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Talent management in hospitality during the COVID-19 pandemic in Macao: a contingency approach

Marianna Sigala (Department of Business Administration, University of Piraeus, Piraeus, Greece and Sheffield Business School, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK)
Lianping Ren (School of Tourism Management, Macao Institute for Tourism Studies, Macao SAR, China)
Zhuo Li (School of Tourism Management, Macao Institute for Tourism Studies, Macao SAR, China)
Leonardo (Don) A.N. Dioko (School of Tourism Management, Macao Institute for Tourism Studies, Macao SAR, China)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Article publication date: 21 March 2023

Issue publication date: 17 July 2023

747

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine talent management (TM) in the hospitality industry in Macao during COVID-19. It deploys a contingency theory perspective (Luthans and Stewart, 1977) to illuminate the heightened uncertainties and challenges talent managers faced during the pandemic and the urgent adaptations to TM practices they embraced in response.

Design/methodology/approach

Adopting a phenomenological approach, this study analyzed data collected through semi-structured interviews conducted with a representative sample of 20 hotel managers in Macao.

Findings

Managers reported four major categories of COVID-19-induced challenges and a corresponding set of contingent TM practices. The four contingent TM practices were found to contribute to the shaping of the next new normal in TM in hospitality and included the following: Contingent TM planning; contingent TM deployment and replacement; talent training and development under contingent arrangements; and changed “talent” attitude and practices in recruitment and retention.

Research limitations/implications

The findings are limited to the geographical and industry context of the study. This study should be refined with larger samples.

Practical implications

This study provides a useful framework for guiding professionals on how to manage talent during turmoil periods. It also contributes toward understanding the shifting meaning of talent and TM in hospitality.

Originality/value

This study demonstrates the applicability of contingency theory in managing hospitality talent during turbulent times, which extends TM knowledge and enriches the contingency theory. The findings also facilitate our understanding on how contingent TM practices create processes that lead in setting the new normal.

Keywords

Citation

Sigala, M., Ren, L., Li, Z. and Dioko, L.(D).A.N. (2023), "Talent management in hospitality during the COVID-19 pandemic in Macao: a contingency approach", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 35 No. 8, pp. 2773-2792. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-06-2022-0793

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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