In our work the foreign dispatch process is examined, how far the global requirements on the resource staff are met by Bosch. The measures, Bosch developed for the choice, preparation, moving and reintegration of its employees has been examined and set against the common practice of other enterprises.
The work starts with a representation of the enterprise Bosch. The main part is a detailed representation of the measures of Bosch with respect to the four phases of the foreign dispatch. These are judged with the theory from technical literature and compared with the common practice of other enterprises. Subsequently the question is followed whether the expansion plans in the direction of the China require a customization of the staff management. Finally we draw a conclusion whether the measures of Bosch are suitable to fulfill the requirements or must be changed.
2. Bosch2.1 Historical developmentThe enterprise Bosch was set up under the name “workshop for precision engineering and electrical engineering” in Stuttgart in the year 1886 by the engineer Robert Bosch. The international orientation already started early. In 1898 they founded the first branch office in England (London). One year later they opened a dependance in France (Paris). The first branch office followed in the USA in 1906. The international development has continued until today. In 2003 75% of the manufacturing sites are outside Germany. With daughter and associated companies Bosch is present in more than 50 countries worldwide. Bosch is one of the biggest industrial enterprises in Germany today and is a global player especially in the automobile industry.
Bosch has convinced with its innovations since their foundation and has a high position in the market. In 1897 Bosch developed the first low voltage magneto ignition which firstly made the use of internal combustion engines possible. The innovation strength has remained until today; so Bosch was the first component supplier bringing innovations like ESP the anti-lock braking system anti-lock braking system, the navigation system under the names “Travelpilot” and the electronic stability system on the market.
Bosch recognized the significance of its employees for the innovation and market success early, too. In 1906 Bosch introduced the “eight hour day” when celebrating the delivery of the 100,000 sten magnet igniter. With the delivery of the 500,000 sten igniter they introduced work free Saturday afternoons.
2.2 The Bosch, group todayToday enterprise Bosch consists of the motor vehicle technology, industry technology and use and goods technology. Their core competence and most important unit is still the vehicle technology. This can be proved by regarding the sales volume. The share of this division was 65.4% in the year 2003. The sales development and its foreign share is displayed in graphic 1.
Bosch doubled the sales volume within only 10 years, from approx. 16 billion to 36 billion euros. However, the foreign share of the sales volume increased proportionally faster. From 49% in 1993 it rose up to 71% in 2003. These data underline again the strong international orientation of the company.
According to this Bosch has employees all over the world. In 2003 Bosch employed 230,000 people worldwide with a share of 54% outside of Germany.
2.3 The corporate cultureThe idea of the corporate culture is interpreted differently in the literature. Berthel defines corporate culture as follows: Corporate culture is “the sum of the moral concepts, carried a business together of the employees norms and behavior patterns this one has taken shape in the course of the time”. The philosophy of Robert Bosch stamps the corporate culture since the foundation. So he wrote in 1919: “It has always been an unbearable thought to me that someone could inspect one of my products and find it inferior . I have therefore always tried to ensure that only look for work goes out that is superior into all respects “.
In the year 2001 this culture was strengthened by the new model “Be Better Be Bosch” and the values were formulated in a written form for the first time. They initiated a modernization project called “Be QIK”. This model functions as action framework for the after stored aims and strategies:•Be QIK, Quality, innovation and Customer oriented•Be Better — improve against previous years and gain the competitive edge,•Be Bosch, committed to our vision, our tradition and of the spirit of a the company and the legacy of our founder Robert Bosch.
The enterprise therefore tries to create a global behaviorial framework, which takes over the orientation function, identification function, coordination and integration function and helps to manage the challenges of the future.
3. Foreign dispatch process at Bosch3.1 Aims of the foreign dispatchBy the assignment of highly qualified employees Bosch aims at a compensation of a lack of know-how in the respective host country. Furthermore Bosch wants to rise the cross culturel skills of their executives in order to improve the cooperation with foreign departments. Additionally it is possible for the ambitious employees to request for a dispatch in order to enhance their motivation. An important aim of foreign dispatches is finally the implementation of a worldwide corporate culture through which the communication and cooperation within the Bosch group is made easier.
3.2 Dispatch formsBosch distinguishes three dispatch forms. The business trip, the delegation as well as the transfer. The business trip with a duration of up to three months serves to establish contacts or also to conclude business on the spot. With the delegation Bosch distinguishes between the dispatch for the fulfillment of a project task or the dispatch in the context of trainee programs. The expatriate is abroad for a duration between three months and a year. If it is necessary to cover a lack of manpower a transfer is carried out. In this case the duration of the stay abroad is between one and five years. Bosch averagely dispatches their employees for three years.
