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A race against time: training and support for short-term international assignments

Kieran M. Conroy (Queen’s Management School, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast, UK)
Anthony McDonnell (Department of Management, Cork University Business School, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland)
Katrin Holzleitner (Queen’s Management School, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast, UK)

Journal of Global Mobility

ISSN: 2049-8799

Article publication date: 11 October 2018

Issue publication date: 31 October 2018

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the specific forms of training and support that individuals on short-term international assignments (SIAs) receive. It further explores issues such as short notice prior to departure and how this impacts the type of training and support compared to what the extant literature on expatriates intimates. Scholars and practitioners both agree that the increasing deployment of individuals on SIAs presents significant challenges that have not yet been met with the development of appropriate organisational policies and practices.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on in-depth exploratory qualitative interviews with a sample of German assignees, the paper is abductive in nature with semi-structured interviews analysed through thematic based analysis. The data analysis identifies the need for more tailored training and support through formal and informal mechanisms, developed in pre-departure and post-arrival contexts.

Findings

The paper makes key contributions through providing much needed empirical evidence on the training and support short-term assignees receive and in so doing we identify specific forms of training and supports deemed relevant from the perspective of individuals on SIAs. Given the inherent time constraints for SIAs, the significance of informal support, in both pre-departure and post-arrival contexts is especially emphasised.

Originality/value

The paper is one of the first empirical pieces of work to explicitly consider the specific forms of training and support that SIAs consider important. The authors answer calls for greater consideration into the significance of developing a more tailored and strategic approach to managing SIAs as a specific form of an international assignee.

Keywords

Citation

Conroy, K.M., McDonnell, A. and Holzleitner, K. (2018), "A race against time: training and support for short-term international assignments", Journal of Global Mobility, Vol. 6 No. 3/4, pp. 299-315. https://doi.org/10.1108/JGM-05-2018-0022

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited