now utilizes an international external hire
approach (TCNs being recruited into the Corporate HQ) to such an
extent that more than half of the people receiving international
mobility benefits in its HQ are this form of hire (research
interview). These are generally self-initiated movers. The organization has a target of further increasing the number of international external hires by 20% as part of a strategy to build its
employer brand. This is particularly relevant in the context of
recent debates on the cost and value of traditional expatriate
assignments, and concerns over the supply of global managers
(Scullion, Collings, & Gunnigle, 2007). The growing use of TCNs
may reflect the strategy of some MNCs to increase their pool of
global managers with company-specific experience in order to find
staffing solutions for international assignments (Collings, Morley,
& Gunnigle, 2008).
Host country nationals (HCNs) with experience in other MNCs
in the host country also represent an important source of talent
and while these managers may not have company-specific
experience, the know-how, networks and knowledge gained in
other MNCs may be usefully transferred to the subsidiary
operation (Collings et al., 2008; Sparrow et al., 2004). While
offering a good potential source of management talent to MNCs in
subsidiary operations, the problems of retention may be more
difficult due to the competition between MNCs for experienced
staff (Collings & Scullion, 2009).
Another strategy is to access already-acculturated talent:
expatriates from developing countries who have had the
opportunity to work in developed countries. Some MNCs have
underestimated the value of the inpatriation of HCNs and TCNs
into Corporate HQ as a means of increasing the pool of managers
available for international assignments (Harvey, Speier, & Novicevic, 1999). Inpatriation also helps socialize HCN and TCN
managers into the corporate culture. Research suggests that
inpatriates are a rapidly increasing source of international
management talent (Reiche, 2006; Scullion & Collings, 2006)
and several key drivers of this development have been identified:
the desire to create a global core competency or a diversity of
strategic perspectives among the top management team (Harvey,
Speier, & Novicevic, 2001); the rapid emergence of developing
markets which are less likely to be accepted by traditional
expatriate pools; and the growing need to provide career
opportunities for high-potential employees.
All of these sourcing options are increasingly important for
MNCs operating in environments where cost pressures are
particularly acute. These agencies pose limitations on traditional
international assignments (Scullion & Collings, 2006).
A second issue raised by the new forms of international
mobility is the ability of organizations to provide ‘joined-up’ talent
strategies. For example, silo mentalities can emerge in large,
complex MNC structures. Defensive behavior within business or
geographic regions can result in less efficient flows across the firm
as a whole, hence reducing the effectiveness of any GTM strategy.
Research suggests this problem can be particularly acute in highly
decentralized MNCs where central systems of coordination and
control are weakly developed (Scullion & Starkey, 2000). In
E. Farndale et al. / Journal of World Business 45 (2010) 161–168
addition to silo mentalities, research shows that failure by many
MNCs to adopt a strategic approach to repatriation impacts
adversely on the supply of global managers, and that many MNCs
continue to adopt ad hoc approaches (Scullion & Brewster, 2001).
Many firms do not use the repatriation process to build on the
employee’s knowledge gained from the assignment, and often
international assignments do not result in positive career
progression (Dowling, Festing, & Engle, 2008: 192). Hence many
international assignees leave the firm on their return from abroad
and managers are increasingly reluctant to accept international
assignments due to the negative repatriate experiences of
colleagues. In addition many expatriate managers continue to
experience the expatriation process as falling far short of
expectations (Stroh, Gregerson, & Black, 2000). Research confirms
the need for MNCs to develop a more strategic approach to
repatriation in order to retain high-value talent and to encourage
managers to accept international assignments (Evans et al., 2002).
These issues are picked up further when we consider the
implications this has for the role of the CHR function.
