Sundry Issues Essay
The present paper wishes to present some of the issues that are involved in the recruitment and selection of expatriates for multinational companies. It is necessary that the management of companies be strongly aware of these issues to be able to deploy the appropriate, qualified personnel for critical offshore assignments. One of the key issues that ought to be considered in the recruitment and selection of expatriates is their capacity to adjust effectually to the role.
This means that they should be willing and able to learn about the pecualirities of the culture to which they would be deployed, including the traits of power distance, masculinity, human orientation, achievement, and future orientation. Another issue is their willingness to undergo expatriation training. Their mother companies and satellite offices ought to provide the infrastructure for such training but the candidates for expatriation must have the unique task and people skills that will make them effective in their offshore assignments.
Expatriate candidates must also adjust effectively to their new living conditions, and learn as much as they can about the new norms. They should be willing to undergo cultural training programs. The expatriate candidate should be highly trainable; through pre-departure training programs, they should be immediately be adept at the nuances of their new environment and culture. Finally, they should be able to blend well with a cross-cultural team, and depending on their role even spearhead the building of teams in a global context. Effectual Work Adjustment
Based on a past research by Kabasakal and Bodur (1997), some cultures are characterised by a strong slant towards collectivism and both societal and organisational levels. It may perhaps be useful for the multinational company to initially analyse the culture to which they would assign managers in terms of power distance, masculinity, human orientation, achievement, and future orientation (Hofstede, 1983). It may also look into the business culture’s commitment and sense of duty to the organisation, respect for managerial hierarchy, type of leadership, and other ethical norms.
Armed with such knowledge, expatriates can definitely influence the expectations of its expatriates and help in their adjustment to the new work environment (Hofstede, 1983). In addition, business culture communication styles should also be assessed by the company and the manner through which corporate values and organisational culture are transmitted. For instance, is it through socialisation? In some cultures, exchange of favors, information sharing and friendships are critical means of winning and developing trust.
Logically, managers who are sent to the country ought to have such characteristics as patience and being open to socialisation with locals. Apparently, expatriates will experience a whole host of changes in being sent to a global post. On a personal level, they are required to undergo a transition from an environment to which they were accustomed to one which is very unfamiliar. Naturally, this required modifications in their living habits, and entailed finding a healthy, novel balance between their work and personal preoccupations. For a majority of individuals, this expends too much time and effort.
Thus, the human resources department of the multinational company ought to take action to prepare them so that they may cope with these difficulties in adjustment. The research of Mendenhall and Oddou (1985) indicate that adjustment to the cross-cultural facets of a global assignment requires three distinct personal abilities, as follows: 1) the capacity to sustain a valued sense of self; 2) the ability to associate to host nationals; 3) the ability to intellectually appreciate the belief systems that underpin behaviours in the host country.
If expatriates will be oriented with these traits, it would have been easier for them to adjust because their expectations were more effectively managed (Black, 1990b; Mendenhall & Oddou, 1985). If they possessed such traits, it would have been more probable for them to adjust easily in their offshore assignment. In a related vein, the multinational company is obliged to help select those individuals with these ideal traits for expatriation assignments.
However, while the organisation may try its best to send ideal candidates, they are frequently unavailable – thus, tradeoffs and compromises may be needed. Expatriates ought to try their best to find out what makes their foreign counterparts ‘tick’. They could start with learning the basics of the culture, norms, beliefs, and customs. They should also take every chance to interface with their colleagues to facilitate this socio-cultural adjustment process.
Preparation for Expatriation Moreover, multinational companies must ensure that they are ready to prepare their expatriates for offshore assignments. With the integration of global markets and the burgeoning growth of multinational business activity, multinational companies have to learn how to effectively manage, coordinate, control and synergise its operations with their offshore counterparts. This preparation process, however, is not such an easy task.
The difficulty lies in the fact that this requires them to have unique skills different from those that proved to be effective when they were assigned as managers in the local office from which they were deployed. Expatriates should be equipped with the knowledge of the satellite company’s organisational culture and philosophy, home country business practices, norms and customs. Being assigned to a foreign environment with peculiar political, cultural, and economic working conditions, expatriates encounter both job-related and personal difficulties (Birdseye & Hill, 1995).
If these issues expressed by the team are not given adequate attention, this results in extreme stress in both the expatriate’s personal life and life, and ultimately to expatriate turnover. Facets of Cross Cultural Adjustment for Expatriates Predeparture Expatriation Training Programs Multinational companies ought to ensure that training programs are given to candidates for expatriation to facilitate their adjustment to amenities, overall living conditions, and social norms.
For example, cultural diversity training programs and learning sessions concentrating on values, habits, beliefs, religion and language of the locals must be part of the preparation of expatriates. These will help them undergo the indoctrination period more easily and quickly. In this context, expatriates should also be keenly aware of the particular facets of life in the local country. If expatriates that their families are made aware of these information and their expectations well managed, then unwelcome surprises may be avoided (Cavusgil et al. , 1992; Marlin et al. , 1995; Tung, 1982).
Subject: Environmental Issues,
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 19 April 2017
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