This paper aims to propose practical recommendations in accordance with the strategic roles played by research and development (R&D) in multinational companies (MNCs).
This study applies a qualitative method to investigate the talent management (TM) practices implemented in MNCs’ R&D units.
The findings identify four R&D strategies and four sectors of TM practices. Furthermore, there exists an alignment between R&D strategies and TM practices.
This paper has several limitations. This qualitative research is exploratory, and larger samples or quantitative methods are needed to ensure the wider applicability of the findings. When possible, longitudinal studies yield superior results in revealing the evolving strategic roles of R&D subsidiaries and their TM practices. The authors used China as the research context, and similar studies in other emerging countries with active R&D activities are required to further validate or complement the findings in this study.
This study has some practical implications for companies with regard to aligning their TM practices with R&D strategies.
R&D units play an increasingly significant role in MNCs and TM is a key issue. However, there is a lack of TM research focusing on R&D employees by taking strategies into account.