4. Changing role of the corporate HR function in MNCs
Having examined some of the key challenges and possible
responses to managing talent on a global basis, we now move on to
examine the related role of the CHR function. Although little has
yet been explored regarding CHR roles in MNCs, there are some
initial studies emerging on what these may be. Empirical research
on UK MNCs has highlighted a considerable variation in the roles of
the CHR function in different types of international firms (Scullion
& Starkey, 2000). In centralized/global firms the CHR function
undertook a wide range of activities and the key roles were
management development, succession planning, career planning,
strategic staffing, top management rewards and managing the
mobility of international managers. In these firms the growing
need for coordination and integration of international activities
required greater central control over the mobility of top managers,
expatriates and high-potential staff. In highly decentralized firms,
on the other hand, who tended to pursue more of a multidomestic
international strategy, the CHR executives focused mainly on
management development and succession planning for senior
executives. One common theme such studies have is that they
emphasize the key role of CHR in GTM for the top talent across the
company (Brewster, Sparrow, & Harris, 2005; Farndale et al., 2010;
Kelly, 2001; Novicevic & Harvey, 2001). Particularly the demand
factors noted have created an emerging agenda for CHR to develop
core management competencies by focusing on the talent
management issues associated with senior management development, succession planning and developing a cadre of global
managers (Evans et al., 2002; Scullion & Starkey, 2000; Sparrow,
Looking in more detail at the implementation of corporate HRM
policies throughout overseas subsidiaries, CHR can play a
significant role in coordination and monitoring (Kelly, 2001).
Based on this and our review of GTM, we identify four important
roles (see also Fig. 1).
4.1. Champions of processes
Research at the major drinks multinational Diageo showed the
importance of building the commitment of top management,
providing coaching and training for managers, calibrating and
equalizing talent across markets, enabling and aligning HR
information systems, and monitoring talent management processes (Sparrow et al., 2004). Particularly the latter point highlights
CHR’s role as ‘‘champions of processes’’ (Evans et al., 2002: 472).
Given the global competition context, the demand for higher skill
levels amongst staff has lead to the need to specify more closely the
sorts of capital (human, social, intellectual and political) that
constitute ‘talent’. Competitive forces are also requiring organizations to take control of the skills supply-chain through the use of
more forward planning activity such as strategic workforce
planning, market-mapping and employer-branding (Sparrow &
Balain, 2008). These drivers have raised the need for better
horizontal coordination of tools, techniques and processes for
talent management across internal functions. This in turn requires
both effective management of global expertise networks and a
designated champion of processes role to monitor the global
implementation of a talent management strategy and related tools.
4.2. Guardians of culture
HR has a social responsibility to ensure the organization is
sensitive and equipped to deal with global challenges. Social
context theory explains how corporate culture represents an
organizational social environment which influences the establishment of an HRM system (Ferris, Hochwarter, Buckley, HarrellCook, & Frink, 1999). It is also a form of social control which
encourages behaviors and attitudes appropriate for an organization’s members to display (O’Reilly & Chatman, 1996), for example,
international mobility. This creates a role for CHR as guardian of
culture (Brewster et al., 2005), overseeing the implementation of
global values and systems when it comes to developing a talent
management culture and employer brand across the organization
(Ulrich & Smallwood, 2007). The role of CHR in MNCs has also been
found to encourage a culture of trust and motivation to work
together, through the design of appropriate practices, processes
and structures (Gratton, 2005). This gives CHR the opportunity to
focus on ‘talentship’—better human capital decision-making
(Boudreau & Ramstad, 2006). CHR can therefore play a key role
in encouraging a ‘joined-up’ approach to GTM across the whole
organization; the guardian of culture role could be key to ensure the
right approach to GTM across the organization, creating a climate
in which people feel encouraged to be mobile but valued for their
difference. These are crucial steps in breaking down the silo
mentality that exists within firms today within business and
geographic regions (Gratton, 2005).
