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Critical Analysis of the IHRM Issues and Practice Report

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Updated: Apr 10th, 2019


Talent management has become one of the core functions of human resources in the recent past. With it, there are so many challenges that human resource officers and management teams have had to grapple with (Chugh & Bhatnagar 2006, 231).

At the time of its discovery to this moment, it has moved from being a local to an international issue of discussion with many different scholars coming up with different views and assumptions to its approach. The paper provides a critical analysis of the article ‘Talent Management Decision Making’ by Vaiman, Scullion, and Collings by first presenting the assumptions made by the authors in the article concerning talent management.

Assumptions made in the Article

The article identifies several assumptions that seem to have a lot of influence on global human resource management. They have influenced the writers’ view of the same in different ways. The general three assumptions that the writers have brought out in this article are the different understandings of the term talent management.

On one hand, talent management has been viewed as human capital. Another group views talent management as a key to organisational success while other views its alignment in terms of corporate culture and business strategy (Capelli 2008, 76). The assumption that has thus gained momentum is the need to give talent management a global definition, which is narrow in the writers’ view, as it may not work as such.

Vaiman et al. conclude (2012, 926), “it is equally important not to lose sight of differences in how talent management is defined and conducted in different national contexts.” Due to cultural differences around the globe, the claim holds because talent is defined differently thus calling for a need to factor the point as scholars try to come up with a global definition for this term.

This has therefore influenced the writers to scrutinise the issue from an open-ended point of view. Talent management in their view is a term with its origins in Europe and America and thus the reason for its early definitions taking a largely western view. The writers suggest that global talent management should therefore take into account the national context of a given group when defining talent administration.

How Credible is the Author as an Expert?

The credibility of the authors as experts in this field appears in their bibliographical details as provided in the publication. As a scholar, Vlad Vaiman is a professor of international management as well as a director of graduate programs in the school of business at Reykjavik University in Iceland.

This therefore makes Vaiman an authority in this field thus making his work credible. Hugh Scullion is a professor of business and economics at the J.E. Caines School of Business Studies in Ireland. He is also an accomplished researcher in this field having authored a book ‘Global Talent Management’ thus making him an authority in the field of talent management. David Collings is a professor of human resource management at Dublin City University.

He is also a visiting scholar at many different colleges. Therefore, these bibliographic details on the authors make their work credible with hindsight that their works have been published in international journals. Other authors concur with the findings of the article in their different views though indirectly.

Talent management styles cannot be transferred directly as they are from one country to the other without few adjustments (Onichi 2006, 260). In his article, Onichi was analysing the transferability of Japanese talent management to Thailand. Out of the five talent management points he was transferring, he found that only four were fully compatible thus confirming the view that talent management is not globally the same. Cultural differences inhibited the transferability of the practices.

The Type of Literature used by the Authors

The authors of this article have used various resources to come up with this publication. The authors have used textbooks written by renowned authors in the field of human resource management from which they have quoted extensively. Most of the books used by the authors to prepare the article are books written by acclaimed authors in the different fields of business management.

The focus of the books written tends to lean towards human resource management, which many scholars believe is the original term for talent management (Tansley 2006, 25). The authors have backed up their arguments with citations from both business and academic journals published by other researchers in the same field or related fields by collaborating the authors’ views.

The literatures used in these publications are usually of very high quality and usually published by scholars with a minimum education background of a master in their field. For an article to appear in these journals, they authors must have passed the set quality assurance standards by being backed up by research evidence in the same.

The author has used such journals as, ‘Harvard business Review and Human Resource Management Review’ among other hosts of journals. The quality of this article is high due to several reasons. First, the authors are renowned scholars in the field of business studies thus qualifying the literature to be used for studies. Secondly, the writers have quoted extensively from other publications to press their point home thus giving further credence to their work.

How well does the author establish the issue as important for IHRM?

The authors of this article have established the issue as important to IHRM by firstly defining the issue and then relating it to IHRM. As cited in the article, Collings and Scullion (2011) say, “global talent management takes into account the differences in global strategic priorities, as well as the differences across national contexts…in both organisations” (456).

Talent management in other words is simply human resource management. At an international level, it is referred to as ‘International Human Resource Management’. The writers in this article are focusing on ‘Global Talent Management’, which is the same as IHRM and thus the need to manage talent at an international level.

The authors point out the problem afflicting global talent management as cultural differences across the board and therefore the call to create an internationally accepted standard that would be used in talent management. The biggest problems identified are the challenges decision makers face when they are required to recruit talent.

As the writers point out, in practice, managers facing global management decisions may not have the time to scrutinise all possible candidates filling the criteria (Collings & Mellahi 2009, 309). With such citations, the authors have been able to point out the problems that HRM managers face in search of talent management at the global stage.

The authors are pointing out what is happening on the ground and what should ideally happen as per the human resource theory and practice. As identified by Scullion and Collings (2011, 1265), “decision making has emerged as one of the biggest challenges to multinational enterprises in terms of global talent management.”

