Global Talent Management
Scullion, H. & Collings, D. G. (Eds) (2011). Global Talent Management Routledges, New York & London
This is a timely book which addresses perhaps the most critical contemporary issue confronting HRM academics and professionals, from both national and industry perspectives – ‘a critical understanding of global talent management in an organisational context’. It is part of Routledge’s ongoing Global HRM Series, and the editors have attracted an impressive stable of eminent scholars in pursuit of their admirable goals. The book is comprised of three parts – namely, the context of global talent management; global talent management in practice; and global talent management – comparative perspectives, within which there are ten separate chapters contributed by separate authors.
The first part of the book (appropriately) provides a conceptual framework for the topic, including the drivers, challenges, HR actions, and ‘results’ of global talent management (GTM), and explains the structure of the book. It might be argued that a linear model is insufficient to account for such complex relationships, and that an iterative or cyclical model would better serve the editors’ purposes, but as they acknowledge, ‘talent management is in its infancy’ (p.5), and undoubtedly subsequent publications will further develop such conceptualisations. However, I particularly appreciated all authors’ attempts to integrate GTM with HRM, rather than to present it as a standalone and novel phenomenon.
The following part focuses on the various HR roles associated with GTM; its applications and implications in multinational enterprises; the linkages between GTM and employee mobility; and the importance of ‘corporate reputation brand management’ in talent attraction and retention within cross national organisations. The four component chapters are both relevant and contemporary in their empirical and anecdotal case illustrations. A small criticism however, is that the chapters are not especially well-integrated with each other, or with the espoused overall framework.
The final section of the book (true to the editors’ comparative aims) analyses GTM issues within a variety of national contexts, including India, China, the Middle East as well as Central and Eastern Europe. Whilst India and China are two of the nations with perhaps the most pressing GTM issues, given their recent economic growth and increasing global prominence, it is somewhat unfortunate that more countries were not included. As examples (at the very least) the US and the UK, a selection of EU countries, and a few more Asian examples, would have broadened discussion and provided a more comprehensive overview of these complex issues. In addition, the absence of a concluding chapter rather detracts from its overall impact. However, this is an interesting and important book which will undoubtedly stimulate future such endeavours.