Implementing Talent Management in Culturally Diverse Organizations

Subject: Management
Pages: 6
Words: 6086
Reading time:
23 min
Study level: PhD


Talent management is currently one of the primary concerns in many organisations around the world. Companies are not only looking for highly educated and experienced employees in the job market but also talented individuals who can think creatively when undertaking assignments in their respective departments. Creswell (2013) explains that the stiff market competition and numerous challenges that firms have to deal with regularly makes it necessary to embrace creativity and innovation. It is the reason why companies have become sensitive to issues about talent management. Institutions of higher learning are also under pressure to identify and nurture highly talented workers who can develop transformative ideas in various industries.

Addressing challenges in implementing talent management in culturally diverse organisations is critical. Qatar is one of the regional countries that have invested a lot of resources in institutions of higher education. In this section of the paper, the researcher will explain the methodology that will describe various steps which will be taken to ensure that the desired data is collected and analysed to inform the study. The chapter starts by describing qualitative and quantitative methods. The researcher will then explain why the qualitative method was considered more appropriate for the research than quantitative methods. The study will explain the theoretical perspectives behind the methodology, the research design and strategy that will be used, sampling criteria and sample size, time horizons, methods of data collection, ethics, reliability, and data analysis.

Research Methodology

According to Bowling (2014), talent management, as an area of research, has attracted the attention of many scholars over the recent past. It is critical to determine how talent can be promoted when one is still in learning institutions to the stage when he or she is in gainful employment. When conducting research, it is prudent to address research gaps based on what other scholars have found out. In this methodology section, the researcher will look at the approach that will be used to obtain primary data from respondents in this study.

Qualitative versus Quantitative Methods

When conducting research, one of the most important decisions that a person has to make is whether to use qualitative or quantitative methods to achieve the desired goals. The choice of either approach requires adequate consideration of the specific methodological appropriateness. A distinction between these two research paradigms, including their strengths and weaknesses can help provide a foundation for the design and procedures adopted in this study. Compared to quantitative methods, qualitative research provides more in-depth insights into behaviour, attitudes, and perceptions (Barnham 2014). Thus, it inductively generates ideas and theories on a particular issue by exploring the perceptions of the target group or population. In contrast, the quantitative method deductively looks for facts that explain a problem of interest by asking ‘what’ questions (Barnham 2014). The two approaches differ on the induction versus deductive stance.

Qualitative and quantitative studies also differ in their philosophies, treatment of the subject, and generalization. From a philosophical stance, a quantitative researcher is objective, while a qualitative investigator is said to be subjective (Antwi & Hamza 2015). Thus, the latter views reality as holistic and indivisible; hence, it cannot be fragmented or subjected to experimental manipulation. A qualitative research considers all participants as different, and therefore, their attitudes, perceptions, and behaviour should be studied in their natural context to identify general themes or patterns (Antwi & Hamza 2015). On the other hand, quantitative studies regard all subjects as the same and group them into categories.

Another distinction lies in the inductive versus deductive dimension. While quantitative research seeks to explain patterns of behaviour and generalise findings to other related contexts, the qualitative approach aims at uncovering specific meanings peculiar to a given situation (Choy 2014). In this regard, the positivist paradigm (quantitative) entails hypothesis testing using data to deduce conclusions about a particular aspect. To realise this goal, the researcher must rely on the foundational laws governing the phenomenon under study and utilise a representative sample of the subjects (Yilmaz 2013). The general view is that once this rigidly designed, objective, and rational process is followed and sufficient quantitative data are obtained, the findings can be generalised to multiple settings. However, to a qualitative researcher, the exclusive use of the positivist approach increases the risk of bias and is not consistent with the interpretive philosophy (Yilmaz 2013). In contrast, phenomenology seeks to understand phenomena in their natural situation or setting.

