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UNIVERSITY OF BELGRADE

,

FACULTY OF ORGANIZATIONAL SCIENCES

MIDDLESEX UNIVERSITY LONDON

DISSERTATION PROPOSAL

DESIGNING PRE DEPARTURE
TRAININGPROGRAMS AS MEANS OF
PREVENTING EXPATRIATE FAILURE

Mentor: Student:

Jelena Anđelković – Labrović PhD Goran Kostadinovski Full Professor
2014/4018

Belgrade

The purpose is to explain the steps that the modern human resources team should undertake so they can find the best possible ways of managing the international assignees and prevent the risk of failure through designing and implementation of adequate pre- departure training programs. Also.Labrović Surname Title of Master Thesis Designing pre departure training programs as means of preventing expatriate failure This paper explores the different methods and roles of correctly designed pre-departure training programs as means of preventing expatriate failure. The expatriates are sensitive group that is facing many challenges regarding the new environment and culture. the most common reasons for expatriate failure through qualitative research will be defined. 1 . In this paper the role of the properly designed pre- departure training programs and the importance of its proper implementation will be explained.DISSERTATION PROPOSAL Name and Surname GoranKostadinovski Index number 2014/4018 Module Master.International Business Management Mentor’s Name and PhD Professor Jelena Anđelković . Based on the results of the study and all of the relevant literature to the matter regarded the best possible ways of preventing expatriate failure through designing adequate pre-departure training programs will be suggested. With such high rise in expatriates there comes the SUMMARY need for skilled IHRM to face the challenges when managing these groups of employees. Nowadays the globalization process has created many challenges for the MNCs. The aim of this paper is to understand the most common reasons for expatriate failure. In regard to these factors many of the MNCs are facing high rate of expatriate failure. Many of the MNCs are facing the challenges of sending expatriates to different subsidiaries in order for them to be managed properly in the early stages.

Generally speaking.INTRODUCTION Designing pre-departure training programs became very important step when talking about expatriate success. preparations and pre-departure training in order to minimize the poor performance of expatiates and therefore and avoid any direct or indirect costs. practices and know-how. In these times. therefore. there is a high expatriate failure rate noted among MNCs. they carefully review all the factors that may prevent expatriate failure. Multinational Companies (MNCs) are aware of the important role International Human Resource Management (IHRM) has regarding expatriates and their success/failure. the our definition of IHRM covers a wide range of human resource issues facing MNEs in different parts of their organizations. in this paper we will try to identify the factors that affect expatriates and their poor performance will be identified and also make a review of all the existing methods and practices used in order to provide a critical analysis will be made to see what is the best way to prevent expatriate failure through designing adequate pre-departure training. An expatriate is and employee who is working and temporarily residing in a foreign country (Dowling. HRM refers to those activities undertaken by an organization to effectively utilize its human resources (Dowling. 2013) In the first stages of opening subsidiaries abroad an expatriate must be sent to the branch in order to insure proper implementation of company policies. On the other hand. Nowadays.. Festing and Engle. Festing and Engle. Sending an expatriate abroad requires proper selection. 2 . In this paper we will use the term Expatriatethe term “expatriate” will be used when regarding to all international assignees. IHRM has been defined by many authors but Stahl. 2013). Hence. Bj öorkman and Morris define the field of IHRM as follows: We define Tthe field of IHRM is defined broadly to cover all issues related to managing the global workforce and its contribution to firm outcomes. Further on. therefore home country nationals (HCNs) must be involved in the process. Engaging local employees from the early start can be difficult.

