Standardization achieved by means of convergence approach will have its problems. Stahl et al (2012, p.30) argues “many organizations are moving towards greater integration and global standards while simultaneously continuing to experience pressure to adapt and make decisions at local levels.” The standardization achieved through convergence has advantages. However, the management wants to make unique decisions at the local level in order to create competitive advantage. This is because many companies want to recruit from similar talent pools. Therefore, all companies will get standardized resources (Becker, Beatty, & Huselid, 2009). Therefore, solving the problem of culture based issues would no longer be a competitive advantage for one company. All companies recruiting from such a standardized pool hence avail themselves of this advantage. The very assumption of international human resource practice being a competitive advantage would lose its meaning and talent management would lose its significance. In this context, it is necessary that some aspects of the divergence approach also be considered.
Successful talent management in the context of global cultures is also possible with the divergence approach. The divergence approach is very context specific. It attempts to localize global talent management practices. As discussed earlier, even if the general policies lean towards convergence, the specificities of implementation will depend on divergence. When global talent management uses standardized approaches, it might fail to consider the local environment. Career development might be a general goal for HRM but the career development need or implementation might be viewed differently in different countries. There are context specific issues of culture that might not be addressed at the general level. There would be micro political elements, stakeholder involvement issues and more (Burbach & Royle, 2010). Some countries might have strong political pressure that could change how the company interacts with and manages its employees (Eddy, Hall, & Robinson, 2006). Researchers Ready, Hill, & Conger, (2008) and Mellahi & Collings, (2010) argue that in the case of the emerging markets, multinationals face difficulties as the local practices are strong. Local practices expect the multinationals to adjust to the local situation. With declining talent pools and changing demographics, the multinational companies are forced to observe the local market, culture and context and adjust accordingly in recruitment.
Conclusion and Recommendations
The purpose of this research report was to critically evaluate the cultural perspectives on talent and talent management with the different approaches that are used to manage and develop talent in global businesses. Primarily, the first section of the report presented that a cultural difference does exist in the global talent management pool. Being aware of this, cultural difference is a competitive advantage for companies. How companies use this competitive advantage will decide the benefit they can acquire. Businesses can become more strategic in talent management and their talent pool retention increases. On the other hand, when businesses are not aware of the cultural perspective or do not implement strategies based on the cultural perspective, then the organization would fail to implement a connection with its employees. The second section of the report focused on two approaches to global talent management practices based on culture-the convergence approach and the divergence approach. The convergence approach is one that considered culture based differences as being nonexistent on some Human resource issues. The use of the convergence approach is convenient for many multinationals because of the high level of standardization it offers. On the other hand, the divergence approach is one which offers that the local perspective must be given just as enough consideration.
The recommendation made from the critical discussions is that although culture can be generalized at some points, it would definitely be specific in other and hence the organizations will need to do careful study of the cultural perspective in talent management. Over time with the understanding of different cultures and changes over time, it might be possible to understand context specific elements better.