INTRODUCTION TO EXPATRIATE MANAGEMENT
The world is becoming more and more global and to be successful, many companies have to compete on the global playing field. This is due to the fact that costs associated with the development and marketing of new products are too great to be amortized only over one market and production costs can be cheaper elsewhere around the world. This globalization of companies is making it more important than ever to understand how multinational enterprises can operate more effectively. One major component of this understanding is the field of human resource management (HRM), and in particular, the field of international human resource management (IHRM). Managing of expatriate assignments is a challenging issue for multinational corporations. They are moving in the right direction by (1) trying to minimize the requirement for costly expatriate assignments, (2) carefully screening individuals to try and increase the chances of a successful assignment, and (3) providing a comprehensive benefits package that is competitive in nature and considers the needs of the expatriate manager and his family. Multinational corporations realize that expatriate assignments are expensive and they realize that failure in those assignments is also very costly. By minimizing the number of these positions by effectively utilizing host country nationals, the multinational corporation can reduce cost and foster better relations with the host country which generally would prefer to employ their own countrymen. By carefully screening those who must be assigned overseas and tending to the needs of their families, multinational corporations can minimize their costs in the long term and reduce costly turnover rates and assignment failures. 1.1 The Process of Managing Expatriates
It is very important to develop a basic framework for the discussion of how to manage expatriates on global or international assignments. Black et al. use people management to effectively move and manage people in global assignments. They identify a Global Assignment Success Cycle to conceptualize the term people management through. They view people management as a set of activities instead of a function of a specific department. This means that each activity builds upon the others as the process becomes an integrated package. They identify five generic functions of managing people: Recruiting/selecting (getting the right people), training (helping people to do the right thing), appraising (determining how people are doing) and rewarding (encouraging the right things that people do), and developing (doing things right for people). Most other researchers who identify at least four stages; selection, training (and development), adjustment and repatriation and also include other stages such as compensation, appraisal, and retaining. No matter how many specific phases the process is divided into the process of managing and supporting expatriates on international assignments can be divided into three broader phases; before the assignment, during the assignment and after the assignment. The phase before the assignment would usually contain identification, selection, training and development, and compensation. The argument for putting compensation in the phase before the assignment is that it is typically agreed upon before the expatriate go on the assignment. During the assignment stages such as adjustment, integration, appraisal and rewarding are important while focus after the assignment should be on repatriation and retaining. These stages have the highest impact on the success or failure of the process. 1.1.1 Before the Assignment
This phase contains selection and training of the expatriate. The time before the assignment can vary, sometimes the international assignment arises because of problems that have to be fixed quickly, other times it is a process that expands over several months. No matter how long the time...