Expatriates

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  • Topic: Human resource management, Management, Human resources
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  • Published : May 15, 2013
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The impact of cross cultural training on expatriate performance

Executive Summary

The aim of this report was to discuss and argue issues regarding managing expatriates in relation to ICHRM (International Comparative Human Resource Management). The main discussion was to see whether CCT (Cross-Cultural Training) has any effect on expatriate performance. The arguments that were drawn here, resolved around - issues involving the high failure rates of expatriates, - whether companies were doing something about it, - CCT’s importance and - CCT’s effectiveness in increasing expatriate performance. According to the literature, studies conducted through different periods and in different countries showed that the rates of expatriate failure were very high and that the main reason was the poor performance and the inability of the mangers and their family to adapt and adjust to the new culture. It was also suggested that selection process, family adjustment and adaptability were very important factors for the international assignment to succeed. Moreover, it seemed that in order to prevent the expatriate failure, companies offer cross-cultural training. However, according to different scholars CCT does not work if not delivered properly, meaning covering the right material (geography, climate, housing and schools, language and sensitivity training) and the right method (experimental method seemed to work better than didactic, because it offered direct cultural experience and managers could learn firsthand about the cultural differences). While analyzing all of the arguments it was concluded that CCT could help the companies and their HR departments overcome the problems poor performing expatriates generate, mainly in two ways. One way was that if the training was provided appropriately and adequately, it could give expatriate managers and their families enough knowledge to start their work and life in the host culture. And, the other way was that it could help the HR chose the right expatriate before sending anyone abroad.

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Table of Contents Executive Summary ....................................................................................................... ii Introduction ................................................................................................................... 1 Literature Review .......................................................................................................... 3 Conclusion ..................................................................................................................... 9 References................................................................................................................... 10

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Introduction

Nowadays,

Companies

(especially

Multinational

ones)

have

increased

considerably in number and significance, and this is usually the result of the fast growing global competition (Scullion & Brewster, 2003). Because of this increase in globalization of business, companies are compelled to send more and more employees on foreign assignments, and this can also indicate that the use of expatriates will continue to intensify in the future (Okpara & Kabongo, 2011; Van der Bank & Rothmann, 2006). Brewster, (1993) stated that even though expatriates are very expensive and their failure can be ruinous, companies still continue to use them. According to Peterson (2002), studies conducted from the 70’s up to today, all suggested that the reason why the companies continue to use expatriates, despite all the disadvantages they have, are: control, socialization of local managers to corporate culture, creation of verbal exchange network that can tie the subsidiaries to the headquarters and the need for experts on particular positions. Many studies, over the years, have proposed that the main reason for expatriates’ failure is the inability of these managers and their families to adapt to the new culture of the host...
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