Case Study

War for management talent in China: Eramet Group China

2 pages
December 2007
Reference: IMD-3-1877

This case is part of the suite of teaching materials which employs China as an illustration of the managerial implications resulted from the so-called War for Talent, and is intended to generate insights into “how to best play the talent game” in China, or elsewhere. We aim to generate an interactive and rich class discussion of the issues raised among seasoned business practitioners, by adopting a variety of interesting teaching formats: an opening note, four cases, an “appraisal exercise” and a video. In particular, this case is about a leading French metal producer’s operations in China. This multinational corporation aims to strengthen its positioning in China, especially in the high-end special alloys segment. Facing the threats of its powerful domestic competitor, CITIC, the company’s business development director, Sébastien Lize, needs to quickly build a robust team. However, marketing expertise and international mindsets are scarce in China, and Lize is having trouble finding management talent with local knowledge and commercially attractive personal networks as well as sophisticated marketing skills and tools, in addition to the ability to communicate and work with both the domestic Chinese market and headquarters. With several options, such as relocating expatriates to China and sending new hires or existing managers to the headquarters for temporary assignments, he needs to choose the best one(s) to enhance marketing competency before the competition takes the market leadership position.

Learning Objective

Among the critical issues in talent management to be addressed in this suite of teaching materials, the following are the most central for the learning of class participants: Since sizing up potential candidates is the first and most fundamental step of talent management, what characteristics should a business leader look for to meet the competency requirements today and to prepare for the future? What would be some creative and feasible practices to source, attract, develop and retain management talent?

Human Resources, Leadership Succession, Talent Management
Field Research
© 2007
Available Languages
Related material
Teaching note, Video
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