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Anthony McDonnell, Stefan Jooss and Hugh Scullion

This case examines several key issues and challenges faced by a European-owned, building materials sector multinational enterprise (MNE) that has grown rapidly over the past four decades based largely on an international strategy of cross-border acquisitions. The case highlights links between the business strategy and global talent management and, more particularly, the role of the corporate human resource (HR) function in the context of a company with a culture committed to delivering superior performance through a highly decentralised approach to managing international business operations. The case illustrates some of the complexity of global staffing and talent management issues in developed markets and also in the emerging markets of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and Asia. The talent management challenges are arguably more acute in these regions due to greater cultural and institutional differences, which results in a particular demand for a distinctive type of managerial talent which can operate effectively in these culturally complex and geographically distant markets (Skuza et al., 2013).