Friday, March 14, 2014

Call for papers. Thunderbird International Business Review. Special Issue

Thunderbird International Business Review.
Strategic Talent Management in Emerging Markets

Papers should be submitted by March 31, 2015

Guest Editors:

  • Keith W. Glaister, Professor Warwick Business School, University of Warwick, UK
  • Mohammad Faisal Ahammad, PhD Nottingham Business School, Nottingham Trent University, UK
  • Riikka M. Sarala, PhD Bryan School of Business and Economics, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, USA
  • Alison J. Glaister, PhD Aston Business School Aston University, UK

Since a group of McKinsey consultants coined the phrase the “War for Talent” in 1997 (Axelrod, Handfield-Jones, & Michaels, 2002), academic and practitioner interest in strategic talent management continues to grow and business leaders consider the search for talented people as the single most important managerial preoccupation for this decade (Deloitte, 2010; Guthridge, Komm, & Lawson, 2008). Strategic talent management is defined as ‘activities and processes that involve the systematic identification of key positions which differentially contribute to the organisation's sustainable competitive advantage, the development of a talent pool of high potential and high performing incumbents to fill these roles, and the development of a differentiated human resource architecture to facilitate filling these positions with competent incumbents and to ensure their continued commitment to the organisation’ (Collings & Mellahi, 2009, p.304). Strategic talent management offers a distinct approach to the management of human resources and a response to the changes occurring in a turbulent operating environment, a means of improving firm performance (Joyce and Slocum, 2012), reducing employee turnover (Ballinger, Craig, Cross and Gray, 2011) and achieving sustainable competitive advantage (Iles, Priest and Chuai, 2010; Chatman, O’Reilly and Chang, 2005).

While the interest in talent management is growing (see for example Oltra and Lopez, 2013; Minbaeva and Collings, 2013; Joyce and Slocum, 2012;Guerci and Solari, 2012), the current assumptions and concepts in the strategic talent management literature are strongly embedded in the context of multinational, private, and US-based organizations, and may not be appropriate for describing and examining talent management in organizations operating in emerging market contexts (Collings et al., 2011), Consequently, further research is required from different perspectives and traditions.

The growing importance of emerging economies has led to an upsurge of strategy research on the topic (Wright, Filatotchev, Hoskisson, & Peng, 2005); however, research on strategic talent management has not kept pace with the research on multinational companies (MNCs) from emerging economies. While there has been an accelerated interest in emerging markets and emerging market MNCs studies in recent special issues in international business/management journals focus on internationalization, market entry strategy, and location choice aspects (Luo & Tung, 2007; Aulakh, 2007). It is widely agreed that the motivations behind emerging market MNC’ international operations, particularly in developed markets, are related to capability building. Strategic talent management, therefore, can play a crucial role in building absorptive capacity, which helps firms develop ability to recognize the value of new information, assimilate it, and apply it to commercial ends. In addition, strategic talent management may facilitate reverse knowledge transfer to emerging market multinationals’ other subsidiaries and play crucial role in the success of the firm in diverse cultural environments.

Although strategic talent management has been investigated by scholars from a variety of theoretical perspectives (see, for example, Scholz, 2012), practitioners, researchers and teaching academics are still in need of case studies and empirical research from emerging markets that examine the relevance, successes, and failures of particular talent management practices and strategies. Research needs to address the question of how organizations actually define talent in emerging market context and the roles and impact of various stakeholders, beyond HR and management, on talent management policy and practice. While employee retention strategies were investigated in a developed country context (Ahammad, Glaister, Weber and Tarba, 2012), talent retention strategies in the emerging market context received limited attention. Moreover, research needs to distinguish any attributional tendencies (Vaara, Junni, Sarala, Ehrnrooth, & Koveshnikov, 2013) in the managerial determination of the effectiveness of strategic talent management in the emerging market context. Gaining insight into these issues will not only help advance strategic talent management as a field of academic study, but will also provide practitioners with the insight and ideas to handle strategic talent management issues faced by their organizations.

The purpose of this special issue is therefore to generate a collection of papers on how emerging market companies understand the concept of talent management and how they plan and execute strategic talent management initiatives. This special issue should foster additional conversation on this important subject among academics and practitioners alike. Moreover, it should provide ideas for best practice implementation across different cultural contexts, and case material for executive education, as well as catalyze further cross-disciplinary study.