3.3 Foreign dispatch processA carefully structured dispatch process is very important for Bosch to ensure the success of the foreign dispatch.
To this, at first the occupation order is prepared which contains the necessary qualifications of the employee with regard to the vacant job. The choice of a suitable candidate, the dispatch conversation and the information journey to the possible country are the next steps of the process. After this journey the employee finally decides whether he accepts the position abroad. If he agrees, the employee is prepared comprehensively for the stay abroad. Then the moving to the foreign country takes place. After the job completion the employee is reintegrated. The individual phases of the foreign dispatch process are explained in the following more precisely.
3.3.1 Choice188.8.131.52 Theoretical bases and enterprise practiceThe best liability for a success of foreign dispatch can still be seen in the right choice of the employees to be sent. This should include technical criteria, behavior-related criteria, intercultural environment-related criteria as well as personal criteria. When choosing a suitable dispatch candidate enterprises often orientate at technical performances. However, empirical examinations show, that competences or-related behavior and-related intercultural environment abilities for the cultural customization have a greater influence on the success of the foreign activity. Other surveys from the 1990s confirm that individual performance features are in the foreground at the choice. In addition, they show that the family is hardly co-included in the decision. An interview under Expatriates points, that the well-being plays the family an important role for the professional success.
184.108.40.206 Choice at BoschBosch has recognized the importance of extra-technical criteria for the choice of a suitable dispatch candidate. Besides the career potential, which are investigated by the employee development instruments (see chapter 2.2), features like team and communication ability or representation of the Bosch culture are co-included in the decision. The latter has a great importance for the support of the implementation of a worldwide corporate culture, one of the aims of the foreign dispatch.
3.3.2 Preparation220.127.116.11 Theoretical bases and enterprise practiceInstitutes specialized in further education and intercultural management distinguish between a country specific and country general as well as intellectual and experience obtained preparation.
The respective confrontation of these preparation methods shows the following classifications:•Intellectual country specific preparationPrimarily general information about the host country is mediated and language courses carried out here. Culture games are, such as the cultural assimilator training.
•Experience-related country specific preparationThe political, economic and socio-cultural conditions of the host country shall be given to the expatriate a better understanding. With the help of case studies and role plays as well as information journeys the expatriates are prepared for country and culture specifics.
•Intellectual preparationThe cultural self awareness model plays an important role in this preparation class. It assumes that it is important to remind the participant of his own stereotyped and behaviors in order to develop a sensibility for the foreign maybe strange looking cultural aspects.
•Experience-related country general preparationThis preparation method which shall enlarge the intercultural competence of the expatriates (on The job by Outdoor training, intercultural simulation games) consists of the cooperation on international teams as well as of an intercultural action training.
“Source of the success of foreign dispatches is the degree to which an expat is able to establish contacts and manages to overcome culture barriers and to find the way in the strange culture”.
The chief attention of the preparation in German and American companies lies in the technical education, the execution of a language training as well as the arrangement of general country information, though. An experience-related preparation seldom takes place. The external execution of the preparation measures is in general preferred opposite the internal one.
The family moreover is only seldomly included in the preparations although family problems belong to the most frequent reasons for the failure of foreign dispatches. After a study of the auditing company PriceWaterhouseCoopers 40% of all Expatriates return home ahead of schedule. 96% of these on impulses of the family which often doesn’t cope with the surroundings.
The final conclusion is that the size of the preparation is very small in the entrepreneurial practice.
18.104.22.168 Preparation at BoschBosch practices comprehensive preparations for both its employees and their families to ensure the success of their foreign dispatch. At the beginning of the preparation Bosch offers a information journey which is designed for employees who go abroad for longer than 12 months. Before the definite decision, Bosch gives its employees the opportunity to go to the host country with the companion of their partner. The stay lasts for two to three days, within Europe outside Europe’s approximately one week. By this “look and sea trip” the employee and his companions can get a better idea of the future place of residence. That shall prevent them from forming unrealistic expectations.
If the employee decides to accept the job offered abroad, the real preparation starts. The central HR department is responsible for the execution of the preparation transfers (ZM2). It builds a preparation plan with measures which are coordinated with the needs of the respective employee. The aim of the preparation with Bosch is the arrangement of intercultural competence. This consists of country specific knowledge, linguistic proficiency as well as cultural sensibility of the three elements together.
