Summary. Although multi-national enterprises (MNEs) in China are looking for talents who can balance domestic and international challenges, the evolving education and Global Talent Management (GTM) systems struggle with the timely identification, development, and retention of a workforce that is matching the required demand of new and future skills. Respect for the Chinese culture and access to so-called guanxi business networks shaped by collectivist cultural values are needed to access business opportunities. On the other hand, the opening up of secretive circles and empowering students and employees for more self-determined and problem-based learning could provide avenues to close the gap between theory and practice as well as more equality in talent development, hopefully resulting in increased entrepreneurship and innovation.
Collectivist and centralized system’s effect on Global Talent Management (GTM)
Due to its considerable workforce size, the capability of Global Talent Management (GTM) practices of Chinese companies have significant effects on the worldwide economy . Although multi-national enterprises (MNEs) are looking for talents who can work in an international setting, Chinese higher education overall is not able to timely  develop newly demanded skills as, for example, in marketing . While caring a lot for close relationships, global communication may be challenging due to seeming lack of empathy for strangers. In East Asia, gene-culture coevolution contributed to explain a comparatively strong in-group coherence aimed at creating harmony and successfully navigating social stress. Quite uniquely, China is rating high both on institutional and individual collectivism, e.g., having a strong family cohesion and a high loyalty towards societal authorities. Also, everybody in China seeks to create a relationship network, so-called guanxi, that is necessary even more than education for doing business . China’s communist party tolerates only one national union , but, at the same time, promote a merit-based market . This might explain a widely observed unclear definition of GTM in Chinese firms . Global and domestic TM practices often remain incompatible .
The challenge of matching skills and demand
The attraction and retention of talents cannot keep pace with the fast-growing economy  and poaching and financial compensations have become the primary HR means to buy in new employees . However, non-economical values like career opportunities, success experiences, an organization’s reputation, and learning and development opportunities have been found to be vital in attracting and retaining talents in the global competition too . Matching not only titles and status but real skills with related demand is considered the leading challenge China’s labor market is facing . Especially for foreign MNEs the development of soft skills in addition to more technical skills is crucial .
Authoritarianism, theory focus, and R&D investment disparities
Due to afore-mentioned collectivism and tendency to obedience in Chinese society, Chinese students are rarely questioning an instructor, don’t feel allowed to challenge professors, are merely reproducing knowledge , and are focused on theory while neglecting practical solution development . International theory and practice in GTM might risk inclining towards an ethnocentricity of dominating Western academic institutions . Therefore, it is important that China continues to adapt concepts to its specific context, while, on the other side, does not behave overly secretive  to allow learning across borders. Within China, distribution of investments into sustainable human capital development should avoid creating disparities between regions, e.g., by not over-favoring the coastal areas .
Global mindset, problem-based learning, and the promotion of enterpreneurship
To foster self-determined learning that is promising better success in education, parents don’t need to intervene academically, and supervisors are advised to delegate more to employees and students to give them personal control and autonomy . Problem-based learning (PBL) was proven to promote practicality and be an effective teaching approach in Asia if cultural barriers of traditional authoritative teaching styles can be overcome . Also, investing tremendously in R&D, Chinese policymakers have already started to promote a more global mindset and initiatives advancing entrepreneurship and innovation .
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