Global talent management and inpatriate social capital building: a status inconsistency perspective

Miriam Moeller, Jane Maley, Michael Harvey, Timothy Kiessling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Distinct to expatriate managers at the subsidiary-level, inpatriate managers' influence at the headquarter (HQ)-level is controlled by the extent to which an inpatriate manager is able to ‘win’ status from HQ personnel. The primary goal of the paper is to conceptualize how organizational support, in the form of global talent management (GTM) practices, can alleviate inpatriates' difficulties in building social capital at HQ. Building social capital at HQ is vital for inpatriates to attain status in order to build the inter-unit social capital that enables them to pursue their boundary-spanning role across HQs and subsidiaries. Status inconsistency theory is put forward to recognize the personal, professional and structural incongruence of events and activities at HQ carried out with respect to inpatriates. We argue that inpatriate managers become empowered at HQ only when social capital is accumulated whereby social capital is driven by an acknowledgment of inpatriates as a legitimate staffing option. The relationship between GTM practices and social capital building needs to be managed properly by inpatriates themselves as well as by the organization. A future research agenda helping to build social capital of inpatriates through GTM infrastructure is discussed and propositions are offered throughout.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)991-1012
Number of pages22
JournalThe International Journal of Human Resource Management
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • global talent management
  • global organization
  • inpatriation
  • status inconsistency
  • social capital


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