Challenges of Implementing Western Talent Development Models in a Collectivist Organizational Culture

Angela Christina Lucas, Alexandre Ardichvili, Silvia Pereira de Castro Casa Nova, João Paulo Bittencourt, Caroline Carpenedo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The Problem: In Brazilian business organizations, talent development (TD) programs are often based on models borrowed from Western countries. However, there are significant cultural barriers to successful implementation of such transplanted models. Research on TD in Brazil is scarce, especially, research on adoption of imported models and frameworks. The Solution: This article is based on a case study of TD practices of a large Brazilian steel company that has a long history of human resource development (HRD) and a unique organizational culture. Our study suggests that this Brazilian company’s TD system is based on a combination of several well-known North American models. However, the implementation of the TD system that is based on meritocratic principles does not fully align with an organizational culture characterized by high power distance, paternalism, collectivism, and the emphasis on personal relationships over merit. We suggest ways of addressing the identified misalignments and point out the necessity of tropicalizing the implementation of TD models, which implies embracing Brazilian cultural traits and contexts. The Stakeholders: The main audience for this article includes executives, managers, and HRD professionals executing TD strategies in organizations from emerging market economies and/or in firms doing business in emerging markets. In addition, the article will be of interest to scholars specializing in international HRD and talent development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)517-532
Number of pages16
JournalAdvances in Developing Human Resources
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018


  • Brazil
  • collectivism
  • emerging markets
  • talent development
  • talent management


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