Country specific knowledgeThe arrangement of country specific knowledge contains information about the framework conditions of the host country. Formalities which are connected with a stay abroad are given to the Expatriates and their companions traveling along in a so-called “Bosch foreign preparation seminar”. So-called “mentors”, employees already returned home, convey information e.g. to the contract of employment or for tax regulations. By the use of mentors Bosch guarantees that experiences collected abroad are passed on and therefore used for new dispatches effectively.
Linguistic proficiencyThe knowledge of the respective national language is prerequisite for a dispatch, because it is very important for an integration in private and in working life. Bosch employees have to learn the foreign language until they reach a level that enables them to come along in working life without any problems. If they want to learn more, they also have the possibility of attaining comprehensive knowledge. The family is tied to ensure that it can find the way in daily life. The language education takes place externally and Bosch takes on the costs both for the employee and for the family. The company attaches importance to the fact that the education starts early so that the required knowledge is reached before the dispatch.
Cultural sensibilityThe cultural sensibility of the employees shall be promoted by two measures: the intercultural preparation training as well as the intercultural management training.
The intercultural preparation training has the aim of sensitizing the employee to the think and behavior patterns of the host country to make the integration into the strange cultural environment easier for him. If the training is carried out internally, so-called country teams are responsible for it. These teams consist of employees who have made experiences in the respective host country or even are from this country themselves. This five-day intercultural preparation training is offered both for the employee and for the family since this is confronted with the same integration or understanding difficulties concerning the strange culture.
This has particularly to be taken into account when thinking of the growing importance of multicultural cooperations, e.g. in the context of joint ventures or international project work.
3.3.3 MovingAt Bosch receives the Expatriate supports for the carrying out of the necessary formalities by the so-called Bosch foreign preparation seminar. When the employee finally starts his stay abroad he usually feels like on holiday. Everything is new to him and he is fascinated by his new task at the company and the new country itself. But this positive feeling often changes after a few months when the first serious problems occur. He feels helpless because he can not manage the situation in the new surrounding. This is called cultural shock.
To keep the cultural shock as low as possible, Bosch looks after his employees during their stay and helps them when problems appear. The cultural shock can never completely prevented especially if the difference between the cultures is very large. Nevertheless Bosch tries to prepare their employees by showing general culture differences so that they can deal with problems easyierly.
Furthermore Bosch offers his expatriate an intensive coaching. The employee has a mentor in the native country who is two hierarchical orders higher than himself. They meet at least once a year to talk about problems abroad or about further plans of the employee after his return to germany.
In addition, a strengths-/ weaknesses analysis is carried out to be able to comprehend the development of the employee and not lose the summary of the knowledge and abilities.
An examination of Schroll-Machl shows that the support of the Expatriates is often insufficient in the practice. Many Expatriates have the impression that their enterprise leaves them alone and it doesn’t support at problems. They must manage various difficulties at the same time. Family problems moreover aren’t taken into account in the context of the support in the practice. However, wife and children are especially confronted with greater customization difficulties than the staff member because they have more frequent contacts to the strange culture.
3.3.4. Reintegration22.214.171.124 Theoretical bases and enterprise practiceAfter the expiry of the delegation period the Expatriate returns back to the parent company. A successful reintegration of the employee is both of high entrepreneurial and financial importance.
A negative signal starts out from a failed reintegration for other parent company members. The readiness to accept an offer for a foreign activity sinks.
Furthermore the financial dimension of the complete dispatch process including the return has to be taken into account. American studies value the total costs of the foreign assignment of an employee at up to 1 millions $. In connection with this, it is surprising that only few enterprises care for the repatriation of their employees professionally. A KPMG examination from the year 2000 showed that 67% of all interviewed people who were delegated abroad said that there is need for improvement at the reintegration process of their enterprise. This criticism has to be taken seriously since problems with the reintegration have serious consequences for the Expatriate and the enterprise like e.g. a low work motivation or even the cancellation and the change to another enterprise. According to an examination of Black (1992) the share of the returnees who cancel their job within one year after their return due to integration problems is about 25%. The causes of these reintegration difficulties are multilayered. You can subdivide them into operational and private difficulties.
