Challenges in Implementing Talent Management in Culturally Diverse Organisations in Qatar

Purpose of the Research

This research paper focuses on the proliferation of multi-cultural organizations and the need for blended approaches that take into consideration different cultural orientations and their potential influence on the management of talents. Existing talent management strategies leave much to be desired in relation to the means of distributing roles and responsibilities among the staff members, promoting further professional growth, and encouraging successful communication among the members of the organisation (Cottrill 2012, 8). This is, in part, due to their incompatibility with the local business culture which causes domestic and foreign HR managers to apply strategies that are less efficient or do not produce the desired results (Robles 2014, 59).

This perspective on talent management is of particular interest to businesses in Qatar and the U.A.E due to the sheer influx of foreign nationals seeking employment due to the region’s booming economy. Due to the high level of local competition in the country for talented employees, human resource managers in these companies have to look for strategies to attract and retain the best employees. This brings in the aspect of challenges in implementing talent management in the culturally diverse organisations. Thus, it becomes necessary to find out the challenges that some of these organisations have encountered and the measures that they have enacted to reduce recidivism among their ranks. As such, the primary purpose of this research paper is to find out the approaches that can be applied by human resource managers to enhance management of talents in multicultural organisations. To achieve this, it would be necessary to investigate the current management processes that are used by companies to ensure their employees provide value, determine whether cultural differences influence the strategies that are employed by organisations in the management of its human resources, and learn how different multi-nationals manage talent in relation to expatriates and locals.

Practical Issue to be Addressed

The practical issue that needs to be addressed is what strategies can companies implement to address multi-national management within their workforce. While there is no such thing as a “one size fits all” strategy, there are management methodologies that can be implemented which would help to at least mitigate the negative aspects of managing a culturally diverse workforce while at the same time encouraging the emergence of positive traits.

Discussion of Literature

The interpretation of the results of the study will be based on parochial, ethnocentric, and synergistic talent management strategies. The parochial and ethnocentric management strategies argue that organisations should only view talent management based on aptitude, experience, and expertise wherein the focus of any hiring and employee development process should be on how well an individual would be able to fulfill a particular role. This is based on the perspective that the whole point of the hiring process is to ensure that an employee can fulfill the needs of the organisation based on the job that they were hired/developed for. The counter-argument to this claim by supporters of the synergistic strategy is that aside from the above-mentioned factors, an organisation should also pursue the concept of culture.

Parochial and ethnocentric strategies used a primarily extrinsic method of motivation, while the synergistic process was able to use intrinsic methods. Parochial and ethnocentric methods are concentrating primarily on performance-based rewards as a facilitator for motivation, while the synergistic strategy focused more on employees’ well-being and how they felt in their work environment (Lee 2009, 37). The parochial approach ignores cultural differences, while the ethnocentric method attempts to suppress and minimise them whenever possible. Thus, it must be questioned how a company can implement a proper method of egalitarian talent management when there are multiple different cultural perspectives within an organisation regarding what motivates them as individuals. Does the company attempt to appeal to them individually, or does it impose a wide corporate egalitarian talent management strategy that takes into account the organisation as a whole and avoids individual cultures?

Research Questions

The main concern of this study is to ensure that organisations realise the value of their employees by putting in place strategies that motivate and enhance the competence of their workforce; hence, the need for talent management. However, simply implementing talent management strategies is not enough, what is needed is to orient these strategies in such a way that they take into account the diverse cultural origins of the people that work for the company.

Based on this, the following questions will be used to guide the study.

  1. What are the current management strategies employed by organisations to ensure that employees perform as expected?
  2. Are there specific measures that multicultural organisations put in place to manage and retain the capabilities of the employees?
  3. Is it possible for multicultural organisations to develop a customised model to manage the talents of its personnel?


Research Method

It was decided that for a study that delves into implementing talent management strategies into multi-cultural organizations, it would be necessary to examine the perspectives of individual HR managers at various companies within Qatar. This would typically involve the use of interviews and, as such, a qualitative study would be the best choice for this type of endeavor.

Data Collection

To gather the needed data and perspectives, this study will conduct interviews that consist of discussions between the interviewer and the informant; this takes place mainly on a one-on-one basis. The aim of the interview is to obtain accurate information about a study topic (Bronfenbrenner and Evans 2000, 118). This method of data gather was chosen since interviews are good research instruments that can be applied in the collection of information in order to gain insights into trends and strategies used in an organisation. Interviews provide descriptive information. Also, they aid in determining the experiences of people and the outcomes they have witnessed in the process of implementation of different strategies.


In the current study about challenges in the implementation of the talent management in culturally diverse organisations, the focus is on organisations operating in Qatar, which have at least one hundred employees. These organisations will form the sampling frame for the study. The sampling process will involve purposive sampling procedures. Selection criteria for the study participants will be limited to the scope of the study, i.e. only organisations based in Qatar that have implemented talent management and culturally diverse workforce will be investigated. This study will perform purposive sampling which is a nonrandom sampling procedure in which the researcher uses judgment to appoint cases or experts that can provide an answer to the research questions and objectives (Golafshani 2003, 602). Thus, purposive sampling is the deliberate selection of the informant due to inherent specific characteristics. The main reason for using purposive sampling is to ensure that the data collected is critical to the issue under study (Denk 2010, 32).

Intended Contributions to Theory and Practice

This paper will contribute towards the understanding of companies regarding the type of talent management strategies that they should implement for a workforce that is primarily composed of foreign nationals. This would allow them to maximize the talents of their employees while at the same time minimize cases of employee recidivism due to dissatisfaction over the HR practices that were put in place. The contribution of this study to theory and practice is an additional perspective on how HR managers in Qatar operate and how talent management practices in the region compare to those in other areas around the world.


Bronfenbrenner, U and Evans, G. 2000, ‘Developmental science in the 21st Century: Emerging questions, theoretical models, research designs and empirical findings’, Social Development, vol. 9, no. 1, pp.115-125.

Denk, T 2010, ‘Comparative multilevel analysis: proposal for a methodology’, International Journal of Social Research Methodology, vol.13, no.1, pp. 29-39.

Golafshani, N 2003, Understanding reliability and validity in qualitative research, The Qualitative Report, vol. 8, no. 4, pp. 597-606.

Cottrill, K 2012, ‘The Culture-Talent Management Connection’, Supply Chain Management Review, vol. 16,no. 5, pp. 8-9.

Lee, K 2009, ‘Culturally Competent Capacity Builders’, OD Practitioner, vol. 41, no. 2, pp. 37-41.

Robles, BJ 2014, ‘Economic Inclusion and Financial Education in Culturally Diverse Communities: Leveraging Cultural Capital and Whole-Family Learning’, New Directions For Adult & Continuing Education, vol. 141, pp. 57-66.

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