The preceding chapters have raised a number of important issues. In Chapter 7, Ibraiz Tarique and Randall Schuler showed that there are different philosophies about global best practice and divergence, and that the different practices under planning, attraction, development, and retention need to be aligned vertically to both the overarching HR strategy and the business strategy. They noted there is a core pressure on global talent management (GTM) to deliver a degree of vertical (global) integration within businesses across the internal labor (talent) markets (i.e., between the strategy, business model, and structure through to the talent-management practices). There is also a need for horizontal integration (i.e., across operating divisions) in order to shape requisite levels of transfer of knowledge and individuals across businesses. Then in Chapter 8 John W. Boudreau and Edward E. Lawler III argued that the study of GTM also needs to move beyond simplistic ideas about global convergence or divergence of practice. This theme was further developed in Chapter 9 by Jonathan Doh and colleagues, who reminded us of the power of local contexts (they looked at emerging markets) in shaping the nature and conduct of talent management, and the need for local responsiveness within those multinationals operating in such markets.
From these chapters, it becomes clear that there is a new economic topography within multinational corporations (MNCs), based much on the growth of emerging markets. A new demography of international mobility then begins to flow from this. This creates two fundamental challenges, discussion of which forms the focus of this chapter.
For some time now, it has been argued that managing expert talent, especially in the creative industries and in professional services, requires firms to implement a bundle of HR practices such as “rigorous recruitment and selection procedures, performance-contingent incentive compensation systems, management development and training activities linked to the needs of the business, and significant commitment to employee involvement” (Becker and Huselid, 1998: 55). While these processes are important, they must be enacted within a broader understanding of the firm’s strategy, capabilities, and potential, which an understanding of the dynamic capabilities framework can provide.