Zeira&Banai. Tung. 1988. multinational transfers and five percent of Japanese multinational transfers are failures (qtd. 1990) and there is a high failure rate among expatriates (Black. Second of all. M. we will take steps will be taken in order to recommend and create a proper pre-departure training program that human resource team should implement when managing international assignees. managing expatriates in a global environment is a demanding and complex process and most of the MNEs are finding it really important because it has a notable effect on their overall success.. Tung (1987) estimates that five percent of European multinational transfers. Mendenhall &Oddou. Phases of selection and recruitment will be briefly explained and the focus will be on the design of the pre-departure training program as means of preventing expatriate failure. PROBLEM IDENTIFICATION In the dissertation there are three main theses. thirty percent of U. based on all the relevant information and knowledge. It will be seen We will see how the IHRM is coping with the demanding global environment and what are the most common techniques used to achieve their goals. 1981. we need to review all the relevant literature and studies will be reviewed. in Martinko. Douglas S. Finally. 1988. C. we need to identify and understand the most common reasons for expatriate failure will be identified. 1999. We are going to examine the expatriates and the factors that are affecting their success abroad. 1985). 1987. all of the theses have their pros and cons and therefore we willthey will briefly be explained them now and later on they will be elaborated in detail. Culture and expatriate failure: An Attritional Explication).OVERVIEW OF THE COMPANY AND MARKET RESEARCH In this paper the factors that affect expatriate success abroad will be examined. 1989.. J. This subject is important We are choosing this subject because. In these times many companies are finding it hard to avoid the expatriate failure and the rates are still high. Of course. 1988. The research made so far indicates that international assignees are often viewed in a negative way by host cultures (Nicholson at al. In the Master Dissertation the existing ways of lowering down this rates will be presented. Black & Stephens. 3 . 1985.S. First of all.

3) other family concerns – forty percent. Are the existing pre-departure training programs suitable and implemented correctly? 6. Different people and situations demand different treatment. What are the most common reasons for expatriate failure? 4. therefore the pre-departure training programs that are designed cannot apply to every expatriate. cultural training plays a crucial role (Blohm& Flower. More precisely. 4 . We will analyze allAll of the relevant research made so far will be analyzed in order to gain a better view of the situation given. the research questions focusedwe will focus on are: 1. 2)inability to adapt – forty seven percent. 1994). but in this paper the our main concern will be designing proper pre-departure training. Many recent studies emphasize the importance of selection in the process of choosing the adequate candidate and we confirmit will be confirmed it is an important step of course. 4) poor candidate selection – thirty nine percent. 2004) and it enables expatriates to adapt to the environment faster and makes the international assignees more effective in their new roles (Dowling. For example.emphasized. Other studies have also shown that the family plays a crucial role in expatriate success. Is it possible to improve the existing theories with new findings? All the questions above will be in detail elaborated in the Master Dissertation. That is why. Several authors have presented different factors that are affecting international assignees and they have created different methodology in order to properly prepare them to avoid bad effects of those factors and succeed. It is important to emphasize that not everyone is the same and also not every situation is the same. One of the first studies considering the reasons for expatriate failure has been made by Tung who mentioned the family’s (partner/spouse) inability to adapt as one of the most important reasons for expatriate’s failure. also an example of practices we will give examples of practices that would support these claims will be given. Why is there such a high need for expatriates in the first place? 2. What exists in the current literature regarding training expatriates? 5. as follows: 1) spouse/partner dissatisfaction – sixty five percent. RESEARCH QUESTIONS/ RESEARCH OBJECTIVES We want to find outIn this paper it will be shown what are the main factors which are influencing the expatriate failure and in the process we want to emphasize the great importance of designing adequate pre-departure training will be . Schuler & Welch. The Brookfield study reports four major reasons for expatriate failure. Why is there such a high rate of expatriate failure? 3. designing a particular pre-departure training program is core for expatriate success.

Furthermore. All of the data relates to reasons of expatriate failure and training and that date is an indicator of this research in order for us to prove the point initially made while using methodology indicated. real life case studies helped scope theour research and objectives. literature review is based on the relevant books. This study is expected to present how the properly designed pre-departure training will affect the rates of expatriate failure. results and findings will be established and analyzede them all. LITERATURE REVIEW In this case. This paper will also analyze models and frameworks which mostly include selection and training but as previously noted the emphasis will be on we will emphasize the training process. literature review. The focus will primarily be on the problem presented in Master Dissertation and an attempt will be made towe will try to analyze. articles. After the completion of gathering the data. therefore we will establish specific objectives and questions. In writing the Master Dissertation there will be a combination of theory and literature and also real life case studies. research methods.RESEARCH METHODS We will do aA research that will link the theoretical part of designing pre-departure training programs with all the studies regarding the reasons of expatriate failure will be conducted. journals and reports related to the field of expatriate failure and designing of proper pre-departure training programs. an explicit point will be made regarding the proper pre-departure training programs and also the way they are implemented. describe and incorporate the recognition of the research problem. Methodologically. We will try to make In this paper even better understanding of the existing theory will be made and an we will also investigatione of how of a big role pre-departure training has related to expatriate failure will be done. we will conduct analysis will be conducted in order to suggest the best possible way to design and implement a pre-departure training program that will minimize and hopefully prevent expatriate failure. 5 .