This special issue seeks to contribute to the emerging body of literature on strategic talent management through publishing articles with fresh insights, particularly on the varieties of talent management strategies encountered in emerging market contexts. This special issue encourages submissions on the following themes and approaches:

  • What makes emerging market multinationals different in terms of strategic talent management?
  • Emerging market multinationals’ talent management practices in developed and developing country subsidiaries.
  • International acquisitions of emerging market multinationals and strategic talent management such as talent identification and retention strategies.
  • Emerging market multinationals and strategic talent management’s role in reverse knowledge transfer.
  • Role of managerial attributions in shaping an understanding of talent management, the implementation of talent management systems and the effectiveness of talent management systems within the emerging market context.
  • Strategic talent management practices in private and state-owned organizations.
Articles that help bridge the gap between theory and practice by providing both practical implications of empirical research on emerging market MNCs and capture leading examples of practitioner-initiated strategic talent management via theoretically grounded case studies.


Ahammad, M. F., Glaister, K. W., Weber, Y. and Tarba, S. Y. (2012) Top management retention in cross-border acquisitions: the roles of financial incentives, acquirer’s commitment and autonomy. European Journal International Management, 6(4), 458-480.
Aulakh, P. S. (Ed.) (2007) Special issue on emerging market multinationals from developing economies: motivations, paths, and performance, Journal of International Management, 13(3), 235-402.
Axelrod, B., Handfield-Jones, H., & Michaels, E. (2002) A new game plan for C players, Harvard Business Review, January, 81–88.
Ballinger, G., Craig, E., Cross, R. and Gray, P. (2011) A Stitch in Time Saves Nine: Leveraging Networks to Reduce the Costs of Turnover, California Management Review, 53(4), 111-133.
Chatman, J., O’Reilly, C. and Chang, V. (2005) Cisco Systems: Developing a Human Capital Strategy, California Management Review, 47(2), 137-167.
Collings, D. G., & Mellahi, K. (2009) Strategic talent management: A review and research agenda, Human Resource Management Review, 19(4), 304–313. Collings, D. G., Scullion, H., & Vaiman, V. (2011) European perspectives on talent management, European Journal of International Management, 5(5), 453–462.
Deloitte (2010) Talent edge 2020: Blueprints for the new normal. Accessed on 12 June 2013. Available at:
Guerci, M. and Solari, L. (2012) Talent management practices in Italy-implications for human resource development. Human Resource Development International, 15(1), 25-41.
Guthridge, M., Komm, A. B., & Lawson, E. (2008) Making talent a strategic priority, McKinsey Quarterly, Issue. 1, 48–59.
Iles, P., Preece, D., & Chuai, X. (2010) Talent management as a management fashion in HRD: Towards a research agenda, Human Resource Development International, 13(2), 125–145.
Joyce, W. and Slocum, J. (2012) Top management talent, strategic capabilities, and firm performance. Organizational Dynamics, 41, 183-193.
Luo, Y. & Tung, R. (2007) International expansion of emerging market enterprises: A springboard perspective. Journal of International Business Studies, 38(4), 481-498.
Minbaeva, D. and Collings, D. (2013) Seven myths of global talent management. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 24(9), 1762-1776.
Oltra, V. and Lopez, S. (2013) Boosting organizational learning through team-based talent management: what is the evidence from large Spanish firms? The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 24(9), 1853-1871.
Scholz, T. M. (2012) Talent Management in the Video Game Industry: The Role of Cultural Diversity and Cultural Intelligence. Thunderbird International Business Review, 54(6), 845-858.
Vaara, E., Junni, P., Sarala, R. M., Ehrnrooth, M. and Koveshnikov, A. (2013), Attributional tendencies in cultural explanations of M&A performance. Strategic Management Journal (forthcoming).
Wright, M., Filatotchev, I., Hoskisson, R. E. and Peng, M. W. (2005) Strategy research in emerging economies: challenging the conventional wisdom. Journal of Management Studies, 42, 1-33.
Wright, P. M., Dunford, B. B., & Snell, S. A. (2001) Human resources and the resource based view of the firm, Journal of Management, 27(6), 701–721.

About the guest editors:

Keith W. Glaister
Professor of International Strategic Management. Keith W. Glaister joined Warwick business school in July 2013. Professor Glaister joined from the University of Sheffield where he was Dean of the Management School from 2005. As a leading researcher in the field of international strategic management, he has published 5 books and over 80 articles and book chapters. His main research focuses on the analysis of formation, partner selection, management and performance of international joint ventures and strategic alliances. Prof. Glaister has published in Strategic Management Journal, Journal of World Business, Journal of Management Studies, Organization Studies, British Journal of Management, Management International Review, and others. He is an Editorial Board member of the British Journal of Management and several other journals. He was recently re-elected to be a member of the Council of the British Academy of Management.

