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Introduction A prominent concern in the international human resource management is the failure of expatriates (Black et al, 1988). The failure rate of the international managers or expatriates has been reported to range anywhere between 10-80%, costing multinational enterprise (MNEs) between US$40000-US$1 million for each failed assignment (Vogel 2008). Not including the ‘invisible’ or indirect costs which are harder to quantify in money terms but can prove to be more expensive for the company (textbook). Therefore, a proper recruitment and selection, preparation, training, support and development for expatriates are essential to address the problem. Training is the process of altering employee behaviour and attitudes to increase the probability of goal attainment (Hodgetts, 1993) where development aimed at improve abilities in relation to future expatriates. Stone (1998) stated that strategic training & development are virtually non-existent in most organisations as most organizations do not analyse the needs of training and development and top management viewed it as a necessary evil. However according to Fontaine (1997:631), if effective preparation, support and training were provided not only to expatriate but also their trailing families will ensure the success of international assignments. These were shown by the survey’s respondents from Windham international and the National Foreign Trade Council (1999) which cited family adjustment (65%), spousal resistance (53%) and spouse’s career (45%) as the most critical roadblock to acceptance and success of international assignments. Besides, Bross (2000) supports Fontaine in stating that the important of expatriates recruitment and selection then provide them with proper training will position them to be successful. Pre-departure training Once an employee has been selected, pre-departure training becomes the next critical step in attempting to ensure the expatriate’s effectiveness and success abroad (Mendenhall et al. 1987). Tung’s (1982) study showed US multinationals 32% tended to use training programs for expatriate less frequently than European 69% and Japanese 57% firms. However, GMAC 2004 Global Survey showed that provision of pre-departure training for expatriate and accompanying spouse/partners continued to increase. Cross-cultural training is beneficial for expatriates adapt to and not feel isolated from the host-country. Mendenhall et al. (1987) distinguish between three types of training, namely, (1) information giving approaches, which have a relative low level of rigor via lectures, movies or books; (2) affective approaches which address people’s feeling as well as ‘fact’ through culture assimilator and role playing; and (3) immersion approaches which are in-depth methods covering a broad range of topic and methods like field experiments and sensitivity training. In 1983, Intel launched its intercultural
some countries like France and Japan are very keen to use their national language instead of English.training program offered in five areas which are intercultural awareness. government and market. Expatriates need to modify his managerial style accordingly based on the country of assignment (Torbiorn. Anecdotal evidence suggests that in some firms pre-departure training may not be provided to TCNs being transfer to another subsidiary. Besides development of cross-cultural awareness. It can also serves as part of the selection decision and for assignee (and spouse) to make more informed decision about accepting the international assignment. and on assignment career support (Dual-career policy) for expatriate’s spouse. An expatriate fluent in the parent-country language and host-country language can become language nodes or perform a gate-keeping role while HCN need to train for corporate language. The cross-cultural training and language training will enhance the expatriate’s ability to train and interact effectively with HCN. one must develop their ability to know when to seek additional cultural-specific information/support and training should be more oriented to life-long program than ‘one-shot’ program with an area-specific focus. and for HCNs transferred into . Language ability and training are not considering in the selection process and predeparture training as English is the dominant role (Tung. Practical assistance helps in providing information that assists in relocation. However. Many MNEs have take advantages of relocation specialist/consultant to provide this practice assistance. Expatriates often find themselves training HCNs as their replacements. training for training role is necessary for expatriates. job hunting assistance. 1985). For instances. Black (1990) points out that expatriate community as a support mechanism with information and advice to facilitate cross-cultural adjustment. expatriate’s effectiveness and negotiating ability (Baliga and Baker. It can also assist expatriates and families gain access to new social support structures outside of work and the expatriate community. Therefore. 1987). understanding the concepts on which leadership style will be most effective and consistent with the culture of the hostcountry need to be included during the selection and training. assistance in finding suitable accommodation and schooling for children. 1982). Therefore. intra-company employment. some MNEs also provided Family-friendly policies like inter-company networking (Joint-venture partner). Hofstede’s power distance index tends to be a determinant of the leadership styles of international managers (Tung. Besides that. Knowledge of host-country language can improve manager’s access to information of the host-country’s economy. cultural-specific training. 1985). multicultural integration. training for international assignments and intact-team training. Preliminary visit to host country helps enhance pre-departure preparation and to introduce expatriate candidates to the business context in the host location.
