The purpose of this longitudinal study is to qualitatively investigate the role of the general managers (GMs) and senior managers (SMs) in strategic talent management (STM) in hotels during COVID-19. Using upper echelon theory and the dynamic attention-based view, this paper explores the role of upper echelon theory cognitive characteristics (orientation towards STM and decision-making approach) and three dynamic attention-based view attention dimensions (communication, resource attention to the HR function and new configurations of STM) in influencing STM.
This study uses semi-structured interviews with hotel GMs and SMs at two time points over the duration of COVID-19 in six hotels (family-owned, boutique and international hotel chain) located in Ireland, the UK, Germany, Singapore and India.
The findings of this study reveal that GMs and SMs across the different hotels differed in their orientation towards STM and their decision-making approaches and this influenced cognitive and resource attention to STM. GMs and SMs remained cognitively attentive to STM through their communications around STM, and they revealed resource attention through resources to the HR function and new configurations of STM practices during COVID-19. The authors identify three distinct configurations of STM practices in operation in hotels during COVID-19.
This study’s findings reveal important practice implications in that GMs and SMs have a key role to play in the implementation of STM and the need to reconfigure how STM is undertaken during the crisis. This contrasts with the more espoused role suggested for these talent actors in the literature.
The authors used a longitudinal qualitative research design to surface the dynamic role of GMs’ and SMs’ cognitive and resource attention to STM in hotels during COVID-19 and the key role that orientation towards STM and decision-making approach affected both cognitive and resource attention dimensions.
Garavan, T.N., Sheerin, C., Koukpaki, S., O'Brien, F., Chami-Malaeb, R., MacKenzie, C. and Buckley, J. (2022), "Strategic talent management in hotels during COVID-19: upper echelons and dynamic attention-based perspectives", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-04-2022-0516
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