4.3. Network leadership and intelligence
Network leadership is a term used by Evans et al. (2002: 471)
indicating HR should have: an awareness of leading edge trends
and developments in the internal and external labor market, the
ability to mobilize the appropriate human resources, and a sense of
timing and context (sensitivity to what is going on at both local and
global levels). Firstly, although ‘leadership’ may not be the most
appropriate terminology here given the frequently cited limited
powerbase of the HR function (Farndale, 2005), the importance of
being well-networked is crucial. This includes being aware of
events both inside and outside the organization, but also for CHR to
take on the role of facilitating collaboration across the organization; HR’s role in building social capital beyond organizational
boundaries to encourage cooperation across the company and
improve firm success has been recognized (Gratton, 2005;
Lengnick-Hall & Lengnick-Hall, 2006; Mäkelä, 2007; Taylor,
2007). Mäkelä’s (2007) study of expatriates has shown how social
capital becomes important for global talent—their relationships
are richer, more trustful and longer term than more arm’s-length
cross-border relationships, and these properties create more
opportunities for knowledge sharing, and have a multiplying
effect by spreading ties more effectively across new units.
Lengthened participation in the assignment unit typically leads
to a higher level of shared cognitive ground, effectively facilitating
E. Farndale et al. / Journal of World Business 45 (2010) 161–168
knowledge. For Taylor (2007: 337) a pressing need now is then
‘‘. . .the identification, development and retention of managers,
particularly those crossing geographic and cultural boundaries
(high-value boundary spanners or HVBS), who can successfully
develop social capital in multiple cultural settings’’. She highlights
the need for IHRM functions to manage both structural social
capital (the configuration, density and strength of relationships
between HVBS’s) and cognitive social capital (shared goals and
shared culture i.e. language, codes and narratives). She notes that
the competencies needed to do this are little understood.
Secondly, we would add the dimension of intelligence about
networks to this role. The majority of talent services (such as
market intelligence, search capabilities, sourcing tools and
techniques) are now distributed externally across a host of
specialized or outsourced providers, or internally (within projects
that have initiated new practices). We argue that taking a more
proactive stance, and knowing both the talent markets and the
capabilities created by different providers and practices, is a key
role requirement for GTM. This creates a networking role for the HR
function as a boundary spanner (Kostova & Roth, 2003) between
external providers and the organization.
4.4. Managers of internal receptivity
Research on sectors (such as healthcare and education) that
have learned how to source international labor into domestic
markets, as well as research on inpatriation, show that CHR can
play an active role in the career management of international
employees—encouraging mobility but also ensuring individuals
are looked after in the process (in terms of the receptivity of the
receiving units to manage diversity, career management, integration and work-life balance issues). The traditional male expatriate,
mid-career, moving abroad possibly with family, is no longer the
standard model. As more self-initiated movers and TCNs/HCNs
become involved in international assignments, as well as these
assignments taking different forms, a more complex but flexible
approach to career management is required. CHR is ideally
positioned to have the necessary overview across the organization
to be able to manage this talent flow, by changing HR processes,
challenging local mindsets and practices, and looking for new
lower-cost forms of meeting international experience demands
and skills shortages.
Despite the emergence of these four core CHR roles, there is still
confusion regarding the specific role that HR professionals in
particular should play in GTM processes, which places question
marks over the ability of CHR professionals to manage their own
destiny. Corporate HR professionals work alongside top management who has the option of outsourcing some of their activities.
Although HR Directors were found to be the primary decisionmakers for outsourcing (GMAC, 2008), and can claim more insight
into the risks involved in using external agencies given the
complex compliance issues (such as immigration and taxes)
involved in global resourcing, some practitioner evidence suggests
that HR’s corporate impact is still declining (Guthridge, Komm, &
Lawson, 2008). McKinsey found that the three key talent
management activities carried out amongst high-performing firms
are: ensuring global consistency in management processes,
achieving cultural diversity, and developing global leaders
(Guthridge & Komm, 2008). However, this evidence comes from
reports from practice, rather than empirical research which is
lacking in this field.