Hence. 1998). Mentor should ensure that the expatriate is not forgotten when important decisions are made as to avoid the situation where the expatriate “goes native” thus causing a possible shift in allegiance between the host culture and headquarters. they may be promoted to senior position and continue to act as convenient contact between headquarters and subsidiaries which operate in the same local language. Successful assignments begin with repatriation planning at the time of expatriation (Latta. 1999). project-based assignments or for management development purpose. thus falling outside the ambit of the HR function. For those successful expatriates. Furthermore. However. Expatriates anticipate a lack of attractive positions to return to in the home-country and seek out better opportunities outside their company (GMAC global survey. responsibility and autonomy on returning to the home country (Johnston 1991). counseling workshops and career . The two most important issues for repatriation programs are career planning and ‘reverse back shock’ (Hammer et al. The distribution of company newsletters to staff abroad or announcement that provided information to expatriates indicates a willingness to include them in the activities of the company. and acclimatized to host-country culture. company and society changes.the parent country operation. They may not be regarded as ‘genuine’ expatriate postings like PCNs. Besides that. Preparation and Re-entry training such as counseling workshops and career development consultations proved useful in the adjustment process (Sievers 1998). families’ adjustment. as they are often short-term. financial and tax assistance. It appears from the research that the major cause of difficulty in reintegrating is the expatriate’s perceived loss of status. 1987). During assignments HR professionals should establish and coordinate a support system between the firm’s headquarters. they are struggling to cope with readjustment challenge like career anxiety. 2006). headquarters may invite the expatriate to attend some of the home training courses and other events base on training budget. re-entry position and career path assistance (and spouse) as mentioned in pre-departure culture. stress management and communication-related training should be provided for repatriation process. senior expatriate managers. Post-assignments One of the hidden costs linked with expatriation is the inability to retain the expatriate upon return to the home country (Black et al. Mentor has also played an important role in training expatriate for repatriation process by discussing career development issues during the assignment and preparing the new job assignments. and newly expatriated managers (Mendenhall. 1997). Superior-subordinate relationship or mentor system has kept the expatriate up to date with home-country developments. pre-departure training for non-traditional expatriate assignments should be provided by using CD-based and Web-based cross-cultural program. physical relocation or practical assistance. But for those who failed and most of the successful expatriates.
1977). The expected outcomes are management development where MNEs have a pool of experienced international operators to draw for future international assignments while individual gain international experience for career advancement. Ehud & Yoram (1978) point out that attention should be paid on choosing the most suitable training contents and applying the most effective training method. From individual development. supports. and encouraging diverse inputs into decisions. Also. ones may learn the leadership skills and highly motivated to reflect employee motivations to ensure the individual’s peak performance for the organization. Peterson (2003) found that western-based multinationals operating in Central and Eastern Europe were increasing the use of TCN and HCN expat transfers as a way of widening the ‘corporate talent pool’ Conclusion Numerous international literatures has emphasized on the training of expatriates. the time between selection and departure normally was too short to conduct a very comprehensive training. a way of developing a global perspective. to his country as an ambassador. organizational learning and the transfer of knowledge. training and development. International teams can be formed from those who have had international experience. Expatriate bears a responsible role to his company as an employee. and repatriation process are essential for the successful of expatriates. While Scullion (1992) saying that training and development programmes for local managers must be culturally adapted to local conditions’. However. skills and abilities for future growth from international assignments. Developing staff through international assignments International assignments have long been recognized as an important mechanism for developing international expertise. appropriate approaches for recruitment and selection. A global mindset for key personnel takes a broader view is an important side of benefit. Multinational would benefit from using international team as a mechanism for fostering innovation. preparation. organizational development where MNEs accumulating stock of knowledge. how effective of those training to produce successful expatriates as there is an argument saying that what work for one may not work for another. . and to the host country as a temporary citizen (Cohen. problem solving and strategic assessments.development consultations for re-entry training should be continuing until they are adapted to the home-country. shared values. Therefore.
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