Expatriate and Effective Expatriation Strategy

Topics: Expatriate, Expatriates Pages: 10 (3219 words) Published: March 22, 2011


Expatriation is the process of moving staff from the parent company or headquarters to foreign subsidiaries while staying in the employment of the same firm. Expatriates are referred to by global firms as their ‘international Assignees’ the roles of expatriate are: direct control the agent in the foreign location; agent of socialization; build network between the expatriate home location with foreign location; boundary spanner and translate both location’s language in order to promote communication. So expatriation plays a vital role for multinational corporations, as they need to build global relationships. There are three main reasons for transferring staff on international assignments. They are position filling; management development and organization development.

Nowadays, as the globalization has brought about the need for more expatriate assignments, result in international organizations facing challenges in implementing an effective expatriation strategy. In this article, author will go though talk about: Recruitment & selection of expatriates and expatriate failure. These two topics one by one, sequentially to discuss and analysis what are the challenges for global firms to execute an effective expatriation strategy.

The objectives of this article is through discuss and analyse ‘the challenges facing international organizations in implementing an effective expatriation strategy’ this topic to evaluate the impact of international changes and trends in the environment, competition and the dynamics of the labour force on HRM in international organizations; review global practices in compensation, benefits and reward systems and assess the impact of global practice on organizations operating internationally; examine the factors affecting expatriate managers and employees. Demonstrate and advanced understanding of the importance of professional practice in managing a culturally diverse workforce in an international environment.

Selection of expatriates

A lot of international organizations realize that it necessary to operate on a global level to maintain a competitive advantage (Cascio, 2003). There are 80% of large and midsize organizations have staff working in another country, and 45% anticipate increasing their expatriate workforce in the future. Roughly 10% to 20% of employees sent on expatriate assignments return early, also in these assignments, about a third of these employees who remain did not perform up to their manager’s expectations. Two of these situations are extremely cost huge money for the company (Black and Gregersen, 1999). It has been proposed that utilization of selection methods is one challenge for the expatriate (Harvey. 1996). Much research has been carried out on the factors challenged in expatriate selection, both in terms of the individual and the specifics of the situation concerned.

The individual

In terms of the individual, several challenges have been identified that to achieve the success of international assignments and guide selection should be used, these include: technical ability; cross-cultural suitability and family requirements.

Technical abilities are significant to perform the job, because individual is located away from headquarters and cannot readily consult on technical issues related to the task. So for the individual, they must be able to adapt to the new and foreign surroundings while effectively transfer their technical and managerial expertise. They have to rapidly accept their new culture environment, if not they may be unable to perform their work activities proficiently (Ones & Viswesvaran, 1997), or they might finish the task early. For example, if an expatriate which does not adjust to interacting with host nationals may not be able to gain the information need to implementing effectively (Black and Gregersen, 1998). And the technical expertise is important, the principle challenge faced by most expatriates rest...
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