Managerial Perceptions of Global Talent Management Programs within Asean Subsidiaries of Scandinavian Multinational Enterprises

Quifors, Stefan
Rasmussen, Erling
Andersen, Torben
Leong, Paul
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Doctor of Philosophy
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Auckland University of Technology

Talent Management (TM) is a topic has been considered, despite some resistance, one of the 21st century’s most pressing HRM concerns by practitioners, international organisations and magazines, including the OECD and The Economist. Practitioners, both senior management and HRM specialists, are looking for greater understanding of TM and this makes the topic relevant and worthy of further research. TM is a topic that is young, it has been its own research area for only 20 years and there is thus not a large body of empirical data to support its assumptions. At present, most TM literature is normative, and there are question marks over the generalisability of some of the core concepts that underpin the topic.

Importantly, the body of literature is heavily focused on TM at Head Quarter (HQ) level, assuming that findings on this level are universal and valid at all units and subsidiaries within the Multi-National Enterprise (MNE). There is almost no research specifically looking at TM at subsidiary levels, whether trying to validate if HQ level data is valid also at subsidiary levels or whether the TM reality at subsidiary levels differs substantially from that of HQ. This thesis will focus on subsidiary TM. It will present the views of managers who work directly with TM within a subsidiary of a MNE and will discuss their perceptions and understandings, focusing particularly on challenges that arise when working with a GTM programs designed at HQ level and implemented in different organisational, cultural and social contexts. Further, it will provide a Scandinavian context, something that differs from the, in TM literature, dominating Anglo American context.

This study contributes to TM theory by adding a subsidiary perspective to a body of theory that is based on empirical data derived from HQ level as well as adding to Scandinavian management by presenting a Scandinavian perspective on subsidiary TM. It also highlights differences between dominant theoretical assumptions and the lived realities of managers working with TM at Scandinavian subsidiaries in Asean. It provides empirical data that broaden the understanding of both TM programs usage at MNEs in general and subsidiaries in particular. By presenting a subsidiary managerial view on TM in practice, it is hoped that the findings will add a more holistic understanding of TM practices and processes at both academic and practitioner levels.

Global talent management , IHRM , Talent management , Subsiduary management , Scandinavia , Singapore
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