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Article
Publication date: 14 September 2015

Yifan Zhong, Cherrie Jiuhua Zhu and Mingqiong Mike Zhang

Expatriate management is a popular topic in international human resource management (IHRM) because expatriates play a critical role in a firm’s international business…

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Abstract

Purpose

Expatriate management is a popular topic in international human resource management (IHRM) because expatriates play a critical role in a firm’s international business operations. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the existing studies that often examine the expatriate management of developed country multinational enterprises (MNEs), aiming to help them identify, employ, prepare and retain expatriates and address challenges these MNEs may face, while how MNEs from emerging countries manage their expatriates is understudied.

Design/methodology/approach

The knowledge of expatriate management from emerging market MNEs (EMNEs) may help us understand whether there is anything new for IHRM theory and practice. This conceptual paper aims to address this research gap by selecting China, a leading emerging economy, and reviewing the existing literature in both English and Chinese to examine the status quo of the expatriate management in Chinese MNEs to highlight challenges facing these MNEs in managing their expatriates when conducting outward foreign direct investment (FDI).

Findings

This paper aims to make theoretical contributions by generating research propositions to address an under-researched area, i.e., how EMNEs manage their expatriates and the role of their expatriates in the outward FDI.

Originality/value

No other person’s work has been used in the main text of the paper. This paper has not been submitted for the award of any other degree or diploma in this or any other tertiary institution.

Details

Journal of Global Mobility, vol. 3 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-8799

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Article
Publication date: 7 November 2016

Hanan AlMazrouei, Robert Zacca, Chris Bilney and Giselle Antoine

Managing across cultures is vital for international business success. Leaders need to make decisions in a way that suits the new culture in which they are placed. This…

Abstract

Purpose

Managing across cultures is vital for international business success. Leaders need to make decisions in a way that suits the new culture in which they are placed. This paper aims to explore how expatriate managers in the UAE make decisions in respect to their contextual environment. Additionally, the study investigates the approaches expatriate managers use to adjust their decision-making and how they manage local staff in contrast to home country staff. Finally, the study investigates the factors that contribute to the situation-specific environment of the expatriate leaders’ experience.

Design/methodology/approach

Structured personal interviews of expatriates drawn from stratified sampling were used to discover the styles of decision-making that were effective in the UAE.

Findings

The consultative management style of management enhanced by a hybrid approach of melding the strongest aspects of the expatriates’ decision-making style with the strongest aspects of the local decision-making style met with much success managing in the UAE. Additionally, the expatriate managers’ expression of appreciation towards local staff provided motivation and encouraged cooperation. Moreover, it was found that expatriates can face difficulties in expressing their wishes and requirements accurately to local staff because of their unfamiliarity with the Arabic language.

Practical implications

This research provides practical guidance for expatriate managers charged with successfully leading organizations in UAE. It also offers guidance for employers seeking to recruit or employ appropriate management talent to UAE.

Originality/value

The paper concentrates on expatriate managers’ decision-making practices within the UAE.

Details

International Journal of Organizational Analysis, vol. 24 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1934-8835

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Book part
Publication date: 3 September 2016

Jan Selmer, Jakob Lauring, Ling Eleanor Zhang and Charlotte Jonasson

In this chapter, we focus on expatriate CEOs who are assigned by the parent company to work in a subsidiary and compare them to those who themselves have initiated to work…

Abstract

Purpose

In this chapter, we focus on expatriate CEOs who are assigned by the parent company to work in a subsidiary and compare them to those who themselves have initiated to work abroad as CEOs. Since we do not know much about these individuals, we direct our attention to: (1) who they are (demographics), (2) what they are like (personality), and (3) how they perform (job performance).

Methodology/approach

Data was sought from 93 assigned expatriate CEOs and 94 self-initiated expatriate CEOs in China.

Findings

Our findings demonstrate that in terms of demography, self-initiated CEOs were more experienced than assigned CEOs. With regard to personality, we found difference in self-control and dispositional anger: Assigned expatriate CEOs had more self-control and less angry temperament than their self-initiated counterparts. Finally, we found assigned expatriate CEOs to rate their job performance higher than self-initiated CEOs.

Originality/value

Although there may not always be immediate benefits, career consideration often plays a role when individuals choose whether to become an expatriate. For many years, organizations have used expatriation to develop talented managers for high-level positions in the home country. Recently, however, a new trend has emerged. Talented top managers are no longer expatriated only from within parent companies to subsidiaries. Self-initiated expatriates with no prior affiliation in the parent company are increasingly used to fill top management positions in subsidiaries.

