Don't Worry, I Know What I'm Doing: Talent Management Practices between South Korean and Foreign-Owned Firms

Hyun Mi Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
80 Downloads (Pure)


It is frequently argued that Talent Management (TM) has been derived from Western, and there are gaps between spread westernized TM format and contexts of non-western countries when TM is adopted and practiced in a business daily basis. The cultural and institutional gaps to adopt TM are analyzed in this paper through comparing the differences in TM practices between foreign owned subsidiaries and local firms in South Korea using an institutional theory lens. A mixed method approach including 55 semi-structured interviews from South Korean and non-South Korean employees and 155 survey responses is employed. This paper results revealed the clear distinctions that indigenous firms practice inclusive and implicit TM, whereas foreign firms practice global standard exclusive TM program South Korean firms are developing very specific approaches within their traditional cultures such as collectivism and Confucianism to manage talent, and also local employees evaluate this tailored TM approach is effective like other foreign MNCs’ exclusive TM approach. Firms experience and respond to the external exigencies in very different ways and tendencies for isomorphism cannot be assumed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-25
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of East-West Business
Issue number1
Early online date5 Sept 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided
the original work is properly cited.


  • Foreign Firms
  • institutional theory
  • local firms
  • mixed methods
  • South Korea
  • talent management


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