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Chapter 6 Integrating Repatriated Managers in MNCs

The Role of Expatriates in MNCs Knowledge Mobilization

ISBN: 978-1-78052-112-1, eISBN: 978-1-78052-113-8

Publication date: 10 October 2011


Purpose — Most managers seem dissatisfied with their careers after they return from expatriate assignments. The study aimed to identify the reasons for their dissatisfaction and distill implications for MNCs interested in improving the return on the investment they make on expatriation and harnessing the valuable knowledge with which many managers return after successful completion of expatriate assignments.

Methodology/approach — The data were collected via depth interviews with recently returned expatriates.

Findings — The level of dissatisfaction among returning expatriates is high and is attributable to a poorly managed HR function. While considerable sums are invested in transferring knowledge from home to host offices, MNCs seem curiously inattentive to the process by which their returning expatriates are reintegrated into the firm.

Practical implications — Managers' voices call for a strategically oriented HR function of MNCs and a new organisation for developing intellectual capital and a cadre of globally trained managers. Changes in structure, systems and processes are discussed.

Social implications — If MNCs continue neglecting the repatriation needs of their expatriates, and paying little or no attention to transferring their knowledge about international operations, U.S. companies are likely to lag in terms of utilising that knowledge to become more effective global organisations.

Originality/value of the chapter — Sources of dissatisfaction among returning expatriates are identified. Much of the dissatisfaction relates to the disconnect between expectations and reality, the failure of the mentor role and a lagging HR function. The chapter identifies steps to correct these problems.



Jassawalla, A. and Sashittal, H.C. (2011), "Chapter 6 Integrating Repatriated Managers in MNCs", Mariano, S., Mohamed, M. and Mohiuddin, Q. (Ed.) The Role of Expatriates in MNCs Knowledge Mobilization (International Business and Management, Vol. 27), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 113-130.



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