Expatriate Management

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Expatriates face substantial uncertainty regarding their new role in the organization when they first arrive in their new location. Any information they gain regarding the new job, the organization, and the larger cultural environment will help them learn what to expect, how to interpret various stimuli they encounter day-today, and what the appropriate behaviour is in a given situation. Especially at culturally challenging environments, with social networks, which are also are also very rich informational networks, the expatriates may be left out of important decisions and information if they are unable to penetrate existing informational networks.

Paradoxically, informational support from local staff most critical to the successful experience of the expatriate is also likely to be more difficult to gain. Many local staff has traditionally expected to learn from expatriates, because the expatriates are often viewed to be the experts with specialized knowledge, sent to the host unit to lead local staff rather than to learn from them. When these expectations are coupled with the fact that expatriates often earn much more than the local staff, the local employees may feel resentful.

Cooperation: Expatriates sent to lead subsidiaries in various capacities will find gaining the local staff’s cooperation indispensable to the performance of their job. The ones, who are not well integrated and accepted by their local staff colleagues are less likely to perform the job well or be satisfied with work relationships within the team, which may lead to other counterproductive work behaviours ranging from tardiness and absenteeism to more extreme behaviours such as insubordination, withholding of vital information, and even sabotage.

Emotional support: Emotional support helps a person to believe that he or she is cared for, esteemed, valued, and belongs to a network of communication and mutual obligation. The aforementioned alleviate some of the stress the...
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