A qualitative investigator inductively examines the participants as persons with unique relations with their social contexts and not merely as study subjects (Cassell 2018). Therefore, in order to obtain a clear picture of the respondents, the investigator must avoid common pitfalls associated with this type of research. Researcher bias must be controlled to avoid compromising the validity of the research. It requires the investigator to begin a study on a clean slate, as any preconception – including a predetermined design – could introduce an error into the process. According to Weller et al. (2018), open-ended questions are preferred to closed-ended ones to cater for subjective interpretation by the respondents. From the data gathered, the researcher can then make conclusions about patterns of behaviour or perceptions.

It is possible to choose a qualitative method as the appropriate approach to conducting the study. Bryman (2016, p. 82) defines qualitative research as “primarily exploratory research used to gain an understanding of underlying reasons, opinions, and motivations, and insights into the problem or helps to develop ideas or hypotheses for potential quantitative research.” This study examines the views of HR manager, director of recruitment, training supervisor, various heads of academic departments, coordinators, staff involved in hiring, selection, and development, and the Business Administration faculty members to uncover the strategies they use to address the challenges of managing talent in their multicultural organisations. The top managers responsible for policy and strategic decision-making at the institution, namely, the president, dean, and associate deans, were also interviewed. The above objective points to three basic prerequisites. First, the research is concerned with the subjective meanings of the target population. Therefore, a phenomenological (qualitative) method is appropriate for this study to allow the researcher to interact with the subjects. This approach will help uncover the participant’s perspective on talent management and related challenges. Second, this study centres on social phenomena, including organizational structures and procedures that shape views about talent. Thus, an interpretivist (qualitative) approach is required.

The qualitative method seeks to explore reasons or motivations behind a given issue. It focuses on answering questions such as why and how a given phenomenon occurred the way it did. It makes it possible to understand what can or could have been done to address the problem and achieve the desired outcome. It allows a researcher to use open-ended questions that enable respondents to explain their answers. Instead of just providing a yes or no answer, this method allows respondents to explain their choices. They need to provide justifications to answers that they provide in the study. By using this method in this research, it will be possible to identify and explain challenges in implementing talent management in culturally diverse organisations.

Rationale for Choosing Qualitative Method

Creswell (2013) advises that one should be very keen when selecting the most appropriate method of conducting research. Care should be taken to ensure that the selected method is in line with research goals and objectives. The quantitative method can help in identifying and quantifying challenges (independent variables) that affect the implementation of talent management in culturally diverse organisations. However, this research goes beyond identification and quantification of these variables. It is necessary to have a detailed explanation of each of these challenges and why they affect the implementation of talent management in selected entities. As such, qualitative research will be the most desirable approach. Using qualitative methods will enable the researcher to have an in-depth investigation of the issue at hand.

It will be possible to identify and analyse each factor individually and how it relates to the implementation of talent management. When cultural intolerance is identified as one of the challenges, this method will help in explaining why it is a hindrance, the manner in which it affects the implementation, and what can be done to address the issue. The method also makes it possible to gather information that may be unique to a given organisation. Challenges that may hinder implementation of talent management in a culturally diverse organisation such as Aljazeera Networks may not be the same at Qatar Airways. Allowing respondents to explain their answers will enable the researcher to understand variations that exist depending on different organisational factors. When collecting primary data, sometimes it is undesirable to have structured response that does not factor in justifications behind such responses. Sometimes the response given is contrary to popular beliefs or expectations.

Failing to get proper justification for such responses can be an injustice to the research. Such dissenting views may help in understanding an issue from a different angle that many have ignored. However, that is only possible when the respondent is allowed to explain it with the help of unstructured questions. They should be allowed to state why they feel a given issue should be addressed in an approach that many people oppose or do not consider. Jackson (2016) explains that sometimes views of the few may prove more beneficial because of their talent or special skills that enable them to look at the issue differently. As such, it was established that qualitative method would be the appropriate type of research based on the set goals and objectives.

