Regionalizing competitive talent: An exploratory study of the role of human capital management in the context of economic integration and labor mobility

by Archibald, Gale A., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2008, 290 pages; 3297042


This study was motivated by the discourse on the unintended consequences of labor mobility, described as an unequal distribution of skills among countries participating in the CSME. The study advocated the importance of human capital management (HCM) and proposed that, in a context of economic integration and free movement of people, a holistic and broad-based approach to HCM is critical for countries seeking to leverage human capital for improved economic performance. The study argued that an institutional infrastructure will assist a country in the CSME context and with limited resources in three ways: (a) to determine its human capital needs to meet national goals, (b) to be positioned to successfully participate in the enrichment of a regional pool of competitive talent, and (c) to provide tools to mitigate the unintended consequences of labor mobility. Using a qualitative case study, the study investigated the existing arrangements for HCM activities. To realize its purpose, the study used St. Kitts and Nevis as the site to collect data on stakeholders’ perceptions. These data were triangulated using interviews, documents, and archival records. Content analysis was used to understand and interpret the findings. Participants were purposively selected from two stakeholder groups—government and non-government. The response rate was 57% (n = 47). The main research question was how does a country determine its human capital needs? Four research issues were investigated. The findings revealed that St. Kitts and Nevis has no existing or planned arrangements to determine its human capital needs. This was manifested in a domestic human capital stock that endured skills gaps and oversubscription of some occupations. Five factors explained these findings: (a) an overemphasis on academia and credentials, (b) ineffective organizational level HRM practices, (c) weak information infrastructure, (d) perfunctory stakeholder consultation, and (e) deeply embedded cultural norms and political nemeses. The results espoused six roles for HCM. The study advanced a CSME-HCM model to plan for competitive talent. The study contributed to knowledge by providing researchers, practitioners, and consultants with avenues to explain and evaluate human capital mobility in a context of economic integration and free movement of people.

AdviserMaudie Holm
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsManagement; Organizational behavior
Publication Number3297042

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