As Gratton (2003: 18) highlights: ‘‘during the past decade we
have fragmented the roles and responsibilities of the function [. . .]
and this fragmentation of the HR function is causing all sorts of
unintended problems. Senior managers look at the fragments and
are not clear how the function as a whole adds value’’. Such
criticism can partly be attributed to a lack of business knowledge
and not being recognized as a profession (Farndale, 2005). It
potentially means fewer high-performers wish to work in the
function, exacerbated by this fragmentation which leads to
reduced capabilities and status.
There is evidence that MNCs are putting in structural solutions
to move what were previously only network linkages between
International Mobility and Talent Management functions. For
example, based on the 2008 Global Relocation Survey of 25
financial services firms and additional interview data from the
senior international management (IM) functionaries of eight of
these firms, Sparrow (2008) asked whether international mobility
(or associated expatriation activity) should become a center of
excellence in its own right, or whether it should report via another
such center, such as talent management. The research showed that
by far the most important influence on the relationship and
division of responsibilities between central IM specialists, and incountry or in-business division HR partners, was the structural
reporting relationship of the IM function. The solution chosen
affords or denies the IM function entry into a range of HR issues
also linked to international mobility. Many IM functions, by dint of
history, still report into a compensation and benefits function that
is responsible for the terms, conditions and financial package for
expatriates. There is a trend, especially in those financial service
organizations that have mature international markets, towards
aligning IM under a talent management umbrella. A number of
MNCs are already creating the structural solutions that will forge
new talent management directorates that can manage these global
mobility processes.
5. Major challenges and constraints moving forward
Having reviewed the drivers of approaches to GTM, and the
potential impact they are having on the role of CHR in MNCs, this
final section considers some major challenges and constraints
facing the CHR role in the future and also suggests some areas for
future research.
In this paper we have attempted to summarize the growing
importance of the management of talent on a global scale. Both the
supply of talent (through changing patterns of migration and the
internationalization of certain labor markets), and the demand for
talent are expected to continue to increase despite a downturn in
economic forecasts (Teagarden et al., 2008). However, the demand
criteria do not appear to match the supply characteristics. Today,
MNCs increasingly demand highly skilled, highly flexible, mobile
employees who can deliver the desired results, operating sometimes in difficult circumstances (Roberts, Kossek, & Ozekei, 1998).
According to practice, this is particularly true of the conditions in
the emerging markets such as China and (perhaps now to a lesser
extent) India (Lane & Pollner, 2008). This challenge requires an
innovative response from the MNC as a whole, and in particular
from the CHR function. New tools, processes and coordination
capabilities are required to focus in particular on the sourcing,
retention and career planning of the key talent across the
corporation. This is a major challenge and opportunity for CHR
managers seeking to redefine their role in a context of downsizing,
restructuring and outsourcing. If CHR fails to achieve this, this can
have major consequences for the implementation of corporate
strategy, and for achieving the levels of competitive advantage
which a firm’s talent can create. As yet, there is little evidence that
MNCs are indeed stepping up to this challenge (Cappelli, 2008).
We have also attempted to identify here four specific roles for
CHR in GTM: champions of process, guardians of culture, network
leadership and intelligence, and managers of internal receptivity (see
Fig. 1). The ultimate aim of MNCs is to build a core competence of
being able to transfer capability across multiple countries, which
E. Farndale et al. / Journal of World Business 45 (2010) 161–168
involves monitoring the implementation of relevant policies and
practices, encouraging an appropriate corporate culture, establishing the necessary networks, and ensuring all parts of the
organization are sensitive to the needs of international staff.
Based on trends of increasing local sourcing as described earlier,
this requires a shift to a capability-driven perspective (Sparrow
et al., 2004) which entails a focus across the firm to participate in
mutual sharing of talent and engage in joined-up thinking and
action with regard to GTM. This implies a role for both CHR and
senior leadership. In general, we are seeing more centralization of
talent management strategies, particularly at regional if not global
level (Collings et al., 2008). However, the importance of informal
control in decentralized structures has also been shown to be
crucial (Scullion & Starkey, 2000). This informal approach is
described as more difficult to achieve but highly effective. Future
research could focus in particular on the challenges and value of
balancing both informal and formal forms of control over GTM in
different types of MNC settings.