Theoretical Perspective Behind the Methodology

It is important to explain the theoretical perspective behind the selected methodology. Social constructionism is the epistemology that informs the method chosen. Creswell (2013, p. 43) defines Social constructionism as a “theory of knowledge in sociology and communication theory that examines the development of jointly constructed understandings of the world that form the basis for shared assumptions about reality.” In this study, this approach will help in making relevant assumptions in understanding the reality of challenges in implementing talent management in culturally diverse organisations. When developing the knowledge, it is expected that the researcher will make fundamental assumptions. Using the research onion in figure 1 below, it is possible to define the research philosophy that will explain assumptions that will be made in the study. Research philosophy focuses on the nature, source, and development of knowledge in a given study (Bryman & Bell 2015). It explains the beliefs embraced by the researcher when collecting information about a given phenomenon, and how the data should be analysed and interpreted. As shown in the figure below, a researcher can use positivism, critical realism, pragmatism, or Interpretivism based on the set goals and objectives of the research. It is important to discuss each before selecting the appropriate one for the study.

Research onion
Figure 1: Research onion (Bryman & Bell 2015).


According to Fellows and Liu (2015), pragmatism research holds the view that a concept can only be accepted to be relevant if it can support action. The philosophy acknowledges that there are different ways of interpreting the world. It is irrational to insist on just one way of interpreting various factors within the environment. As such, this philosophy allows people to make their interpretation based on their broad socio-cultural background. However, it emphasises the need to ensure that the interpretation can support action. It holds that when making assumptions, it is necessary to ensure that they are based on facts (Crotty 1998). The researcher did not consider this philosophy to be the most appropriate for the study.


This philosophy holds that knowledge can only be considered factual and trustworthy if it is gained through observation with the help of relevant instruments (Bryman 2016). When using it, a researcher must understand that his or her role is limited to data collection, analysis, and interpretation in an objective manner. In many cases, a researcher may allow gained knowledge and experience to influence the process of analysing and interpreting data. However, this philosophy restricts a researcher from making an interpretation based on the analyzed data (Crotty 1998). It means that the researcher must remain a neutral observer who reports findings the way it is even if it goes against one’s personal beliefs, knowledge, or experience. It is popular when conducting quantitative studies because it requires the use of observable and quantifiable data. Assumptions that this philosophy embraces- especially the one that requires a researcher to remain objective and independent when collecting and analysing data- are very appropriate for this study. However, it was not considered appropriate because of its requirement to use statistical data.

Critical realism

The philosophy holds that reality is always independent of human mind. People may hold beliefs based on their socio-cultural backgrounds, beliefs, experiences, knowledge, and such other factors. However, it is important to understand that what one believes in may not be the truth. Some of the beliefs are based on misleading information. Others are held because of lack of knowledge. As such, a researcher is not expected to rely on the beliefs of people because they may provide misleading information. The most appropriate thing is to rely on scientific research that does not depend on the beliefs and experiences of people. This philosophy was considered inappropriate in this social sciences research. When investigating challenges in implementing talent management in culturally diversified organisations, it is not possible to use scientific methods. As such, it was irrelevant in this research.


This philosophy requires a researcher to make an observation of different elements in the area of study and then make interpretation of what is observed based on personal knowledge and experiences, supported by evidence-based research (Jackson 2016). It means that this philosophy allows a researcher to use personal knowledge when making the interpretation. The philosophy is popular among advanced researchers with a rich academic background that can support their assumptions. For them to use their knowledge and experience to make assumptions, they should be knowledgeable enough in that field. This philosophy was considered the most appropriate for the study. The researcher has gained extensive knowledge in this area of research based on class work and independent research. Data will be collected from sampled respondents to understand what their views are about challenges in implementing talent management in their organisations. Using an information that is obtained from secondary sources and knowledge that the researcher has gained in the course of the study, it will be possible to make the right interpretation. Conclusion and recommendations of the study will be based on these facts.

Research Design

In this qualitative research, the appropriate research design will be an explorative study. According to Bowling (2014), exploratory research is a design that focuses on developing new knowledge in a field that has not yet received extensive research. As the name suggests, the researcher will be exploring a new field that has scanty information. Crotty (1998) explains that the design focuses on the discovery of new ideas about a given study. It is important to understand that the selected topic, challenges in implementing talent management, has been explored by a few scholars who have published their findings, but not in the context of Qatar. Most of the existing books and articles are based in the western context. The researchers conducted their studies in Europe and North America. Finding relevant literature that focuses on the local factors in making their conclusion is not easy. For that reason, the researcher will be conducting an exploratory study in the local environment. Companies are struggling to attract and retain highly skilled employees.