Details

Global Talent Management and Staffing in MNEs
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-353-5

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Article
Publication date: 13 April 2015

Hanan AlMazrouei and Richard J. Pech

The purpose of this study is to examine issues of skills and cultural awareness amongst expatriate managers working in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The study explores…

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2274

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine issues of skills and cultural awareness amongst expatriate managers working in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The study explores expatriate management and leadership experiences within a predominantly Islamic context and the adjustments that have had to be made by the new arrivals before they could effectively undertake their senior functions within their organisations. Rapid economic growth and recent prosperity in the UAE has resulted in the recruitment and placement of large numbers of expatriate managers.

Design/methodology/approach

Interviews were utilised to explore the experiences of expatriate managers in the UAE. These experiences have been interpreted to provide lessons and advice for new arrivals to the UAE, particularly those who are about to be placed into senior management positions.

Findings

The findings from our interviews of expatriate managers and leaders reveal a great deal regarding Islamic principles and religious practices, the Arabic language, the preference for a paternalistic management style, customs around issues of female dress and issues of time management. A number of strategies are provided for managing these sensitive cultural issues in the workplace.

Practical implications

This research provides an important examination of the effects of the UAE national culture on expatriate managers and how they have adjusted when managing local staff.

Originality/value

This article adds to the disciplines of management and human resources by focussing on cross-cultural sensitivity and awareness, specifically within the context of the UAE.

Details

Journal of Islamic Accounting and Business Research, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-0817

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Article
Publication date: 13 March 2017

Regina Kempen, Kate Hattrup and Karsten Mueller

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship of flexible and permeable boundary management with both life domain conflict and life domain enrichment among…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship of flexible and permeable boundary management with both life domain conflict and life domain enrichment among expatriate workers.

Design/methodology/approach

This study utilizes a sample of 199 expatriates working in a higher education context, and analyses survey data with hierarchical regression analysis and cluster analysis.

Findings

Relationships between the permeability and the flexibility of life domains, and work-private life conflict, private life-work conflict, and work-private life enrichment were found. However, no significant results were obtained for the relationship between boundary management and private life-work enrichment. Two clusters of boundary management used by expatriates are described.

Research limitations/implications

Due to cross-sectional data, causal influences cannot be determined with confidence.

Practical implications

The findings underscore the need to consider the role-related stakeholders of expatriates, especially in the private life domain. Implications for the support of expatriates based on the boundary management clusters are discussed.

Originality/value

This is the first study analysing boundary management distinguishing between flexibility and permeability in an expatriate context.

Details

Journal of Global Mobility: The Home of Expatriate Management Research, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-8799

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Article
Publication date: 1 November 2001

Margaret Linehan and Hugh Scullion

The particular focus of this paper is female expatriates in Europe, which is a relatively under‐researched area. A total of 50 senior female expatriate managers were…

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3862

Abstract

The particular focus of this paper is female expatriates in Europe, which is a relatively under‐researched area. A total of 50 senior female expatriate managers were interviewed, representing a wide range of industry and service sectors. The aims of the paper are to highlight a number of critical factors which are necessary for successful female expatriate assignments. The results of the study show that female expatriates are disadvantaged in their careers because of the lack of organizational support which is readily available to their male counterparts. This lack of organizational support, together with the invisible barriers which constitute the glass ceiling, explain the relative scarcity of female expatriate managers.

Details

Journal of European Industrial Training, vol. 25 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0590

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Article
Publication date: 4 October 2011

Gina Fe Causin, Baker Ayoun and Patrick Moreo

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the following expatriate issues as related to the hospitality industry, from the perspective of practitioners: the most…

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8298

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the following expatriate issues as related to the hospitality industry, from the perspective of practitioners: the most important management skills hotel expatriates should possess, whether these skills vary by the country of origin of the expatriate and parent company, and the most effective cross‐cultural training activities provided by hotel companies.

Design/methodology/approach

Data for this exploratory study was obtained from a sample of 66 respondents from lodging organizations with membership in the International Hotel and Restaurant Association (IH & RA). Data was collected by means of self‐administered, web‐based surveys.

Findings

Participants in this study indicate that expatriate management skills vary in importance for hotel expatriates. The results of the analysis of variance demonstrate that the importance placed on the different expatriate management skills varies based on country of origin of both the expatriate and the parent company. Respondents and companies originating in different countries place more importance on certain expatriate management skills than others. Analyses also indicate that seven of nine cross‐cultural training activities provided by the parent company are perceived to be effective for the success of an expatriate assignment.

Practical implications

This study suggests that opportunities do exist for international hotel companies to better prepare hotel expatriates for foreign assignments by integrating more effectively issues of cultural awareness into their preparation programs. Additionally, although it may appear counter‐intuitive for a future expatriate to focus on the structure and processes of the home company before embarking on a foreign assignment, the results of this study suggest that such knowledge is very valuable.

