Leading & Managing People - Expatriate

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“Multinational firms throughout the world are increasingly concerned about hiring, developing and retaining managers with international experience and global perspectives” quoted by Briscoe and Schuler in 2004.

This report will be focusing on variety of issues relating to Human Resource implications which faced by the expatriate working in MNC located in Malaysia as well as Malaysian working in overseas. The extraction will be from the most recent newspaper, journal and articles relating to the following topics in human resource management. 1) Expatriate Failure and the Selection policy

2) Training and development for cross-cultural
3) Performance appraisal for expatriate
The expatriation was subjugated by professionals sent by their employers to foreign subsidiaries or headquarters.

3.1 Expatriate Failure and the Selection policy
Expatriate facade many new challenges both in the workplace and the community. For instance, culture shock differences in work-related norms, isolation, homesick, housing, schooling, language, customs, cost of living and coping with his/her spouse’s problems of adapting to new environment.

According to Stone(2008), research indicates that a manager’s inability to adapt or their partner’s inability to adapt is the major cause of expatriate failure. Harvey(1983) cited the consequence include premature return from a foreign posting and high resignation rates, with expatriates leaving their company at about twice the rate of domestic managements. Tung (1987) expounded the three main reasons contributing to the failure of expatriates in US MNC is as follows:- * the inability of the manager’s spouse to adjust to a different physical or cultural environment; * the manager’s inability to adapt to a different physical or cultural environment; * other family-related problems.

One study by International Orientation Resources, an HRM consulting firm, found that 60 percent of expatriate failures occur due to these three reasons too(Solomon,1994). Besides the above mentioned reasons, include inappropriate selection practices, inadequate preparation and training as well as the stresses associated with expatriation which identified by New Zealand research (Enderwick and Hodgson, 1993).

Another critical reason is the cross-cultural communications can be a struggle for the international manager. Gestures, facial expressions, behaviour and words can have different meanings and connotations. China, Korea and Japanese have high-context cultures where considerable importance is given to non-verbal and situational cues. In contrast, Australia, Canada, the US and Britain have low-context cultures where what is said is what it meant(Stone,2008).

In contrast, some Malaysians who work aboard feel that the grass is greener on the other side. In Appendix A, this article highlighted the reasons why some Malaysian prefer to remain overseas. Due to higher paid, to widen their horizons, the prestige of working in a foreign company and the quality of life is unbeatable.

The expatriate is unable to adapt in the foreign environment due to lack of cultural skills. According to HRM consulting firm, this is because the expatriate selection process at many organisations is essentially flawed (Solomon, 2000).

Expatriates failed because these three focal reasons which mentioned by Tung that have not been part of the selection process. The underlying message was that the family is the basic unit of expatriation, not the individual. The MNC needs to look into this matter seriously in order to reduce expatriate failure.

3.2 Training and development for cross-cultural
Many companies including MNC have been ignored on providing training for employees whether local or global organisations. MNC recruits expatriate based on technical competence and past job performance as the key selection criteria and assumed the expatriate is able to adapt...
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