The stiff market competition and other challenges that exist in the market make it necessary to have creative minds that can come up with innovative ideas when solving problems that may arise in the workplace. Strategies used in attracting and retaining employees have been evolving over time. In the past, managers used attractive remunerations as a way of making their employees satisfied and loyal to the firm. Although the method is still in use, managers are trying to find other approaches to attracting and retaining customers. One such method is making employees feel respected. Creating a perfect environment where employees can work without feeling demeaned or intimidated is also critical in attracting and retaining top talents. Lewis (2015) also explains that when employees are offered such a conducive environment, they tend to be creative in their work.

Thinking that financial benefits alone can help attract and retain talented employees can be a dangerous assumption when moving to local markets. They have to understand local forces in these countries, challenges that are unique because of the local forces and how to ensure that their operations can overcome these challenges.

Research Strategy

Bryman (2016) defines research strategy as a step-by-step action plan that provides direction that is taken in ducting research systematically within the available time to provide an informative report. The strategy that is chosen should define how data will be obtained from the respondents for interpretation. When choosing the strategy to be used, Lewis (2015) notes that a number of factors have to be considered. One of these factors is the availability of time. It is necessary to ensure that the strategy is time-sensitive. Availability of respondents is another factor that must be taken into consideration. When it is not easy to reach out to respondents within the required time when an interview is used, then an alternative approach may be necessary. The geographic constraints must also be considered. The approach that is used when the respondents are widely dispersed is different from that which is appropriate when they are concentrated within a specific geographic area. The following strategies will be applied in this research.

Case study

It will be necessary to employ case studies in this research. Problems that local Qatari firms face when implementing talent management are not unique. Regional companies in Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Oman have faced similar problems. Others in Europe, North America, and the Far East have also experienced similar issues. It will be necessary to find relevant cases regionally and internationally where culturally diverse companies found it challenging to implement talent management. The study will look at approaches that were taken to address these challenges and the outcome of each approach. The information can shed light on what local firms should avoid and what they need to pay special attention to based on the outcome of similar companies in other parts of the world. Patten and Newhart (2018) explain that case studies provide a real-life explanation by focusing on a specific phenomenon. It provides relevant examples that would inform the conclusion and recommendations of a study. The three selected strategies will enable the researcher to collect detailed information about challenges in implementing talent management in culturally diverse organisations in Qatar.

A research strategy defines how the investigator is going to collect relevant data to address the research questions. For this research, a case study will be used. This research strategy is defined as “an empirical inquiry” that examines a phenomenon or a case “within its real-life context” (Gog 2015, p. 36). Thus, its distinguishing feature is that it does not involve an experimental manipulation of the participants. This strategy is often used where the boundaries between an object of study and its setting are not clear. Therefore, context is important and unlike experimental methods, contextual factors are not manipulated in a case study. The object of the research is studied within its setting in a bid to understand the behaviour or attitudes of similar units. A case study can be holistic or embedded depending on the level of analysis used – organisation or subunits within it (Starman 2013). Thus, the focus of the inquiry may be on a single unit or its subdivisions.

The study will use a qualitative case study because the aim is to gain an in-depth understanding of the contextual variables and the study problem – talent management challenges in a single organisation (Tafti, Mahmoudsalehi & Amiri 2017). It was considered an appropriate research strategy for the inquiry because it can help respond to ‘why’ and ‘what’ questions, which are exploratory in nature. Because of time constraints, the study will employ an embedded case study to explore the views of different individuals within a higher education institution (GNT University) in Qatar. This implies that the research will be carried out in a single organisation but the focus will be on the different subunits (departments) of the institution. Such an embedded case study approach allows a researcher to explore a phenomenon for which there is a paucity of research (Elman, Gerring & Mahoney 2016). Talent management in multicultural organisations is a relatively new topic in HR circles that has emerged in the wake of globalisation and internationalisation of companies. Therefore, fewer researchers have examined this issue before, which calls for an exploratory case study approach.