Operational levelThe search for a suitable position often turns out to be difficult since the HR departments can assess hardly the qualification development of the returnee during his stay abroad. In addition returnees often have exaggerated expectations and therefore are disappointed of the offered job in their home company. They often have the impression that their new skills especially about the country they spent a lot of time in are not appreciated. A study of Wirth from the year 1992 has shown that merely 30% of all enterprises evaluate the experiences of its employees after a stay abroad. Another aspect of the reintegration is the cessation of foreign raises and other privileges.
Private LevelProblems frequently appear also in the private area of the Expatriates. During their stay abroad the often only keep the positive aspects of their life in Germany in mind, the negative everyday problems appear only after the return and the first euphoria. The culture of one’s own seems alienated and it comes to the double cultural shock. Particularly the children have to suffer from the new surroundings and from the change since they have accepted the strange culture more strongly, had to leave friends and don’t cope with the German school system any more. For the expatriates and their partners it is difficult to abstain from grown fond privileges like e.g. chauffeur, domestics for themselves or a swimming pool.
126.96.36.199 Reintegration with BoschAs a company with strong international orientation Bosch has recognized the meaning of a successful reintegration of returnees and supports the reintegration of its employees with numerous measures at an operational and private level to put a positive and encouraging signal for future dispatches.
188.8.131.52.1 Measures of the operational reintegrationBosch offers a very comprehensive and strategic personnel policy which takes into account the personal ambitions of the dispatched employees and the future need for highly qualified managers. This prevents Bosch from the problem frequently appearing that no adequate place can be offered to the returnee. Due to its size Bosch is moreover able to offer alternatives in the case of an abrupted dispatch process, like e.g. early return or dissatisfaction with the return position.
As already explained different studies have shown that exaggerated experiences on the part of the returnees is the main reason for dissatisfaction with the position after the reintegration. To counteract this, Bosch regularly looks after the expatriate by a hierarchy higher mentor of the parent company. By this he keeps informed about all important developments in the company and furthermore he has contact person for career questions. Due to this permanent communication Bosch is able to get an exact idea about the situation and processes in the foreign business.
Another important aspect which fundamentally contributes to the satisfaction of the returning employee is the appreciation and the use of the abroad acquired knowledge. Bosch evaluates the foreign experiences of its expatriates very comprehensively and endeavours suggestions for improvement. Furthermore the HR department tries to find a position in which the returnee can use his new won abilities optimally. This could be e.g. a position in the sales department of the region in which the expatriate was active.
Furthermore the returnees have the opportunity to study further in order to work as an expert for the country they stayed in and prepare other employees for future dispatches. The “BeQIK” corporate culture, introduced in 2001, plays an important role for a successful reintegration. Since all subsidiary firm shall work according to the given behavioral framework, the cultural distance turns out a little bit smaller between host country and native country. Since the practical putting into action of the behavior guidelines is always subject to cultural influences, the degree of the relief should be assessed rather carefully.
184.108.40.206.2 Measures of the private reintegrationTo make the reintegration easier for the returning expatriate and his family, Bosch offers comprehensive help. They support their employees when they search for an apartment and takes on arising extra tuition costs for the children to make the integration into the German school system easier. Furthermore other Bosch employees who returned from stays abroad in the past can give advice in so called “returnee seminars” where other persons affected talk about its experiences.
4. Asia, challenge and chance”Rapidly arising markets in the Far East and Bosch takes part … “This statement of Bosch Bohr, the chairman of the area of motor vehicle technology, shows the meaning of company leaders, which will be attached to Asian and especially to the Chinese market. After a turnover growth obtained already 2003 in China of over 20%, Bosch wants to improve his presence further in the empire of the middle.
In the following sections will be analysed, which changes or requirements to the Bosch foreign dispatch will bring the future in the Asian market.
4.2 requirements on German executives in China4.2.1 The intercultural difficultiesThe clashing of different cultures, values and particularly the different styles of management and philosophies leads very frequently to difficulties in the subsidiary firms.
To notice which one is the most frequent and greatest problem that the Chinese executives have in the cooperation with German executives and vice versa, the results of a study from the year 1999 shall be illustrated, which Chinese and German manager were working in German enterprises in China.
Among the problems, which the Chinese managers have with the colleges from abroad, the most important are the communication problems, like is described in the chart above.
The culture, communication, mutual understanding and language are connected closely with each other belong to this category: due to the different culture and the language barrier no satisfactory communication takes place and therefore it doesn’t come to a mutual understanding.
In this connection the bad English knowledge of German managers and their lack of understanding of the Chinese culture will be especially found fault by Chinese colleges.
