Managing high-potential employees in MNCs: The mediating role of socialization mechanisms

Edyta Kostanek, Violetta Khoreva, Maarten van Zalk

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


In today’s global economy, multinational corporations (MNCs) are increasingly reliant on the ability to manage their international operations effectively, realizing the need to develop high-potential employees (Farndale, Pai, Sparrow & Scullion, 2014). Although several studies investigating the relation between talent management (TM) and employee attitudes have emerged (Björkman et al., 2013; Gelens, Hofmans, Dries & Pepermans, 2014), research on TM is still lacking a proper theoretical grounding with regard to how to manage high-potential employees in an effective manner (Festing and Schäfer, 2014). Empirical research regarding the effect of TM also remains limited (Sonnenberg, van Zijderveld & Brinks, 2014). MNCs have little theoretical and empirical guidance on how to maximize the effect of TM on employee attitudes, which we see as a significant omission in TM research since ensuring that the ‘right’ people (talents) are placed in strategically vital positions (McDonnell, 2011) is central for MNC’s overall business performance. This paper aims to contribute to this gap by integrating TM and organizational studies research. By drawing upon social exchange and social identity theories, we study the extent to which talent identification and organizational identification influence attitudes of high-potential employees in the context of Nordic MNCs. We are particularly interested in studying such attitudes as acceptance of increasing performance demands and commitment to building relevant competencies because these attitudes are central to TM and in previous research have been associated with positive organizational outcomes (Björkman et al., 2013). Furthermore, we explore the role of corporate socialization mechanisms in these relationships and add to the evidence of supporting corporate socialization as a vital aspect in TM research. Particularly, we argue that by applying corporate socialization mechanisms, MNCs may increase the likelihood of high-potential employees to commit towards their MNCs in various ways, which in turn is likely to have a positive effect on the overall business performance.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting Proceedings : Opening Governance
Publication date2015
Article numberdoi:10.5465/AMBPP.2015.88
ISBN (Electronic)0065-0668
Publication statusPublished - 2015
MoE publication typeA4 Article in conference proceedings
Event2015 Annual meeting of the Academy of Management (AOM) - Vancouver, Canada, Vancouver, Canada
Duration: 07.08.201511.08.2015
Conference number: 75


  • 512 Business and Management

Areas of Strength and Areas of High Potential (AoS and AoHP)

  • AoS: Leading for growth and well-being


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