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“Talent Management Decision-Making” by Vaiman, Scullion, and Collings Report

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Updated: Jan 21st, 2020

Executive Summary

This is a critical report that offers an objective, yet crucial account of the IHRM matters and tendencies presented in the article, “Talent management decision-making” by Vaiman, Scullion, and Collings (2012).

The report focuses on assumptions of the article, and their influence on presentation of the article. In this context, the article shows that global talent management is an emerging field thus, lacks a precise definition. Consequently, it focuses on contemporary issues affecting decision-making in global talent management.

It also reviews credibility of the authors, literature review, and its quality. This report covers an up-to-date account of the research issues.

The report also shows how IHRM practitioners can use its findings to formulate policies and practices for global talent management. It also asserts contemporary issues, which influence decision-making in global talent management. Finally, the report presents strengths and weaknesses of the article. These include a thorough review of literature and its inability to offer precise solution to challenges facing IHRM. However, it calls for further studies to tackle such challenges.

Assumptions and their influence on the article

Vaiman, Scullion, and Collings conducted a thorough literature review of talent management decision-making. They established that talent management of knowledge workers has become a strategic tool for organisations (Vaiman, Scullion and Collings 2012).

The authors argue that the field of talent management is emerging and lacks a concrete definition. Some scholars and professionals define talent management from human capital perspective. Conversely, others view talent management as a business strategy, corporate culture, and key to organisational success.

These researchers assumed that the challenge of exact definition of talent management has led to inadequate comprehension in the field of global talent management. However, they adopted a definition of global talent management by Scullion and Collings. It states that global talent management entails “every organisational action for attracting, selecting, developing, and retaining the best employees in the most strategic roles (those roles necessary to achieve organisational strategic priorities) on a global scale” (Scullion and Collings 2011).

The global perspective on talent management enables these authors to look at talent management from a global perspective. As a result, they take into account various perspectives based on differences from various countries. They conclude that decision-making in talent management should take into consideration various contexts in which employee management take places. This implies that it should differ from one region to another including the US where the practice and theory emerged.

Credibility of the authors

The article inspires credibility based on the number of sources these scholars used for the analysis talent management decision-making. Abilities to present issues systematically with logical conclusions and areas of limitations give the article credibility it deserves.

The authors carefully base their work on existing works of other researchers. This approach ensures that the article reflects previous works in the field of talent management. At the same time, they also remain objective by recognising that the field of global talent management is emerging, and practices may vary from country to country.

These authors have based their studies on perspectives of other authors in the same field. As a result, they establish credibility, identify gaps, and propose areas of study for future researchers.

Literature review and its quality

The article is about literature review in the field of global talent management decision-making. The authors have used 100 sources in this article. These sources present both current and past developments in the global talent management.

Such extensive usages of sources enable these researchers to establish various views about the global talent management. For instance, the researchers have established that the field of talent management is emerging. As a result, there are considerable debates about its areas of focus, definition, and application.

According to literature review, the authors have established that the field of talent management shall remain a major problem to various economies across the world. In addition, they point out a recent research, which suggests that talent management shall be acute in emerging economies (Yeung, Warner and Rowley 2008).

The literature review allows the authors to create a connection between talent management and management decisions. From this perspective, they draw from the works of Boudreau and Ramstad, who claim that HR departments have to change themselves as “a function and shift the emphasis from the provision of services to supporting key decisions within the business, particularly in relation to talent” (Boudreau and Ramstad 2007).

The authors also note that putting talent decision in its right context and maximising the use of relevant information during decision-making processes have gained attention in the past years (Vaiman, Scullion and Collings 2012). In addition, decision-making about global talent management has been the main source of concern among international corporations. Consequently, they have identified several factors that have resulted into these challenges.

First, the article shows that a shortage of talent shall remain a main source of challenge among many organisations as they expand their activities globally (Cappelli 2008). Thus, management decision-making is vital for strategic positioning of multinational organisation.

Second, studies have also identified rapid changes in demographic characteristics as factors, which influence the supply of labour and availability of employees in the labour markets. Consequently, organisations operating in such regions must apply strategies when selecting, recruiting, and retaining employees (Tarique and Schuler 2010).

Third, some studies have indicated that organisations should regard “Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as an imperative part of their strategy to decision-making in talent management” (Summer 2005). According to these organizations, CSR has become a tool of attracting and retaining highly qualified employees. CSR is critical for developing organisational reputation for attracting and retaining top talents.

Fourth, diversity also has significant influence on the global talent management decision-making. Multinational organisations face challenges of managing workforce diversity. Therefore, as levels of organisational complexity increases, organisations find it difficult to manage global talents (Beechler and Woodward 2009).

Fifth, Tung and Lazarova note that increasing mobility of workers to various cultural and geographical locations also affects decision-making in the global talent management (Tung and Lazarova 2007).

Sixth, these authors also identify a permanent change to a knowledge-based economy as another factor influencing decision-making on the global talent management. According to International Labour Organisation (ILO), there is “a general change towards intangible and human assets” (International Labour Organization 2009). This trend emanates from the rapid growth of service sector where demands for highly qualified human resources are high.

Lastly, emerging markets have also affected decision-making on the global talent management. This is because firms are looking for competent teams who can manage in geographically and culturally different locations all over the world. As a result, retention of such managers and talents has become a challenge among many multinational organisations (Bhatnagar 2007; Li and Scullion 2010).