Since research on the challenges of managing talent in culturally diverse organisations in Qatar is limited, the study seeks to give a better understanding of these issues by exploring the views of various individuals working in a multicultural institution. Thus, an embedded case study is the most appropriate strategy for this research. It will allow the researcher to evaluate the views of the administrative staff and academics drawn from different departments within GNT University.

In this organisation, there are three employee categories: the top managers, administrative staff, and academics. The GNT University’s workforce will be the sample universe or study population. This institution is culturally diverse; it has employees from multiple nations. The diversity at the organisation encompasses mixed races, genders, cultures, and religions (Roberson, Ryan, & Ragins 2017). To delineate the target population, specific inclusion criteria will be followed. Eligible respondents must be administrative or academic staff at GNT University. Interviews will be conducted with the HR manager, director of recruitment, training supervisor, various heads of academic departments, coordinators, and staff involved in hiring, selection, and development. From the faculty, only those from the Business Administration Department will participate in the study. Another group of interviewees will be the top managers involved in policy and decision-making at the University. They include the president, dean, and associate deans.

The rationale for these inclusion criteria is to determine how talent management is implemented in practice by studying a diverse sample of participants. The heterogeneous sample will increase the external validity of the results. As Robinson (2014) explains, heterogeneity in a group (target population) enhances the generalisability of any commonality found to other phenomena. It gives evidence that the results are not limited to a specific group, time, or location. Therefore, heterogeneous groups can help develop a theory that is applicable to other contexts.

The diverse sample is also consistent with the principles of cross-cultural qualitative studies. According to Evans and Suklun (2017), a demographically heterogeneous population helps compare respondents with different cultural backgrounds to identify similarities or differences in perceptions, views, or attitudes. Since the research will involve a case study approach, a sample size of more than one interview will give be adequate to give insights into the challenges of talent management in multicultural settings (Hampshire et al. 2014). It was determined based on the accessible staff population at GNT University at the start of data collection. Twenty-eight interviews will be conducted to explore the views and perspectives of the respondents on the challenges of managing talent in the institution. The University’s strategic plan document will provide simultaneous triangulation of the qualitative data collected during the interviews. Since the implementation of talent management strategies is a role of the top managers and administrators, interviewing academic staff will be useful in triangulating and validating their responses. This two-pronged process will help identify and fill in gaps in the dataset before analysis. Thus, triangulation will ensure data quality, completeness, and accuracy.

Sampling and Selection Criteria

Sampling is one of the most important steps when planning to conduct a study. Numerous organisations face various problems when they try to implement talent management, especially those that are culturally diverse. According to Saunders, Lewis, and Thornhill (2011), when dealing with a large population, it may not be possible to collect data from everyone because of the limited time that is available for the study. Therefore, it is necessary to select a manageable sample to help in the collection of the needed primary data. Fellows and Liu (2015) advise that when selecting a sample, it is important to ensure that it represents the entire population. That is so because the findings made from the sample are often used to generalise the entire population. The generalisation can only be valid if the selected sample represents the targeted population. The cultural diversity in these institutions makes it unique when trying to implement talent management. Other than other factors such as skills, experience, and talents of employees, the management of these institutions must consider cultural diversity when managing talents.

Purposive sampling

As explained above, the study will use Interpretivism philosophy that allows the researcher to use personal judgment at various stages of the research. One of the stages that the researcher’s judgment will be used is in selecting an appropriate sample for the study. Purposive sampling will be used in this project. This non-random sampling technique allows the researcher to select participants based on factors relevant to the study. However, not all of them fit the criteria set in this study. Using simple random sampling will mean that there will be chances of selecting organisations that do not meet the set standards (Bryman 2016). To avoid such scenarios, it was considered necessary to use personal judgment in selecting these participants.