10% of the mentioning are allotted to problems of the human relations. It disturbs the Chinese executives most, that they are treated differently in comparison with the Expatriates and they don’t have much confidence in Chinese colleges.
This is the reason in their opinion that it doesn’t come to friendships between foreign and Chinese executives who are very welcome on a Chinese. The arrogance and haughtiness of the foreigners are also criticized and the lack of interest in the Chinese population.
The professional requirements are high: inside the Chinese employees are hungrily to learn the new specialized knowledge of the foreign executive and they notice very fast, weather the German executives aren’t not ready or capable in the expected scale, to give this knowledge further.
In connection with this, it is criticized that German executives prefer to work alone, they aren’t cooperative. In the Chinese working world one comes upon, however, the Explanation the Help and Assistance to each other.
By the cessation of the in the past (before the open-door policy of China) usual lifelong job in the same enterprise and the fact that one can be discontinued because of a bad performance a considerable pressure is triggered to do well the work and this can have discouraging influence on the employees. There is the high burden of work which lets few leisure time as well as time for the own family.
General Manager have variously and very far scattered breadth of the answers without the number of the mentioning being different from each other fundamentally on the part of the foreign ones. Any problem is emerging as dominate. Problems are most frequently mentioned are in the areas of communication, labour organization, qualification and management.
The general managers from abroad find some problems with their Chinese executives not only in the area of the communication. For example they don’t seem to be able to solve their problems with a better communication. However the understanding stands for the Chinese executives, at first place and the lack of communication is also becoming responsibly for many difficulties in the company.
4.2.2 Cultural distinction and integrationThe culture isn’t reflected only in politics and in the everyday life, (i.e. in the social and consume behaviour) but it also influences the business methods, the management behaviour and the relations of employees and employers.
In the following section are discussed certain general Asian culture features and their implications for the staff management .
Group identity versus individual identityTian xia Wei gong: “Everything serves the community under the sky”. So there is a Chinese proverb from the old days which has validity today certainly too. The individual never was in the foreground but always, the community within the particular represents a tiny member.
This specific and deeply rooted feature has important implications for the staff management: So the individual recognition (punishment) should be carried out in private, the team’s recognition should be carried out barefaced.
Conflict avoidanceMost cultures of Asia avoid systematically the open conflict holding.
The avoidance of open conflicts is in a close connection with the Confucianism. Straight criticism and open contradiction are accompanied by the danger to lose face and fall to the social trifle.
Keeping faceMost Asian societies are settled by the principle of the disgrace (the public humiliation) not by the principle of guiltiness (feeling of individual responsibility, conscience). The concept of the saving face is comprehensively valid, characterizes every human relation and is very important for the staff management since it forbids the public humiliation of employees.
Respect opposite to higher-ranking and oldRespect, restraint and modesty are part of the etiquette in the Asian culture room generally. Hierarchies have a more important role (often according to old, rank and sex) than in Germany. The formal authority isn’t called into question; this is part of the harmony commandment.
However, one shouldn’t put the Asian respect before the authority absolutely. A bad supervisor is also criticized in Asia and will be corrected though indirect: by pressure on third party, anonymous letters, passive behaviour and resistance, which are disguised with excuses or by frequent illness or really irrational behaviours, like panic bouts.
The re-registration is frequently encoded. So the western manager must learn how indirect signals of the discontent should be decoded or interpreted.
The respect of the age is one of the basic concepts of a Confucian intellect. The Age doesn’t make only wise but gives a natural authority. Seniority and hierarchy thinking still established tightly in the heads of the Chinese managers. Foreign companies are smitten with the distinguishing between respect of certain hierarchies and the necessity of the support managers who render the corresponding service but don’t have the right age yet. In order to be accepted a younger manager must be more competent than an old one.
GuanxiGuanxi has to be translated by the following expression “personal relations and connections”. It plays a large role in China in all areas of the life; it works as “sesame-open you” when required because clear and codified jurisdiction doesn’t have any tradition, relations are solution key for all problems.
Western Managers should pay more attention to “Guanxi” if they want to succeed in china.
4.2.3 Recruitment and motivation of local workersThe recruitment of highly qualified staff and the tie of won workers with the enterprise are a big problem area with which many foreign businesses are confronted in China. These phenomena shall be represented here only briefly since a detailed description would blow up the frame of this work.
