THUNDERBIRD INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS REVIEW
CALL FOR PAPERS
STRATEGIC TALENT MANAGEMENT IN EMERGING MARKETS
Papers should be submitted by March 31, 2015
Keith W. Glaister, Professor
Warwick Business School
University of Warwick, UK
Mohammad Faisal Ahammad, PhD
Nottingham Business School
Nottingham Trent University, UK
Riikka M. Sarala, PhD
Bryan School of Business and Economics
University of North Carolina, Greensboro, USA
Alison J. Glaister, PhD
Aston Business School
Aston University, UK
Since a group of McKinsey consultants coined the phrase the “War for
Talent” in 1997 (Axelrod, Handfield-Jones, & Michaels, 2002),
academic and practitioner interest in strategic talent management
continues to grow and business leaders consider the search for
talented people as the single most important managerial
preoccupation for this decade (Deloitte, 2010; Guthridge, Komm,
& Lawson, 2008). Strategic talent management is defined as
‘activities and processes that involve the systematic identification
of key positions which differentially contribute to the
organisation's sustainable competitive advantage, the development of
a talent pool of high potential and high performing incumbents to
fill these roles, and the development of a differentiated human
resource architecture to facilitate filling these positions with
competent incumbents and to ensure their continued commitment to the
organisation’ (Collings & Mellahi, 2009, p.304). Strategic
talent management offers a distinct approach to the management of
human resources and a response to the changes occurring in a
turbulent operating environment, a means of improving firm
performance (Joyce and Slocum, 2012), reducing employee turnover
(Ballinger, Craig, Cross and Gray, 2011) and achieving sustainable
competitive advantage (Iles, Priest and Chuai, 2010; Chatman,
O’Reilly and Chang, 2005).
While the interest in talent management is growing (see for example
Oltra and Lopez, 2013; Minbaeva and Collings, 2013; Joyce and
Slocum, 2012;Guerci and Solari, 2012), the current assumptions and
concepts in the strategic talent management literature are strongly
embedded in the context of multinational, private, and US-based
organizations, and may not be appropriate for describing and
examining talent management in organizations operating in emerging
market contexts (Collings et al., 2011), Consequently, further
research is required from different perspectives and traditions.
The growing importance of emerging economies has led to an upsurge
of strategy research on the topic (Wright, Filatotchev, Hoskisson,
& Peng, 2005); however, research on strategic talent management
has not kept pace with the research on multinational companies
(MNCs) from emerging economies. While there has been an accelerated
interest in emerging markets and emerging market MNCs studies in
recent special issues in international business/management journals
focus on internationalization, market entry strategy, and location
choice aspects (Luo & Tung, 2007; Aulakh, 2007). It is widely
agreed that the motivations behind emerging market MNC’
international operations, particularly in developed markets, are
related to capability building. Strategic talent management,
therefore, can play a crucial role in building absorptive capacity,
which helps firms develop ability to recognize the value of new
information, assimilate it, and apply it to commercial ends. In
addition, strategic talent management may facilitate reverse
knowledge transfer to emerging market multinationals’ other
subsidiaries and play crucial role in the success of the firm in
diverse cultural environments.
Although strategic talent management has been investigated by
scholars from a variety of theoretical perspectives (see, for
example, Scholz, 2012), practitioners, researchers and teaching
academics are still in need of case studies and empirical research
from emerging markets that examine the relevance, successes, and
failures of particular talent management practices and strategies.
Research needs to address the question of how organizations actually
define talent in emerging market context and the roles and impact of
various stakeholders, beyond HR and management, on talent management
policy and practice. While employee retention strategies were
investigated in a developed country context (Ahammad, Glaister,
Weber and Tarba, 2012), talent retention strategies in the emerging
market context received limited attention. Moreover, research needs
to distinguish any attributional tendencies (Vaara, Junni, Sarala,
Ehrnrooth, & Koveshnikov, 2013) in the managerial determination
of the effectiveness of strategic talent management in the emerging
market context. Gaining insight into these issues will not only help
advance strategic talent management as a field of academic study,
but will also provide practitioners with the insight and ideas to
handle strategic talent management issues faced by their
The purpose of this special issue is therefore to generate a
collection of papers on how emerging market companies understand the
concept of talent management and how they plan and execute strategic
talent management initiatives. This special issue should foster
additional conversation on this important subject among academics
and practitioners alike. Moreover, it should provide ideas for best
practice implementation across different cultural contexts, and case
material for executive education, as well as catalyze further
This special issue seeks to contribute to the emerging body of
literature on strategic talent management through publishing
articles with fresh insights, particularly on the varieties of
talent management strategies encountered in emerging market
contexts. This special issue encourages submissions on the following
themes and approaches:
- What makes emerging market multinationals different in terms
of strategic talent management?
- Emerging market multinationals’ talent management practices in
developed and developing country subsidiaries.
- International acquisitions of emerging market multinationals
and strategic talent management such as talent identification
and retention strategies.
- Emerging market multinationals and strategic talent
management’s role in reverse knowledge transfer.
- Role of managerial attributions in shaping an understanding of
talent management, the implementation of talent management
systems and the effectiveness of talent management systems
within the emerging market context.
- Strategic talent management practices in private and
- Articles that help bridge the gap between theory and practice
by providing both practical implications of empirical research
on emerging market MNCs and capture leading examples of
practitioner-initiated strategic talent management via
theoretically grounded case studies.
Ahammad, M. F., Glaister, K. W., Weber, Y. and Tarba, S. Y. (2012)
Top management retention in cross-border acquisitions: the roles of
financial incentives, acquirer’s commitment and autonomy. European
Journal International Management, 6(4), 458-480.
