Expatriates: Cross-cultural Communication and Long Term Orientation

Topics: Cross-cultural communication, Geert Hofstede, Culture Pages: 8 (2839 words) Published: March 21, 2010

Globalization is the system of interaction among the countries of the world in order to develop the global economy. Globalization refers to the integration of economics and societies all over the world. Because of globalization, the number of countries where products can be sold or purchased has increased dramatically. Globalization also cause an  increasing influence of Multinational Companies (MNC). An example is a car company whose head office is based in Japan. This company has branches in different countries. While the head office controls the subsidiaries, the subsidiaries decide on production. The subsidiaries are tasked to increase the production and profits. They are able to do it because they have already penetrated the local markets. Globalization has a lot to do with the rise of multinational corporations.(Hubpages, 2009) Investorwords (n.d.) state that, in general, as economies become more connected to other economies, they have increased opportunity but also increased competition.

The impact of globalization on the proliferation of Expatriates Managers are, in today's global economy, companies establish foreign-owned subsidiaries and enter into joint ventures and strategic alliances to create a presence in foreign markets and to exploit advantageous production resources. One of the challenges of the globalisation process are companies might have lack of qualified local candidates. Companies have to build development of individual employees for international mobility (Peltonen, 1993; Anfuso, 1994) as cited in (Leslie et al.,2004). Maintaining home office control (Boyacigiller, 1990; Nohria and Ghoshal, 1994) as cited in (Leslie et al.,2004), improving coordination, knowledge transfer, and consistency of corporate strategy are also become company’s challenges for them to be involved in globalisation process (Edstrom and Galbraith, 1977; Tallman and Fladmoe-Lindquist, 1994) as cited in (Leslie et al.,2004). All of this opportunities and challenges create the need for expatriates. For example, companies need to locate managers and skilled workers in foreign country. Employee satisfaction with expatriation and repatriation is critical to the success of global companies because these employees often play a pivotal role in managing and coordinating the operations of the extended enterprise. (Leslie et al.,2004)


Cross-cultural issues are the most central and most persistent factors that influence international business activity. When companies operate internationally they face such cross-cultural challenges as understanding the differences in communication patterns and styles, preferences for leadership approach and style, different principles and notations of hierarchy and organisational structures and different systems of decision making. (Koivisto, 1998)

A primary source of misunderstanding among cultures is the differences in values and priorities. Language is one of the factors that affect intercultural relationships. All cultures use verbal and nonverbal communication systems or languages, and each culture's vocabulary reflects its primary values and composition. For instance, Eskimos use many words and expressions for snow and its components. Although words themselves have no meaning, managers should observe and respect the role and composition of languages and other subtle cultural cues. (Rose, 1989)

The other factors that affect intercultural relationship is religion. Religion is the dominant force in the daily lives of some peoples, such as Arabs. Arab life revolves around prayer times, holidays, and daily events, and many occurrences are justified in the name of religion. Successful foreign businesses operating in cultures where religion governs business and social practices are those who respect and deal with their hosts' customs, such as prayer requirements and dietary restrictions. (Rose, 1989)

When a company or an expatriates...
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