Recruitment of local workersThe absence of qualified personal is responsibly for the high fluctuation. More and more enterprises try to find Chinese university graduates who are trained in Germany for the business in china.
Motivation of local workersIf one has found local executives, one must be able to keep it because the high fluctuation is connected to high costs.
Different instruments can contribute to soothe or to overcome the staff bottleneck. These are e.g. the image-building (charitable events), the training (further education possibilities have a high place value) as well as a solid and long-term career promotion strategy. For young highly qualified stuff, a good salary and promotion chances are decisive for staying in the enterprise.
4.3 Optimization/customization of the dispatch process for/to ChinaIf one carries now out an optimization of the foreign dispatch process with Bosch to the employee-employer relationships in China against the background of the executed Asian culture features and criticisms of the Chinese Manager of their German colleagues and colleagues, then the following implications are the result:As a rule, an intercultural preparation takes place. No reason is seen for preparations for the Chinese executives in most enterprises. It will hold the assumption that the Chinese executives must adapt to the western behaviour patterns and methods of working.
A common intercultural training is, however, absolutely essential in China for the following reasons:The great difficulties which arise from the lack of mutual understanding, are in a close connection with the knowledge about the respecting other culture, the action sample and moral concepts, but also its enterprise philosophies and styles of management.
An intercultural seminar can make considerably, behind certain behaviour which explanations and which roots suit to an executive. It doesn’t prevent the appearance of problems but it offers to possibilities of reacting specifically and developing common action strategies.
Furthermore a Chinese executive can for example be made familiar with the German culture as follows: by consignments to the German parent company, international stays, participation in international management courses of Chinese universities or in business Schools.
Also for partner and children problems arise in the context of a longer stay abroad. Acceptable solutions must therefore be found also for the family.
It is often impossible just in the pacific space to solve the language problems satisfactorily what a far-reaching isolation of the marriage partner and the children can cause with negative family consequences. Therefore the language standard should correspond to that one of the Expatriate which enjoys an education on the standard of the easy communication in the work everyday life.
Despite good preparations for marriage partner and if necessary children problems often arise of the cultural integration and problems at school. For the better integration contacts to partners of other Expatriates should be organized.
The possibility of working abroad is very important for the partner who accompanies the Expatriate abroad. An intensive cooperation with other enterprises on the spot would be necessary to realize the professional way of expatriate’s wife in China. If no place can be found, the possibility should be offered for a further training for the meaningful use of the “timeout” such as a master course of studies.
4.4 Bosch measures for ChinaAll preparatory training is evacuated to the IFIM, the institute for intercultural management in Bad Honnef, since Bosch internal country speakers are specialized in European countries till now.
The information journey which shall convey an impression to the Expatriate over its potential future place of work can be extended by max. two days. Another prolongation isn’t granted since the employees/inside activities are used at home and every longer stay also more costs for Bosch meant for hers.
The language education is carried out in a 5-week language course at the national language institute NRW in Bochum for which the future Expatriate is put by its work activity completely freely.
In the 2 annual cycle the personnel officer the ZM2 accompanies a potential Expatriate on an information journey and this one checks life and employee-employer relationships on the spot.
Although Bosch mediates e.g. alone for the partner, however give up many arrangements, not at the job search because of the language requirements. As a rule, Bosch can arrange a job for 5% of the partners.
To subsume it, this yields no big changes in the dispatch process especially for China. Professional external help is used regarding the training, one otherwise orientates himself at the worldwide valid dispatch process.
5. ConclusionThe Bosch group is a worldwide active enterprise that on the international markets, special it would like to be present on the Asian market in future. This strategy makes high demands on the staff since intercultural understanding is increasingly important besides technical qualities. International employee use represents a central instrument of the staff development. According to the high importance the dispatch process is organized very professionally by Bosch in all four phases (choice, preparation, moving, and repatriation). This enormous effort beats itself in very low withdrawal rate, these are only 1-2 % in Bosch and lie under the reference values of other enterprises thus considerably.
A possible disadvantage of the time intensive preparatory phase which lasts for at least 10 weeks is the lack of flexibility. Short-term manpower requirements due to problems, like e.g. demolition of a stay abroad or illness of a manager cannot be covered with the usual staff practice in Bosch.
The preparation measures of Bosch seem very well suitable also for the dispatch to China, a stronger focus on the language education of the family and the social should be put as well as professional integration of the partner. In order to make an improved cooperation possible of the Expatriates on the spot, a common intercultural training is advisable with the Chinese colleagues.
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