Expatriates and Repatriates

DR. Tanusree Chakraborty

Who is an Expatriate?
An expatriate is someone who has chosen to live in a country other than the one in which he or she legally resides.

The word expatriate comes from the Latin ex meaning ´out ofµ, and patria meaning ´countryµ.

Who is an Expatriate?
An expatriate is different than an immigrant in that most expatriates do not plan on residing in their new country permanently, and if they do, they plan on retaining their native citizenship for practical purposes. Immigrants, by contrast, usually plan on residing permanently in a new country and acquiring permanent citizenship there.

.Inpatriates Hill (2005. p. 623) defines inpatriates as being 'expatriates who are citizens of a foreign country working in the home country of their multinational employer'.

Managing an International Subsidiary Ethnocentric Approach  Top management and key positions filled by people from home country Polycentric Approach  International subsidiaries managed/staffed by personnel from host country Geocentric Approach  Nationality deliberately downplayed  Firm searches worldwide or regionally to hire best people to fill key positions .

Use of Expatriates Use of expatriates increases when: Poor or insufficient local talent There is a need to ensure a strong corporate-wide vision (and culture). There are significant culture differences. . When domestic and foreign operations are highly interdependent. Bottom line: When the home country does not TRUST the abilities and/or intentions of local labour force.

PHASES Honeymoon Phase Negotiation Phase Adjustment Phase Mastery Phase .Culture Shock Culture shock is the difficulty people have adjusting to a new culture that differs markedly from their own.

.Reverse Culture Shock Reverse Culture Shock ("Re-entry Shock". The affected person often finds this more surprising and difficult to deal with than the original culture shock. or "own culture shock´) may take place ³ returning to one's home culture after growing accustomed to a new one. This results from the psychosomatic and psychological consequences of the readjustment process to the primary culture.

resulting in frustration and poor cooperation abroad.Use of Expatriates Why do International Assignments Fail? Career blockage (´the home office has forgotten about meµ) Culture Shock. due to poor adjustment and/or lack of contact if family is left behind. . Family problems.

Use of Expatriates Why do International Assignments Fail? (con·t) Over-emphasis on technical qualifications. . Getting rid of a problem employee.

Selecting the Expatriate Manager Factors associated with expatriate failure: Uncertain technical competency Weak language skills Unsure about going overseas Family problems Low spouse support Behavioral rigidity Inability to adapt Poor relational ability Weak stress management skills 11 .

Use of Expatriates Difficulties upon Return Home 20-40% of repatriates quit after returning home. Why?  Lack of respect for acquired skills/knowledge  Loss of status  Poor planning for return position  Reverse culture shock .

. Require previous international experience (pay attention to specific country worked in).Use of Expatriates The Role of HRM Selection Provide realistic country preview. Measure ability to be sensitive to different cultures and/or comfort with specific foreign country·s culture. Have successful expatriates make the selection decisions. Assess family·s willingness to live or work abroad.

which can address: Major cultural differences Foreign expectations regarding polite behaviour Foreign expectations regarding business behaviour How to avoid feeling insulted when no insult is made Video and role-play approaches to training delivery are critical for cross-cultural training. .Use of Expatriates The Role of HRM Training Cross-cultural training.

Ensure pay equity within foreign facilities. Provide incentive to work abroad (bonus. pay increase).Use of Expatriates The Role of HRM Career Development Ensure expatriates know that an international assignment helps in terms of advancement within the firm Compensation Disposable income abroad should be the same (if not more) than what is given at home. .

Key Expatriate Success Factors Professional/technical competence Relational abilities Motivation Family situation Language skills Willingness to accept position .

Selecting the Expatriate Manager Factors associated with expatriate success: Good technical and language skills Strong desire to work overseas Specific knowledge of overseas culture Well-adjusted family situation Complete support of spouse Behavioral flexibility Adaptability and open-mindedness Good relational ability Good stress management skills 17 .

Priority Of Success Factors Depends on : ‡ assignment length ‡ cultural distance ‡ amount of required interaction with local people ‡ job complexity/responsibility .

Strategies For Successful Repatriation Provide: A strategic purpose for repatriation A team to aid the expatriate Home country information sources Training and preparation for the return Support for expatriate and family .

Re-entry Expatriation process also includes repatriation: the activity of bringing the expatriate back to the home country Re-entry presents new challenges  May experience re-entry shock  Some exit the company .

Figure 7-1: Expatriation includes repatriation .

Figure 7-2: The repatriation process .

Repatriation phases Preparation .developing plans for the future. gathering information about the new position Physical relocation Transition Readjustment .coping with change .

Individual reactions: job-related Career anxiety  No post-assignment guarantee of employment  Loss of visibility and isolation  Changes in the home workplace Work adjustment  The employment relationship and career expectation  Re-entry position  Devaluing of international experience Coping with new role demands Loss of status and pay .

Figure 7-4: The readjustment challenge .

Kingpin syndrome) Each family member undergoing readjustment Re-establishing social networks can be difficult Effect on partner·s career .Individual Reactions: Social Factors International experience can distance the repatriate (and family) socially and psychologically (eg.

Table 7-1: Topics covered by a repatriation program .

Repatriation Problems Study of repatriated employees found that:  60-70% didn·t know what their position would be when they return home  60% said their firm was vague about repatriation and future career progression  77% took lower-level jobs in their firm  15% left their firm within one year  40% left their firm within 3 years .

¶out-of-mind· feeling by keeping expatriate informed Mentor should ensure that the expatriate is not forgotten when important decisions are made re positions and promotions Effective mentoring needs managing .The Use of Mentors Aims to alleviate the ¶out-of-sight.

out of mindµ syndrome  Organizational changes  Technological advances  Adjusting to the new job back home .Repatriation of Expatriates Reasons for returning to home country  Most expatriates return home from overseas assignments when their formally agreed-on tour of duty is over  Some want their children educated in a home-country school  Some are not happy in their overseas assignment  Some return because they failed to do a good job Readjustment problems  ´Out of sight.

Repatriation of Expatriates Transition strategies  Repatriation Agreements Firm agrees with individual how long she or he will be posted overseas and promises to give the individual. a job that is mutually acceptable  Some of the main problems of repatriation include: Adjusting to life back home Facing a financial package that is not as good as that overseas Having less autonomy in the stateside job than in the overseas position Not receiving any career counseling from the company . on return.

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