Usefulness of the Article for IHRM Policy, Practice, or Conceptual Development in IHRM

The article is useful in IHRM policy or framework because it identifies the problems and challenges that afflict the IHRM. At the same time, it tries to bring out solutions to the same. As pointed out in the paper, Scullion and Starkey (2000) state, “shortage of leadership is what many companies face when it comes to talent management on the global stage” (1065).

The world today has been reduced through technology in to a global village with companies trading at the global stage with much more ease than before. The move has therefore led to so much competition among players on the global stage. For one to remain relevant, he/she has to refine their practices. One of the core elements in organisations during the 21st century is the human resources. Therefore, for organisations to compete favourably, they have to acquire and retain a competitive staff to run them.

This therefore makes the findings in this article important in the formulation of IHRM policy, as it identifies the problems and solutions to the same. As cited in the article, competition for staff between employers has moved from the local level to regional level and further to the global level with each organisation trying to get the best staff members to run their organisations (Sparrow et al. 2004, 52).

The insight provided in this article will enable policy makers come up with policies that will enable the industry to come up with mechanisms that will provide a solution to their challenges. The challenges and solutions highlighted in this article can also be used directly by organisations to set up structures within their frameworks to enable them surmount these challenges.

Strengths and Weaknesses of the Article: My Evidence for the Assessments

The article’s strengths lie in the wide citations provided to develop the article. The writers have quoted widely from many different sources to make their case watertight in terms of proving their point. The authors have divided the article into four subtopics, which they have used to execute their points by raising issues and providing possible solutions to the issues.

As Vaiman, Collings and Scullion (2012) state, the article has three main aims. “It reviews debates in talent management decision-making…it aims at reviewing factors that currently affect decision-making…it identifies future research areas in the same” (Vaiman, Collings & Scullion 2012, 927).

As executed, this outline tends to cover most of the issues afflicting the industry while at the same time leaving the door open for further research, an implication that it is not final. The article has two major weaknesses that are identifiable. The first weakness is that the writers have tended to quote a lot from their own previous works thus simply emphasising their previous postulations in the same field of study.

The second weakness is that the article’s inability to provide empirical data to back up the authors’ statements in figures. Piansoongnern (2010) points out that empirical data in research is important, as it forms the backbone of the results that form basis of the research findings (286). Other than the two weaknesses, the article has a strong base for making its argument.

Does the Article Represent ‘Sound Research’ that should be incorporated into our collective knowledge base about IHRM?

The article represents sound research though not to the expected standards because talent management as a term or practice has just happened recently. Therefore, there is the need for a lot of information and time for it to be studied (Berry 2007, 34). The authors of this article have exhibited this handicap due to their lack of empirical data to back up their prepositions.

As proposed in the paragraph above, a sound research should at least have data to back the postulations lack of which will render the research lame. On the other hand, the research cannot be dumped just because of lack of empirical data when the information provided in the research includes views from experts in the field. The authors have quoted extensively from other works to come up with their views, which provide a very good base for study in talent management.

Therefore, the article should be incorporated in our collective knowledge base about IHRM. Being a raw topic for research and discussion, talent management still has so much to be studied on it. The much that has been brought forward by this paper is good enough to contribute to IHRM studies.

The authors’ profiles place them among the best scholars in this field thus earning the article an automatic qualification due to the background knowledge that they have. At the same time, the article has been published in the management decision journal thus being made available for studying by any interested person or organisation.

Reference List

Berry, Mike. “Talent Management Tops European Challenges List.” Perspective Today 19, no. 8(2007): 32-35.

Capelli, Peter. “Talent Management for the 21st Century.” Harvard Business Review 4, no. 1(2008): 71-81.

Chugh, Sunita, and Jyotsna Bhatnagar. “Talent Management as a High Performance Work Practice: Emerging Strategic HRM Dimension.” Management Labour Studies 31, no. 3(2006): 228-253.

Collings, David, and Kamel Mellahi. “Strategic talent management; A review and Research Agenda.” Human Resource Management Review 19, no. 1(2009): 304- 313.

Collings, David, and Hung Scullion “European perspectives on talent Management.” European Journal of International Management 5, no. 5(2011): 453-462.

Onichi, Jun. “The transferability of Japanese HRM practices to Thailand.” Asia Pacific Journal of HRM 44, no. 3(2006): 249-260.

Piansoongnern, Opas. “Talent Management: Quantitative and Qualitative studies Of HR Practitioners in Thailand.” The international Journal of organizational Innovation 3, no. 1(2010): 280-304.

Scullion, Hung. and Starkey, Keith. “In search of the changing roles of corporate HR Function in the International Firm.” International journal of Human Resource Management 11, no. 1(2000): 1061-81.

Scullion, Hung, and David Collings. “Global Staffing.” International Journal of Human Resource Management 20, no. 6(2009): 1249-72.

Sparrow, Paul, Chris Brewster, and Hilary Harris. Globalising Human Resource Management. London: Rutledge, 2004.

Tansley, Carole. Talent Management: Understanding the Dimensions. London: The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, 2006.

Vaiman, Vlad, Hung Scullion, and David Collings. “Talent Management Decision Making.” Management Decision 50, no. 5(2012): 925-941.

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