List of Figures
Figure 1: The Research Onion: Interrelation between Research Method, Philosophy, and Approach (Source: Saunders, Lewis, and Thornhill, 2012)
List of Tables
Table 1: Summary of Sample Details
Table 2: Summary of Key Responses from the Managers
Table 2: Summary of Key Responses from the Employees Not Featured among Managers
MNCs Multinational Corporations
HRM Human Resource Management
SOEs State-Owned Enterprises
TM Talent Management
Chapter 1: Introduction
Background of the Study
Corporate ventures have been in following the debate regarding talent management in a multicultural dimension to determine the best practices that can encourage profitability. Although the area of talent management (TM) has not been fully exploited, several scholars have noted the changes that have occurred to justify the need for more assessment (Al Ariss and Crowley-Henry, 2013). The centrality of talent management is based on the level of impact on results emanating from effective human resource management as wells modern practices associated with talent acquisition and retention (Meister and Willyerd, 2010). One of the key concern regarding the importance of talent management is the scholarly results that have indicated the correlation between the practice and sustainability in strategic human resource productivity and control. The postulates that have been presented for far link the TM strategies to more efficiency and expertise in line with innovation and competitiveness.
On the other hand, Lewis and Heckman (2006) and Tarique and Schuler (2010) have been ascertained that the diversity in talent needs depends on both the external and internal environment of organizations, which calls for a multifaceted assessment of the specific needs to determine the precise approaches that can guarantee results. One of the major concerns of investors, managers, and employees is the need to have a working environment that can encourage competence growth, organizational profitability, and personal development. Joyce and Slocum (2012) have noted that the process of talent management focused on skills at all levels of the organization. Such findings indicate that TM is a multidimensional aspect of the organization that should be managed over an extended period. In such a case, institutionalization, as well as culture establishment, play a central role in facilitating effective talent management. Worth revisiting is that when referring to talent management, it is essential to determine how complex it is for an organization to operate in a different environment that is associated with diverse talent management practices such as cases involving multinational corporations (Collings and Mellahi, 2009).
Talent management is a common phenomenon in most MNCs based on the assessment carried out by Warner (2008), which focused on the adoption of HRM in China. In most cases, scholars have pointed out that the labor-management system is usually taken as a hybrid in State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs), which lies in the position between the market driven model and an old-style Maoist one (Iles et al., 2010). Talent management in MNCs in China is one of the key needs in corporate growth and development since most of the SOEs still implement the old-style called Personnel Management. Based on the new company laws issued in 1995 in China, a holding company can be found in all selected firms, and all of them are held entirely by foreign companies. Among the identified cases in different reports, most firms were in Shanghai, which has the highest rates of foreign direct investment and has become the major economic center in China (Farley et al., 2004; Walsh and Zhu, 2007). For example, 400 companies in the Fortune 500 firms have set up branches, manufacturing facilities or subsidiaries in Beijing or Shanghai (Farley et al., 2004). Such revelation indicates the potential in the Chinese market for MNCs from the Western countries.
Moreover, the tier-1 and tier-2 cities in China like Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shanghai possess more than 80% of the leadership talents and less than 20% of the Chinese population (Iles et al., 2010). Also, according to the research of Iles and his colleagues (2010), three out of four professionals who have received higher education expect to work in tier-1 and tier-2 cities. The tier-1 and tier-2 cities in China have become hotspots of foreign investment around the world. Therefore, talent management has become critical for organizations operating in tier-1 and tier-2 cities. The cities have more resources and favorable policies for the development of foreign companies. Due to the high level of MNCs distributed in Shanghai, there are a significant number of jobs provided for different talents and experience (Farley et al., 2004). Consequently, MNCs in Shanghai are required to build a better working environment for recruiting and retaining talents (Zheng et al., 2008). Thus, it is necessary to explore the practice of talent management in the competitive external labor market. On the other hand, the limited research regarding the management of talent within organizations operating in different settings and culture calls for more assessment of talent management strategies. The diversity in the corporate sector in China, as well as the leadership changes and shifts, is another consideration that requires the improvement of talent retention and acquisition strategies. Moreover, there is a need for the realization of the theoretical baselines that inform talent management decisions. Therefore, this study focused on firms that are operating in China and has overseas establishment and origin since such organizations have an active management system that is integrated by a coherent decision-making policy and sustainability targets for the long run success (Hartmann et al., 2010).
The study was set to determine the talent management practices associated with the MNCs operating in China that could lead to business efficiency and human resource productivity. Several dimension was considered to achieve the expectation of the research. Therefore, the study investigated the key talent management strategies implemented within the MNCs headquarters to enhance the performance of the firms included in the research. Such measures were meant to present the Western approach to talent management to present the baseline for comparison. Moreover, the study also looked at the talent management strategies within the headquarters that differ to the MNCs approaches in China. This objective was important in determining the key considerations that firm seeking to operate or already working in China should consider. Furthermore, the research also focused on the institutional and cultural dimensions influence the adaptation of the talent management practices to the subsidiaries in China. Therefore, the following formed the summary of the objectives.
O1: To determine the key talent management strategies implemented within the headquarters to enhance the performance of the MNCs.
O2: To evaluate how the talent management strategies within the headquarters differ to the MNCs approaches in China.
O3: To assess how institutional and cultural dimensions influence the adaptation of the talent management practices to the subsidiaries in China.
The development of talent management theory has been one of the concerns of the scholarly assessment in this area. The literature tends to establish a conceptual framework that defines both the interrelation of the organization and the human resource needs and structures as well as the relationship between the global changes and their impact on talent management. Although the current assessment is limited as noted by Scullion et al. (2010), the evaluation of the scholarly publication indicates the hallmarks of the achieved postulates. The principles of TM that have been evaluated based on cross-sectional studies and evidence include the interconnectedness of TM and elements such as strategy alignment, internal performance consistency, the embedding of culture, comprehensive management, and organizational branding in line with differentiation needs. These key factors have been shown to define the TM practices as well as informing the decision process (Shem and Hall, 2009). Therefore, based on this framework founded on scholarly and corporate evaluations, the purpose and the theme of this study was crafted to depict the urgency of such assessment to enhance the knowledge on TM.
Significance of the Study
The study objectives were designed to reveal key factors associated with the talent management approaches in China that can be adopted by MNCs established in Western countries. The research was carried out to reveal the key dimension that leads to effective management for talent within the context of strategic human resource development. The findings of the study are crucial as depicted in the justification section. The gap associated with the currently limited assessment has been solved through the results of this research. The study was related to the evaluation of both the management and employee perspectives, which provided...
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