In the first article titled “Developing an effective repatriation strategy for MNC: A model and tools for international human resource management”, the authors explore the rather forgotten aspect of repatriates. This is a specific targeting the area of international human resource management. According to the authors, repatriated employees have not received the focus they should especially about their full inclusion into the companies.
As such, expatriates have suffered on various fronts, ranging from the emotional disharmony to the general loss of contact to the company. The authors fault the fact that multinational companies have not been able to come up with policies and procedures to support these expatriates. They point out that these companies fail to accommodate the expatriates just as they fail to recognize the existence of this category of employees. They also point out the fact that companies have the responsibility to provide support services for their expatriate employees (Chew, 2008).
The second article titled “Analyzing International Trade Patterns: Comparative Advantage for the worlds major Economies” focuses on the relationship between comparative advantage and other comparative factors in relation to the overall benefit obtained from having such an advantage by a country. The authors go ahead to analyze the comparative advantage of the major economies in the world. They bring out the single most important contributor to these countries’ high development as having its roots in the fact that they have succeeded in achieving high exports.
The author brings out the fact that these countries put together, comprise over 80% of the global exports in terms of manufacturing products. According to the author, the achievement of high production of goods by these countries has in the end meant the cost of production has reduced. The high exports and resultant cost reductions on goods, makes such countries stronger economically and puts them above other countries. The first article brings into focus some forgotten but very relevant issues on expatriates.
Indeed it is estimated that over 20% of the people working in most industries in developed countries are expatriates. The lack of strategies towards the full integration of such people has meant a great deal of discomfort to them. Mead (2005) agrees that there are issues applying to expatriates that need to be specifically addressed by policy makers. It is the mandate of the human resource department in companies to come up with strategies to absorb them. There are many benefits that accrue to a company that is able to employ expatriates.
Apart from the special technical interests that they may bring to the company, they can also help the company in setting its global focus (Goderham, 2003). This can come in the areas of new markets or new global marketing fronts. As such it is of value that companies really think in terms of integrating such employees. The adoption process of such people however ought to be guided by policy and a development of strategies fully targeting them. The setting in motion of this process is informed by four major steps that the companies have to take.
Indeed if companies were able to follow the four steps, they would benefit a lot from this category of employees. The first thing that companies have to do is to develop a policy. This should be a duty to be aggressively undertaken by the human resource departments of the companies. Companies have the mandate to come up with the policies that are aimed at integrating, supporting and hence adopting their expatriate employees. The second thing that should be done is the setting up of an agreement.
This is in view to the fact that the difficulties and poor conditions of working encountered by the expatriate workers may not be similar to those experienced by the other category of workers. As such there should be a collaborative effort between the expatriates and the companies to ensure the terms are supportive to the expatriates present conditions and restrictions. The third thing is that companies should aggressively undertake efforts towards the development of an internal program aimed at monitoring issues on expatriate employees.
Such a program should have the capacity to monitor the implementation of the strategies targeting expatriates. There should be a continuous process program (Goderham, 2003). The establishment of such a program should be finalized by the setting up of the necessary tools to evaluate its achievement of the objectives in helping the expatriates become fully integrated. The second article brings into focus another issue different from the first. The focus of this second article is on the idea of competitive advantage of countries.
Indeed it is the main focus in many countries today as they strategize towards becoming great economic powers. The real concept communicated is that with an increased focus on exports much can be achieved. The focus on exports as a tool towards economic boost of a country is an old strategy. It is the main strategy behind the idea of mercantilism as used by the British. They knew that when they exported more and imported less, it would go a long way in making their economy grow. As such they sought to acquire more colonies as exclusive markets for their product.
This dimension towards export, in the end ensures more benefits and a strong economy. The principle behind the idea of mercantilism is used by many developed economies in the world. They seek to export more and import less. This has in the end made them stronger economies. To understand the real impact from the exports towards boosting a country’s economy, there is need to understand three fundamental concepts and how these concepts interact to achieve what is called a country’s competitive advantage. These concepts are the relative costs, cost ratios and the absolute advantage.
There is need to focus on these factors individually. Relative costs are those obtained in the comparison of the cost of an item against other items in the same country. This comparison in ratio terms is what gives us the cost ratio. The cost ratio is what can then be compared to the other countries to get a country’s absolute advantage. Absolute advantage itself is a factor indicative of a fall in production costs. The benefits of less production costs, usually trickle down to the economy and is what is felt as the boosts in a country’s economy (Ram, 2008).
The idea of production costs going down is itself indicative that a country was producing and selling more. This directly points to exports. But to achieve large export sells, a country and its products must be able to fair considerably well compared against its competitors. This brings into focus the issue of competitive advantage and the underlying issues. The focus now is on how to be more competitive than the other, in this global economy. The answer here is this, that, the most innovative country will achieve more exports and hence better lives for its citizens.