Aulakh, P. S. (Ed.) (2007) Special issue on emerging market
multinationals from developing economies: motivations, paths, and
performance, Journal of International Management, 13(3), 235-402.
Axelrod, B., Handfield-Jones, H., & Michaels, E. (2002) A new
game plan for C players, Harvard Business Review, January, 81–88.
Ballinger, G., Craig, E., Cross, R. and Gray, P. (2011) A Stitch in
Time Saves Nine: Leveraging Networks to Reduce the Costs of
Turnover, California Management Review, 53(4), 111-133.
Chatman, J., O’Reilly, C. and Chang, V. (2005) Cisco Systems:
Developing a Human Capital Strategy, California Management Review,
Collings, D. G., & Mellahi, K. (2009) Strategic talent
management: A review and research agenda, Human Resource Management
Review, 19(4), 304–313. Collings, D. G., Scullion, H., & Vaiman,
V. (2011) European perspectives on talent management, European
Journal of International Management, 5(5), 453–462.
Deloitte (2010) Talent edge 2020: Blueprints for the new normal.
Accessed on 12 June 2013. Available at:
Guerci, M. and Solari, L. (2012) Talent management practices in
Italy-implications for human resource development. Human Resource
Development International, 15(1), 25-41.
Guthridge, M., Komm, A. B., & Lawson, E. (2008) Making talent a
strategic priority, McKinsey Quarterly, Issue. 1, 48–59.
Iles, P., Preece, D., & Chuai, X. (2010) Talent management as a
management fashion in HRD: Towards a research agenda, Human Resource
Development International, 13(2), 125–145.
Joyce, W. and Slocum, J. (2012) Top management talent, strategic
capabilities, and firm performance. Organizational Dynamics, 41,
Luo, Y. & Tung, R. (2007) International expansion of emerging
market enterprises: A springboard perspective. Journal of
International Business Studies, 38(4), 481-498.
Minbaeva, D. and Collings, D. (2013) Seven myths of global talent
management. The International Journal of Human Resource Management,
Oltra, V. and Lopez, S. (2013) Boosting organizational learning
through team-based talent management: what is the evidence from
large Spanish firms? The International Journal of Human Resource
Management, 24(9), 1853-1871.
Scholz, T. M. (2012) Talent Management in the Video Game Industry:
The Role of Cultural Diversity and Cultural Intelligence.
Thunderbird International Business Review, 54(6), 845-858.
Vaara, E., Junni, P., Sarala, R. M., Ehrnrooth, M. and Koveshnikov,
A. (2013), Attributional tendencies in cultural explanations of
M&A performance. Strategic Management Journal (forthcoming).
Wright, M., Filatotchev, I., Hoskisson, R. E. and Peng, M. W. (2005)
Strategy research in emerging economies: challenging the
conventional wisdom. Journal of Management Studies, 42, 1-33.
Wright, P. M., Dunford, B. B., & Snell, S. A. (2001) Human
resources and the resource based view of the firm, Journal of
Management, 27(6), 701–721.
About the guest editors:
Keith W. Glaister
Professor of International Strategic Management. Keith W. Glaister
joined Warwick business school in July 2013. Professor Glaister
joined from the University of Sheffield where he was Dean of the
Management School from 2005. As a leading researcher in the field of
international strategic management, he has published 5 books and
over 80 articles and book chapters. His main research focuses on the
analysis of formation, partner selection, management and performance
of international joint ventures and strategic alliances. Prof.
Glaister has published in Strategic Management Journal, Journal of
World Business, Journal of Management Studies, Organization Studies,
British Journal of Management, Management International Review, and
others. He is an Editorial Board member of the British Journal of
Management and several other journals. He was recently re-elected to
be a member of the Council of the British Academy of Management.
Mohammad F. Ahammad
Dr Ahammad is a senior lecturer at Nottingham Business School,
Nottingham Trent University, UK. Dr Ahammad is an active researcher
in the field of international business strategy, in particular, in
the area of cross border mergers and acquisitions (M&As) on
which he holds a PhD degree from the University of Sheffield. Dr.
Ahammad has published his research studies in Human Resource
Management (USA), International Business Review, International
Studies of Management & Organization, European Journal of
International Management, and others. He currently serves as a
guest-editor for the special issue on cross-cultural collaboration
at International Studies of Management & Organization.
Riikka M. Sarala
Dr. Sarala is an assistant professor of international business at
University of North Carolina, Greensboro. Her research focuses on
the socio-cultural integration process of mergers and acquisitions
and on the management of knowledge and innovation in multinational
corporations. Dr Sarala has published in Strategic Management
Journal, Journal of Management Studies, Journal of International
Business Studies, Academy of Management Perspectives, Academy of
Management Learning & Education, Thunderbird International
Business Review, and others.
Alison J. Glaister
Dr. Glaister is Lecturer in Strategic Human Resource Management at
Aston Business School, Aston University, UK. She holds a PhD from
the University of Leeds. She has over ten years industry experience
in the private, public and voluntary sectors, working in roles that
focused on international CRM and economic regeneration initiatives
including: employability, new business start-ups, business
diversification and export mentoring. Dr. Glaister is an active
researcher in the field of strategic human resource management and
her research interests include the development of international
talent management systems, the impact of international business
strategy on the HR transformation ‘project’, the evolving role of
the HR professional and progress towards strategic partnership.
Thunderbird International Business Review
SUBMISSION GUIDELINES FOR AUTHORS
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With my very best regards,
Dr. Riikka M. Sarala
Assistant Professor of International Business
378 Bryan Building
Bryan School of Business and Economics
Department of Management
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
PO Box 26170, Greensboro, NC 27402-6170
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