T. Evas. D. expatriates and their roles. the most important literature concerns: ... time and cooperation availability of the relevant staff. M. V. (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. Regarding the ethical issue. and Engle A..SR. the our conclusion is based on the assumptions from the review of the already existing literature and from the practical point of view there is no availability to access MNCs in order to make private research because of the expenses. Vernon. 6 .. Dowling. Rees. (Pearson Education Limited. However. 2013) . P. selection process and pre-departure training programs. International Human Resource Management. 2011) .. E. Inc. I. Sparrow. USA. Also an important thing to state is that repatriation of the expatriates is not incorporated in theour research and that is why the focus is mainlywe mainly focused on the expatriates. (McGraw – Hill Companies. 6th ed. Pucik. Inc. 3rd ed.. P. Houldsworth.. Edwards. we reviewed some of the most important literature and theories have been reviewed that in our opinion are relevant to the matter. International Human Resource Management: Globalization.. National Systems and Multinational Companies. 2nd ed.. C. The Global Challenge: International Human Resource Management.. C. 2nd ed. G. Brewster. H. In the thesis the idea is on the concept of the IHRM. International Human Resource Management.. M. theirs selection and the pre-departure training part.. J. P.. Tayeb. International Human Resource Management: A Multinational Company Perspective (Oxford University Press. 2005) . Björkman.. Therefore. 2011) PRACTICAL AND ETHICAL ISSUES This research paper has its own limitations due to the availability to carry out a more deep research regarded to the subject of the thesis in the already existing literature. 2011) . (Cengage Learning EMEA. New York. Festing.

04. reports and magazines related to latest findings in the relevant research field.2016 research and analyses.2016 scientific journals referring expatriates.04. relevant studies.1404.2016 10.0625. Reviewing and presenting existing methods and 0624.2015 failure 3.054.2820.065.2016 - 1202.065.2016 4.06.2016 - 0524. giving the proper guidance and recommendations for future research in this area.054.2016 - researching 1330.2016 - solutions for preventing expatriate failure 1028.065. selection process.065. IHRM. 2.05.05.2016 . Determination of questions and objectives and 2511. reasons for expatriate failure.2016 7.04.065. Collection and analysis of relevant literature and 0505. Reviewing relevant case studies 0219.2016 - 2511.065.054. Presentation and explanation of methods for 0625.2016 9. Explanation of the issues regarding to expatriate 280. 7 . existing pre-departure training programs. Drafting Dissertation proposal 0219.06. Interpretation of results 1028.2016 5.RESEARCH PLAN An overview of activities plan is given in the table below: Number Activities Time Required 1.06.2016 - contribution of the paper 0118.2016 .065. Making general conclusion of the performed 1202.2016.2016 6.2016 8. Literature review and identification 1330.054.

R. E. Stahl. USA: Wadsworth Publishing 8 . & Landis. International Dimensions of Human Resource Management (2nd ed. S.2016 REFERENCES: 1. 2012).. & Welch. Thousand Oaks (USA): Sage. 3 (July). J. G. 25. pp. 37-84 7. Schuler. J. R..M. 265-293 4. J. No.. D. Blohm. pp. (Cengage Learning EMEA. Dowling. L. J.. 50. I. Vol. (Cheltenham. No. 2013) 3. 2nd ed.. D. UK: Edward Elgar. The International Journal of Organizational Analysis 1999. P. pp. D. Survey Report (2010). p.1. International Human Resource Management. P. 57 – 71 5.J. M. “An Analysis of Methods For Intercultural Training” in: Bennet.M. Björkman and S. Selection and Training Procedures of US.SR. (Eds. Brookfield Global Reallocation Services (ed. Tung. p. (2004). California Management Review. (1994). Festing. M. Drafting of the final paper 1505.06.). 2. Handbook of Research in International Human Resource Management. 6. & Fowler. M. Europeans and Japanese Multinationals’. 1 (1982). S.) Handbook of Intercultural Training (3rd ed. 6th ed.) Global Relocation Trends: 2010. Dowling. Morris (eds). Vol. and Engle A.). 11. Bennet.