Given the importance of these issues, it is perhaps surprising
that there is little evidence or discussion about how the CHR
function measures success for GTM in different contexts. We are
forced to rely on evidence from practice. Where MNCs appear to
fail to develop appropriate talent management strategies for
recruiting and managing international talent, they have been
shown to be less likely to succeed in international business
(Guthridge & Komm, 2008). To support the case for closer
measurement of GTM, McKinsey report that more activity in
GTM activities across their ten dimensions was highly correlated
with higher profit per employee (Guthridge & Komm, 2008).
Further empirical research is needed in particular into how MNCs
balance the short-term needs of operating businesses against the
long-term strategic goals of GTM and alignment with corporate
strategy and business models.
There is also an urgent need for more empirical research on
GTM strategies and practices in the emerging markets due to the
rapid growth of these markets and the dearth of empirical
research in this area. Research in practice suggests that talent
management challenges are particularly acute here (Lane &
Pollner, 2008). In addition, there is a growing need to investigate
empirically the relevance and applicability of constructs to
important organizational issues and problems in non-western
cultures (Luthans, Zhu, & Avolio, 2006). For example, Sparrow and
Budhwar (1997) argue that in some emerging markets such as
India the work culture there requires a distinctive style of
transformational leadership and that talent management tools
which promote engagement and retention have a strong interpersonal and spiritual orientation.
GTM is a very broad concept as can be seen from the discussion
presented here, and is being applied in many different ways across
different organization contexts. We have highlighted here some
ways in which CHR can contribute to successful GTM given these
many challenges. However, there are many issues still left
unexplored. Future research could consider issues around worklife balance and dual-career couples for the global transfer of
employees. There is growing evidence to suggest that families are
less willing to accept the disruption of personal and social lives
associated with international assignments than was the case in the
past (Scullion & Brewster, 2001). Dual career issues are increasingly seen as a worldwide trend which can pose significant
restrictions on the career plans of multinationals (Sparrow et al.,
2004). In addition, despite the growing shortages of international
management talent (Scullion & Brewster, 2001) the evidence
suggests that the participation of women in international management remains relatively low and that many women are denied
opportunities to expand their career horizons through access to
international careers (Adler, 2002).
Recent research suggests there is growing evidence that an
MNC’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities are becoming
an increasingly important way to attract and retain high-potential
and high-value employees (Macey & Schneider, 2008). It is
suggested that employees identify with a company more when
they think that it is acting in a socially responsible manner and that
CSR contributes to employee identification and pride in the
company (Bhattacharaya, Sen, & Korschun, 2008). We have noted
the incorporation of marketing activity, such as employerbranding, into the GTM function and CHR role, but future research
should also examine the links between CSR and talent management. This could be particularly fruitful in the emerging markets
such as India and China which have seen the infusion of managerial
practices from around the world due to the increased openness to
international trade and de-regulation.
Finally, we raise some research issues relating to the implications of the current financial crisis which struck most of the world’s
national and regional economic systems in 2008. First, researchers
will need to address wider issues such as how the organization and
management of the MNC is affected by the crisis, and indeed the
legitimacy of stakeholder management models found in firms in
the Anglo-Saxon world may be increasingly questioned. A number
of issues also relate specifically to the future role of the CHR
function: Does the crisis represent an opportunity for CHR to
demonstrate the contribution of HR to the business strategy by
helping to develop managers with the capacity to escape the
conventions of the past and build entirely new industries (Hamel &
Prahalad, 1996)? Can CHR help the company to line up its best
talent to take advantage of the strategic new opportunities which
will arise in the future? Other key research questions include:
What impact will the crisis have on the demand and supply for
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