After identifying relevant institutions, Saunders, Lewis, and Thornhill (2011) advise that it is important to select individual participants who will be engaged in the process of data collection. The researcher is keen on interviewing specific individuals who have the right information that the study seeks to obtain. Semi-structured interviewing coupled with improvisational probes will be used to prompt the participants to reveal valuable organisation-specific information that may not be collected with structured interviews (O’Sullivan et al. 2017). Human resource managers, head of the recruitment unit, head of the training unit, and departmental heads are targeted for the study. Given that these participants must meet specific criteria, it was necessary to use purposive sampling technique. It enables the researcher to ensure that the chosen individuals will be capable of providing the needed data.

Sample size

The researcher will have a manageable sample size that can help in collecting valid data needed in this study. As explained above, mid-level managers will be targeted because they are always playing central roles in the implementation of most of the organisational strategies. They are best placed to provide information on talent management and challenges that are often faced in such endeavours. The researcher targets 28 participants from who the needed data will be collected. The participants will have to be a close representative of the entire population of study. The selected sample size is reasonable given that this is a doctoral dissertation that seeks to address a problem that affects local organisation. It will be possible to collect data from this sample within the available time.

Time Horizons

Time is an important factor that must be taken seriously in a given study. In the research onion shown in figure 1 above, the time horizon is in the sixth layer and must be defined in clear terms to inform decisions that the researcher makes in terms of data collection. In the research onion, it is clear that a study can be longitudinal or cross-sectional. Jackson (2016) explains that some studies can take very long period depending on its nature and purpose. Some studies can take as long as five years. They fall into the category of longitudinal research. The researcher will embrace cross-sectional research.


Patten and Newhart (2018) define cross-sectional research as one that has to be conducted within a short-time. The need to conduct research within a short time (less than six months) may be informed by various factors. First, it may be because the phenomenon under investigation is dynamic and if a long time is taken to investigate the issue, the outcome may no longer be relevant by the time the study is out. When investigating challenges in implementing talent management, time is of the essence because of the dynamism of forces. Factors that influence talent management today may not be the same after some months. New variables may emerge or be eliminated that may change dynamics. The second reason why it may be necessary to embrace cross-sectional research is when one is conducting an academic study. In academic projects, a researcher is required to complete the project within a specific time.

The report is meant to assess the skills that the researcher has gained within a specific period. Using the report written by the student, a lecturer is expected to assign relevant marks. This is one such project. As an academic study, time is of the essence. The study must be completed within the time set by the school. Cross-sectional research is also appropriate when the study is focusing on a specific issue other than a wide variety of issues. In this study, the specific issue being investigated is how talent management is affected by different factors in culturally diverse organisations. This method also allows the researcher to use qualitative research when conducting the investigation. These are the fundamental factors that made the researcher choose this time horizon for the study.

Methods of Data Collection

Once a sample has been identified, the next phase is the collection of primary data from the respondents. Jackson (2016) advises that method of data collection should be chosen based on the nature of the study, time available for the research, and physical availability of respondents. The researcher intends to use face-to-face interviews to collect the needed data from the informants. Bryman (2016) notes that physically interacting with respondents when collecting information is always beneficial and improves chances of gathering the needed information. Informants are offered an opportunity to ask any question they may have about the study. Their concerns will be addressed effectively before they start answering questions. Using standard semi-structured and unstructured questions, Creswell (2013) explains that is possible to gather information from each of respondents with the help of a questionnaire that will be prepared. This approach makes it easy to request for a clarification from respondents in case their answers are not clear or go against what was expected based on the researcher’s knowledge, information gathered from secondary sources, and responses provided by other participants.


It is important to observe ethical considerations when conducting this academic research. According to Gravetter and Forzano (2018), one of the most important ethical requirements when planning to collect data from a specific organisation is the need to obtain relevant permission from the management. The researcher will make a formal request to the management of the selected institutions. According to Silverman (2006), a researcher should contact sampled respondents and explain to them the relevance of the study once the permission is granted. Their role in this research will be explained to ensure that they fully understand what they are requested to do. Participation in this study will be voluntary, and no form of direct or indirect coercion or deception will be involved. The researcher will ensure that informants are not subjected to any harm because of their participation in this study. That will be achieved by maintaining confidentiality and anonymity of respondents,

