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Talent Management: Context Matters – A Review and Reflection


In the swiftly changing realm of global business, the issue of managing skilled individuals has become a vital concern for organizations aiming to secure a competitive advantage. This article, titled “Context Matters: Talent Management” and authored by Gallardo-Gallardo, Thunnissen, and Scullion, has been published in The International Journal of Human Resource Management. It delves deep into the multi-faceted nature of talent management and its immense importance in the face of present-day hurdles. The writers stress that talent management encompasses a myriad of strategic activities, incorporating attraction, identification, development, engagement, retention, and deployment of valuable individuals who possess the potential to contribute significantly to an organization’s sustained prosperity. They duly emphasize how the intricacy of the modern business environment, marked by global integration, technological advancements, and socioeconomic shifts, further amplifies the significance of talent management in adeptly manoeuvring through challenges.


The article commences by elucidating talent management as a strategic process to distinguish and cultivate exceptional resources, oft-referred to as “talents,” which possess the ability to furnish organizations with an enduring competitive advantage. The authors emphasize the significance of capturing, harnessing, and safeguarding these talents to propel organizational triumph (Gallardo-Gallardo, Thunnissen & Scullion, 2020). Given that chief executive officers perceive talent-related matters as a prominent apprehension, the article illuminates the urgent necessity for practical resolutions to talent management practitioners’ difficulties. The insufficiency of indispensable skills and capabilities constitutes a notable hazard to the prospects of organizational growth, thereby accentuating the importance of efficient talent management.

The authors contend that talent management practices cannot be universally applicable and that the surrounding circumstances in which organizations operate wield considerable influence. They underscore three core contextual factors: institutional, sectoral, and organizational. Institutional contexts encompass broader societal norms, regulations, and cultural influences (Gallardo-Gallardo, Thunnissen & Scullion, 2020). Sectoral contexts entail industry-specific traits and dynamics, while organizational contexts revolve around internal structures, strategies, and cultures. The interplay among these contextual factors shapes the efficacy of talent management practices. The article explores the relationship between talent management and organizational performance. A misalignment between talent management practices and the context in which they are implemented can hinder performance and lead to adverse outcomes. Thus, tailoring talent management strategies to fit the specific context becomes vital.


The article “Talent Management: Context Counts” offers valuable insights into the intricacies of talent management and serves as a reminder that universal solutions fall short. As businesses confront challenges shaped by their particular institutional, sectoral, or organizational contexts, it becomes crucial to grasp these contextual factors to devise effective talent management strategies. This piece aligns with the growing recognition of the significance of context-aware HR practices, urging HR professionals to tailor their approaches to match the unique circumstances of their organizations. Additionally, it sparks an ongoing evaluation of talent management strategies for HR practitioners. Agility and adaptability remain paramount in talent management in an ever-changing environment characterized by technological advancements, demographic shifts, and evolving socioeconomic landscapes.


To summarize, “Talent Management: Context Matters” is a timely reminder that talent management is an active and context-dependent undertaking. By recognizing the influence of various factors and embracing adaptability, organizations can attract, nurture, and retain suitable individuals, fostering long-term triumph in a constantly evolving environment. As human resources experts, we must remain perpetually receptive to the dynamic context to develop talent management strategies that fuel organizational expansion and distinction.


Gallardo-Gallardo, E., Thunnissen, M., & Scullion, H. (2020). Talent management: context matters. The International Journal of Human Resource Management31(4), 457-473.


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