Mohammad F. Ahammad
Dr Ahammad is a senior lecturer at Nottingham Business School, Nottingham Trent University, UK. Dr Ahammad is an active researcher in the field of international business strategy, in particular, in the area of cross border mergers and acquisitions (M&As) on which he holds a PhD degree from the University of Sheffield. Dr. Ahammad has published his research studies in Human Resource Management (USA), International Business Review, International Studies of Management & Organization, European Journal of International Management, and others. He currently serves as a guest-editor for the special issue on cross-cultural collaboration at International Studies of Management & Organization.

Riikka M. Sarala
Dr. Sarala is an assistant professor of international business at University of North Carolina, Greensboro. Her research focuses on the socio-cultural integration process of mergers and acquisitions and on the management of knowledge and innovation in multinational corporations. Dr Sarala has published in Strategic Management Journal, Journal of Management Studies, Journal of International Business Studies, Academy of Management Perspectives, Academy of Management Learning & Education, Thunderbird International Business Review, and others.

Alison J. Glaister
Dr. Glaister is Lecturer in Strategic Human Resource Management at Aston Business School, Aston University, UK. She holds a PhD from the University of Leeds. She has over ten years industry experience in the private, public and voluntary sectors, working in roles that focused on international CRM and economic regeneration initiatives including: employability, new business start-ups, business diversification and export mentoring. Dr. Glaister is an active researcher in the field of strategic human resource management and her research interests include the development of international talent management systems, the impact of international business strategy on the HR transformation ‘project’, the evolving role of the HR professional and progress towards strategic partnership.

Thunderbird International Business Review


Submissions for this issue should be submitted electronically to TIBR at

Please indicate that the submission is for this special issue. Please DO NOT include your identifying contact information in your manuscript when uploading it into the submission system.

For questions regarding this special issue, authors are invited to contact Dr. Mohammad Faisal Ahammad (


Prospective authors must submit manuscripts online at: and follow directions for submission by clicking on the Create Account tab at the upper right-hand corner of the web page. Follow instructions carefully to create your account. When it is created, log in and go to your authoring site. Begin the submission process by clicking on “Submit new manuscript.” Follow directions carefully. Be sure to indicate the type of manuscript you are submitting (practitioner, case study, and so forth).

A cover letter must accompany each submission indicating the name, address, telephone and fax numbers of the corresponding author. It may be uploaded separately or copied into the appropriate area in the submission blocks. Please include an e-mail address. The letter must state that the article has not been previously published and that it is not currently under consideration elsewhere. Co-author information must also be included when you submit your manuscript.

NOTE: DO NOT UPLOAD A COVER PAGE as part of your manuscript file, or include any identifying information in the files you upload. A review PDF will be created from your files and for that reason the manuscript must be anonymous. Your personal information is entered elsewhere on the site. You may upload a cover page as a separate file and designate it as “material not for review.”


Papers should be submitted in English, typed, double-spaced, 12-point font (Times New Roman preferred) with 1-inch (2.5 cm) margins. An Executive Summary of not more than 150 words should be included. The summary should be preceded by the heading "Executive Summary." The manuscript should not exceed 30 pages double spaced, including references (10,000 words).
Six key words should be listed.
Acknowledgements and information on grants received can be given before the References or in a first footnote, which should not be included in the consecutive numbering of footnotes. Explanatory footnotes are discouraged and should be kept to a bare minimum and be numbered consecutively throughout the text with superscript Arabic numerals. Use in-text form of citation and include a reference list at the end of the paper.
References should be made in-text form of citation. This option consists of a parenthetical reference in the text-whenever possible just the last name of the author(s) or editor(s), the year(s) of the publication(s), and the page reference(s). For example: (Miller 1982: 103-4).
The reference list at the end of the article should include information for all sources cited in the article. The references should be listed in alphabetical order and should be complete, including all author's names and initials, the title of the paper, the year, page number, and publisher. Please complete references on a separate sheet at the end of the manuscript.
All figures must be submitted in a form suitable for reproduction (camera-ready copy). Care should be taken that lettering and symbols are of a comparable size. All graphs and diagrams should be referred to as figures and should be numbered consecutively in the text in Arabic numerals.
Papers that do not follow submission guidelines will be unsubmitted for re-formatting by the submitting author.

Questions may be emailed to Dr. Mary Teagarden, Editor, Thunderbird International Business or to Ms. Suzy Howell, Managing Editor
Copyright of published papers will be vested in the publisher. A copy of the transfer of copyright agreement, executed and signed by all authors, is required with each manuscript accepted. Original signatures are required.

If the article is accepted for publication, instructions on final submission will be sent to the author.