Developing Tomorrow's Leaders - Evidence of Global Talent Management in Multinational Enterprises

Journal of World Business, Vol. 45, No. 2, 2010

Posted: 7 Oct 2008 Last revised: 27 Nov 2009

See all articles by Anthony McDonnell

Anthony McDonnell

University of South Australia; Queen's University Management School

Ryan Lamare

University of Limerick - Kemmy Business School

Patrick Gunnigle

University of Limerick - Kemmy Business School

Jonathan Lavelle

University of Limerick - Kemmy Business School

Date Written: October 1, 2008

Abstract

Organizations are becoming relentless in managing and developing their key talent. This is a view, however, largely based on anecdote rather than reliable empirical evidence. Utilizing data from 260 multinational enterprises (MNEs), this paper helps redress this deficit. Specifically, this paper explores the extent to which MNEs engage in global talent management (GTM) and deciphers some of the factors which may explain the use and non-use of GTM practices. In so doing, we find that although a significant number of MNEs have systems and mechanisms in place to strategically identify and develop their talent many more seemingly adopt an ad hoc or haphazard approach. For instance, less than half of all MNEs have both global succession planning and formal management development programs for their high-potentials. Consequently it seems that there is a considerable distance yet to be travelled to arrive at a universal appreciation of the need to strategically manage one’s key employees. We find the size of the MNE has a significant effect on GTM system usage – larger MNEs are more likely to undertake GTM. Other significant, positive influences include whether products or services are standardized regionally or globally, and if the MNE has a global human resources policy formation body. Of considerable interest is the finding that MNEs operating in the low tech/low cost sectors are significantly more likely to have formal global systems to identify and develop high-potentials.

Keywords: Global talent management, multinational enterprise, succession planning, management development

Suggested Citation

McDonnell, Anthony and Lamare, Ryan and Gunnigle, Patrick and Lavelle, Jonathan, Developing Tomorrow's Leaders - Evidence of Global Talent Management in Multinational Enterprises (October 1, 2008). Journal of World Business, Vol. 45, No. 2, 2010, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1280190

Anthony McDonnell (Contact Author)

University of South Australia ( email )

Australia

Queen's University Management School ( email )

25 University Square
Belfast, Northern Ireland BT7 1NN
Northern Ireland

Ryan Lamare

University of Limerick - Kemmy Business School ( email )

Limerick
Ireland

Patrick Gunnigle

University of Limerick - Kemmy Business School ( email )

Limerick
Ireland
+353 61 202380 (Phone)
+353 61 338171 (Fax)

Jonathan Lavelle

University of Limerick - Kemmy Business School ( email )

Limerick
Ireland

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