Establishing the issue as important for IHRM

Vaiman, Scullion, and Collings assert that decision-making in the global talent management affects strategic activities of the HRM and organisation. In this sense, they argue that IHRM practices and procedures must link talent management, strategy, and culture of an organisation. At the same time, this article suggests that organisations shall experience changes as practices evolve in the international labour market as globalisation matures.

These authors also tackle the latest trends witnessed in the international labour market as the main factors, which influence decision-making and the global talent management. This implies that IHRM practices must focus on these issues for successful decision-making in the global talent management.

Therefore, multinational organisations must coordinate and integrate international IHRM practices and policies relating to recruitment, selection, transfer, and retention of employees. However, this process may not be easy for such organisations. As a result, this article suggests further studies in order to identify factors, which may hinder global talent management decision-making. At the same time, such studies should review how HRM practices and policies have changed in response to the global talent management.

The article also shows that HRM practices should be different depending on the region. For instance, HRM needs to apply different procedures and practices when making decisions about international workforce. This implies that multinational organisations must change their HRM strategies depending on the region of operation.

Useful of the article for IHRM policy or practice

This article demonstrates how multinational organisations should align their decision-making processes with the global talent management. It shows that IHRM policies and practices should be different based on the region of operation. This is because of different cultures and geographies of the world.

This article also highlights the importance of global talent management with reference to IHRM policies and practices. In this regard, the article highlights “aspect of strategic HR management in the international company and shows several imperative elements, which influence decision-making in global talent management” (Vaiman, Scullion and Collings 2012). At the same time, it also shows some of the rising tendencies, which shall affect decision-making in talent management in the coming years.

However, this article cannot give a definite conclusion on IHRM practices and decision-making in global talent management because the field is still emerging. Therefore, it calls for further research and empirical studies to provide ways of understanding the field of IHRM and global talent management in a given context of practice.

Strengths and weaknesses of the article

This article has strengths on a thorough literature review. Consequently, it presents the subject from different perspectives of various scholars. At the same time, the article clearly identifies its areas of focus so that readers can easily understand the article. As a result, it systematically presents areas in which practices and policies of multinational organisations should focus on when formulating IHRM policies and practices.

On the other hand, the article lacks empirical data to support the theoretical perspectives it presents. It is only a review of past studies. Thus, it offers nothing new to the field of global talent management and decision-making. In fact, the article proposes a number of further studies to tackle issues it cannot find their solutions.

For instance, these authors also dismiss “the narrow best way to global talent management, which is still dominant in the global talent management literature” (Vaiman, Scullion and Collings 2012). However, they do not offer any alternative solution to the global talent management. Instead, they call for future studies to explore issues surrounding the implementation of talent management across various countries among multinational organisations.

In all, the article points out challenges IHRM policies may face in the future. In this sense, adequate empirical studies shall address issues relating to talent management decision-making in various contexts. At the same time, the article also posits that there is a need for further studies on new roles of HR departments as responses to emerging and complex issues of global talent management.

Further, the article proposes a further research to focus on the relationship between CSR and talent management, especially in emerging economies where CSR tends to control talent management decision-making among multinational organisations.

Representation of ‘sound research’ of the article in IHRM

Vaiman, Scullion, and Collings present their study in a systematic way just like other authors of scholarly studies. They outline the purpose of the research as an attempt to understand key issues that influence global talent management decision-making. These authors also note that their study takes the approach or design of literature review.

From the literature review, the authors present their findings. They review debates on the subject, focus on factors affecting global talent management decision-making, and propose further studies to enlighten subsequent decision-making in talent management. The authors also provide practical implications of their study.

They note that article shall be useful for IHRM practitioners when formulating policies for global talent management. Finally, the authors claim that the article provides an up-to-date account of talent management decision-making.


Beechler, Schon, and Ian Woodward. “The Global War for Talent.” Journal of International Management 15, no. 3 (2009): 273-85.

Bhatnagar, Jyotsna. “Talent management strategy of employee engagement in Indian ITES employees: key to retention.” Employee Relations 29, no. 6 (2007): 640-63.

Boudreau, John, and Peter Ramstad. Beyond HR: The New Science of Human Capital. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press, 2007.

Cappelli, Peter. Talent on Demand: Managing Talent in an Age of Uncertainty. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Press, 2008.

International Labour Organization. Global Employment Trends. Geneva: International Labour Organization, 2009.

Li, Shenxue, and Hugh Scullion. “Developing the local competence of expatriate managers for emerging markets: a knowledge based approach.” Journal of World Business 45, no. 2 (2010): 190-196.

Scullion, Hugh, and David Collings. Global Talent Management. London: Routledge, 2011.

Summer, Lin. “Employees: your most important stakeholders.” Corporate Responsibility Management 1, no. 5 (2005): 2.

Tarique, Ibraiz, and Randall Schuler. “Global talent management: literature review, integrative framework, and suggestions for further research.” Journal of World Business 45, no. 2 (2010): 122-133.

Tung, Rosalie, and Mila Lazarova. “The human resource challenge to outward foreign investment aspirations from emerging countries: the case of China.” International Journal of Human Resource Management 18, no. 5 (2007): 868-89.

Vaiman, Vlad, Hugh Scullion, and David Collings. “Talent management decision making.” Management Decision 50, no. 5 (2012): 925-941.

Yeung, Arthur, Malcolm Warner, and Chris Rowley. “Growth and globalization: evolution of human resource practices in Asia.” Human Resource Management 47, no. 1 (2008): 1-13.

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