Culture Shock

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IMPROVING EMPLOYEES AND ORGANIZATIONAL PERFORMANCES THROUGH THE EXPATRIATE PROCESS: A CROSS-CASE ANALYSIS PATRICIA RAŢIU1, IOAN LAZĂR2, MARIA MORTAN3 1 Babeş -Bolyai University, patricia.ratiu@econ.ubbcluj.ro 2 Babeş -Bolyai University, ioan.lazar@econ.ubbcluj.ro 3 Babeş -Bolyai University, maria.mortan@econ.ubbcluj.ro ABSTRACT: Times are moving fast, especially if political changes are coming up. Romania’s accession to the European Union is followed by several changes in the field of human resource management. Employees are moving beyond borders to work abroad and need to be caught and integrated in the new working environment. The purpose of the article is to present the challenges and consequences arising from globalization and affecting human resource management practices and strategies in the 21st century, in some selected companies from Romania, using a longitudinal perspective. The aim of this paper is to gain a better understanding of the expatriate selection process. To satisfy the research purpose we addressed some questions: which are the reasons for sending managers abroad as expatriates, which are advantages and disadvantages of using expatriates and which are the roles of expatriates. Various challenges that expatriate managers and their families confront overseas are also discussed, such as the problem of adjusting to a new culture, the feeling of the culture shock. This paper also addresses the issue of whether over time there is an increasing “Europeanization” (convergence) of human resource management practices in the companies. The issue of convergence in human resource practices has important implications for human resource managers in multinationals who operate in Europe and the transferability of human resource practices. KEYWORDS: human resource practice, cultural shock, expatriate job performance, selection process. JEL classification: M12 international competitive environments (Mockler, 2001). It is important for multinational companies to practice effective human resource management practices, because employee quality is the only sustainable source of competitive advantage on the global market. (Brewster, C., Sparrow, 2006) The internationalization of an organization is much more than reproducing the organization in another country. Internationalization increases the complexity of a company and international companies must learn to deal with unstructured, often paradoxical circumstances and events. (Harzing, 1995:27) IHRM involves developing human resource capabilities to meet the diverse needs of multinational and global corporations. Most of the research on international human resource management has focused on the management of expatriate or parent-country nationals (PCN’s). (Phatak, et al, 2005). Parent-country nationals refer to employees who are citizens of the country that headquarters the firm: parent refers to the headquarters of the company, country refers to the location of the headquarters and national refers to citizenship of the employee. (Mendenhall et al, 1995:404). In a global marketplace expatriate assignments are important but evidence suggest that some companies have not yet learned to select and use expatriates. (Noe, et al, 2007:517).. These assignments give rise significant human resource challenge, from selecting managers for these assignments to preparing them, compensating them and helping them adjust to a return home, but also present considerable risks. The cost of sending managers abroad can be three times as much as their normal salary, and failure can therefore be very expensive, not only due to immediate expatriate costs but also due to negative effects in host-country business. (Harris, Brewster, 1999:488). Failure of expatriate managers is not only identified as premature return, but also under-performance in the host-country. There are also “invisible” costs due to the manager’s failure overseas: the loss of self-esteem and self confidence in the expatriate’s...
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