Originality/value

While studies investigating expatriation management in the mainstream literature have been growing recently, only a handful of published studies have explored the issue in the hotel industry. Answers to the research questions that guided this study add to our knowledge and enhance our understanding of the issues related to expatriation management within the context of the hotel industry. The present study generated fruitful avenues, especially with regard to the issues related to the variation of management skills according to the country of origin of participants and parent company.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 23 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

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Book part
Publication date: 3 September 2016

Yvonne McNulty

I build on a strong foundation of prior studies about expatriate compensation in general to provide an overview of changes in expatriate compensation, from home- to…

Abstract

Purpose

I build on a strong foundation of prior studies about expatriate compensation in general to provide an overview of changes in expatriate compensation, from home- to host-based approaches, during the past 10 years.

Methodology/approach

Underpinned by findings from academic and practitioner literature, I review and integrate studies of expatriate compensation and global talent management to outline the challenges and opportunities home- and host-based compensation approaches present to MNEs.

Findings

Home-based compensation is becoming an outdated and overly expensive model that is often ineffective in moving MNEs’ global competitive advantage to where it needs to be, leaving host-based approaches as the only alternative. But the use of host-based “cheaper” compensation approaches can also lead to unintended outcomes for MNEs in terms of unforeseen opportunity costs (such as the loss of critical talent) arising from shortsighted compensation decisions.

Practical implications

I argue that expatriate compensation works best when it is not based on an employees’ home-country status but instead on the role that he or she performs locally. I suggest a host-based compensation approach — global compensation — that is based on the worth of the position rather than where the individual has come from. Such an approach is more equitable because it is performance-based thereby eliminating overpaying and perceived unfairness. It is much simpler to administer than home-based compensation because it represents an extension of most MNEs already existing domestic (home country) pay-for-performance model.

Originality/value

Despite more than 10 years of new compensation practices being implemented and reported by global mobility practitioners, very little has been studied or written by scholars about some of the recent changes in expatriate compensation over the past decade. The chapter addresses this gap in academic literature.

Details

Global Talent Management and Staffing in MNEs
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-353-5

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Book part
Publication date: 14 October 2015

Rochelle Haynes and Phil Almond

This chapter will discuss the extent to which existing models on expatriate functions within the international business literature, still effectively capture the roles…

Abstract

Purpose

This chapter will discuss the extent to which existing models on expatriate functions within the international business literature, still effectively capture the roles currently performed by expatriate managers. It analyse the Edstrom and Galbraith (1977) typology and present a conceptual framework on the roles currently performed by expatriate managers within MNCs. To do this, it will draw inspiration from the resource-based view (Barney, 1991; Peng, M. W. (2001). The resource-based view and international business. Journal of Management, 27, 803–829. Wernerfelt, 1984), and the organisation capability view (Grant, 1996). Following several propositions about managers’ key functions within MNCs, challenges of creating an all-encompassing framework on expatriate functions, and suggestions for future research and theoretical development will be identified.

Methodology/approach

This chapter will present a conceptual framework on expatriate functions.

Originality/value

Four decades since Edstrom and Galbraith’s seminal work, international developments have continued to impress upon the way MNCs organise and manage their worldwide activities. Yet, as the business environment progresses, theoretical models examining how international development impact the functions undertaken by expatriate managers within MNCs individuals are still relatively scarce. Hence, this chapter aims to contribute to the theoretical advancement in the area of expatriate functions by highlighting possible changes and expansion of expatriate managers within the current global business context.

Details

The Future Of Global Organizing
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-422-5

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Book part
Publication date: 3 September 2016

Haiying Kang and Jie Shen

South Korean multinational enterprises (MNEs) have developed rapidly since the late 1950s. This chapter investigates South Korean MNEs’ talent management, more…

Abstract

Purpose

South Korean multinational enterprises (MNEs) have developed rapidly since the late 1950s. This chapter investigates South Korean MNEs’ talent management, more specifically international recruitment and selection policies and practices in their Chinese operations.

Methodology/approach

Using the snowball method through Chinese and Korean networks we recruited ten Korean MNEs to participate in this research. We conducted semi-structured interviews with key individuals within the organisations.

Findings

It reveals that South Korean MNEs tend to adopt the polycentric approach or a mixed approach of being polycentric and ethnocentric to international staffing, with the number of expatriates reducing gradually over time. South Korean MNEs adopt ‘one-way selection’ in recruiting and selecting expatriates and localise recruitment procedures and selection criteria for host-country nationals.

Originality/value

South Korean MNEs have paid inadequate attention to: firstly, expatriates’ career development; and secondly, personal and family issues emerging from expatriation and repatriation. This study highlights these issues.

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