The Challenges Associated With An International Assignment

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Introduction Edstrom and Galbraith (1977) define expatriates as “Individuals who irrespective of their national origin are transferred outside their native country to another country specifically for employment purposes”. Cohen (1977) also defines expatriates as a voluntary and temporal migration of a person abroad for specific purposes with an ultimate return to his or her country. Multinational countries looking for uniformity across their subsidiaries send out expatriates in order to act as international managers to manage new branches. In order for businesses to expand globally, organizations require some employees to work around the world away from their home country as international managers this represent a competitive edge for…show more content…
The bear represents a more dominant centralisation of decision making the expatriate acts as a surveillance over all subsidiary operations, the bumble bee denotes the role of developing communication networks between subsidiaries as a way to control the operations the same way the bumble bee flies from plant to plant to cross pollinate. Finally, the role of the expatriate as a spider suggest the expatriate controlling the interweaving of communication channels within the multinational organization (Collings, David G.: Scullion, Hugh: Morley 2007). Harzing (2001) research on the roles of expatriates is especially important because it goes beyond outlining the roles of expatriate but also how important these roles are in different situations. He argues that the expatriate’s role as spider and bumble bee are more context specific and are more important in older subsidiaries. Unfortunately, there have been a lot of recorded expatriate failure according to Tung (1981) this could be because some companies select expatriates the same way they would select local employees and proper orientation is not given when sent to new countries. It is now general knowledge that culturally insensitive attitudes and behaviour’s stemming from ignorance and misguided beliefs for example using same policies in the home countries and host countries not only are inappropriate but lead international
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