The purpose of this paper is to review the literature on how success and failure for international assignments have been defined, and integrate several proposals for these definitions into a multi-dimensional model that considers task performance, relationship building, contextual performance and retention as all being part of how success or failure should be defined. The authors also discuss two proposed pre-requisites for success – absorptive capacity (operationalized at both the individual and the unit levels) and adjustment. The authors conclude by bringing in literature on performance management and how ideas about performance management must also be integrated into the discussion of the success or failure of international assignments.
This paper reviews existing proposals regarding the definition of expatriate success and failure, and proposes a multidimensional model of success based on the past literature. Based on this literature the authors also propose two pre-requisites for success and discuss several requisite KSAOs, as well as some suggestions from the literature on performance management.
The authors argue for a multidimensional model of expatiate success which includes task performance, relationship building, contextual performance and retention as part of what constitutes a successful assignment. The authors also argue that absorptive capacity and adjustment should be considered as pre-requisites for success, and that principles from performance management should be applied to dealing with international assignments.
A more comprehensive definition of success and failure should aid research by providing a better dependent variable, and by leading to research on various aspects of this outcome.
The proposed model and approach can hopefully help practice by clarifying the different dimensions of success and how performance management techniques can be applied to dealing with international assignments.
There has been a lot written about how we should operationalize the success or failure of international assignments. The present paper reviews that literature and integrates a number of ideas and suggestions into a multi-dimensional model which includes information about pre-requisites for success and relevant KSAOs, along with ideas from performance management to help insure the success of these assignments.
DeNisi, A.S. and Sonesh, S. (2016), "Success and failure in international assignments: A review and a proposed multi-dimensional model", Journal of Global Mobility, Vol. 4 No. 4, pp. 386-407. https://doi.org/10.1108/JGM-12-2015-0060Download as .RIS
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