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Title: Talent in China: exploring the issues faced by Australian multinational enterprises

Authors: Jane L. Menzies; Anthony McDonnell

Addresses: Deakin Graduate School of Business, Deakin University, 221 Burwood Hwy, Burwood, Victoria, 3125, Australia. ' School of Management, Division of Business, University of South Australia, GPO Box 2471 Adelaide, South Australia, 5001, Australia

Abstract: Past research and anecdotal evidence suggests that talent management issues faced by Multinational Enterprises (MNEs) are quite severe. This paper explores the issues Australian MNEs face in attracting, developing and retaining key human talent in their Chinese operations. Utilising an exploratory, qualitative approach involving 20 semi-structured interviews with senior level managers in Australian MNEs, we find that coercive isomorphism in the Chinese regulatory context is a major influence on talent issues. More particularly, the study shows that Australian MNEs experience significant talent shortages, as a result of contextual conditions in the Chinese market. In addition, MNEs experience problems with retention of talent because other organisations, usually Western MNEs, are offering, amongst other things, more competitive salaries.

Keywords: talent management; Australia; staffing; staff retention; institutional theory; multinational enterprises; MNEs; senior managers; human resource management; HRM; human resource development; HRD; coercive isomorphism; regulatory contexts; talent shortages; contextual conditions; competitive salaries; Western companies; labour regulation; Chinese culture; Chinese management; China.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCCM.2012.046034

International Journal of Chinese Culture and Management, 2012 Vol.3 No.2, pp.107 - 124

Available online: 22 Mar 2012

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