Reliability and Validity

Jackson (2016) says that it is advisable to ensure that reliability and validity of the study are maintained. In this study, the researcher will use triangulation to enhance the reliability of the study. Other than the primary sources of data, the researcher will use a wide range of secondary data sources. The knowledge of the researcher in this field will help in enhancing the validity. The researcher has ensured that the chosen methods of collecting, analysing, and interpreting data are within the scope. The researcher expects minimal challenges, if any, in the entire process of collecting and analysing data. The choice of participants (experienced mid-managers involved in implementing strategies in their culturally diverse organisations) will also enhance validity in the study.

Data Analysis

The analysis of primary data will take the qualitative approach. The researcher will be interested in interpreting the information collected from participants to explain challenges that these institutions of higher learning face when implementing talent management because of their cultural diversity. As Creswell (2013) explains that qualitative data analysis do not just involve the identification of the specific challenges but also how they affect organisations and measures that can be taken to manage them. In this study, the researcher seeks to use thematic data analysis. Sekaran and Bougie (2016, p. 89) describe thematic analysis as one that “emphasises pinpointing, examining, and recording patterns or themes.” When using this method, the focus is to identify patterns that can be used to predict future occurrences of events associated with the issue under investigation. Some of these problems related to talent management keep recurring. Developing a pattern can help explain the past and present factors with the goal of predicting possible future occurrences. The information can help local organisations in Qatar and those in the MENA region to be prepared to manage these challenges.

The NVIVO Software

Qualitative data analysis software (QDAS) is an important part of a research. The choice of the tool to use in data management depends on a number of factors, including the nature of the dataset, researcher competence, and the amount of data to be processed (Sotiriadou, Brouwers & Le 2014). NVivo is among the widely used tools for qualitative data management. Its precursor was the Non-numerical, Unstructured, Data: Indexing, Searching, and Theorizing (NUD*IST) software developed in 1981 and it supported cross-indexing of textual data and searching of phrases (Sotiriadou, Brouwers & Le 2014). In NUD*IST, the investigator had to manually link themes and categories.

NVivo can be used on “interview scripts, documents, and open survey responses”, making it appropriate for the interview-based case study (Paulus et al. 2017). It has inbuilt applications for grouping, sorting, and arranging qualitative data. Thus, it enables an investigator to manage and organise information, analyse it, identify themes, and draw conclusions. However, the researcher must do coding of the data and formulation of themes before using this software (Paulus et al. 2017). Thus, arguably, NVivo is fundamentally subjective – it entails a constructivist research philosophy, allowing the analyst to interact with the data during analysis. This grounded approach is consistent with an exploratory study, where themes emerge from the textual information during the analysis. NVivo can be used with qualitative designs to process data collected through interviewing and surveys (Woods et al. 2015). Therefore, Nvivo was chosen for this study because it can be used on interview data and involves a constructivist paradigm that allows the researcher to actively explore emerging themes.

Among the best practices in NVivo usage is to give details of the program and provide definitions of specific terms (Paulus et al. 2017). The aim is to provide other users with adequate information on how to optimise the QDAS tool for better outcomes. This versatile program can be adjusted to analyse textual data obtained through interviews or field notes (Edwards-Jones 2014). The manual coding approach will help the researcher familiarise himself with the qualitative data in order to interpret and discuss the study’s findings.


Talent management is critical in modern organisations, especially those operating in a highly competitive environment. Managing a highly talented team of employees enables a firm to embrace creativity and innovativeness. As explained above, embracing innovation is one of the best ways of managing a competitive environment. It enables a firm to understand emerging needs of customers and how they can be met in the best way possible. In this study, the focus will be to collect data from institutions of higher learning within Qatar. The researcher intends to use qualitative methods in the process of collecting data. As explained above, qualitative research makes it possible to go beyond the identification and quantification of factors. It creates room for a detailed explanation of why a given phenomenon occurred the way it did. This method will enable the researcher to identify challenges in implementing talent management in culturally diverse institutions and how they affect these organisations. The researcher will observe ethical considerations in this study.

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