Expatriation is all about expatriates, right? Probably you already sensed the undertone of this question. Naturally, the success of an international assignment is not only about the actual assignee, as there are many other parties involved, starting from the spouse and finishing with the relocation support professionals. However, it is also true that inspite of […]
All of us enjoy watching TV series! And so, the one I am currently enjoying is the recent American drama series ‘Homeland’, which is considered to be a great success, winning both Golden Globe and Emmy awards. The reason I am bringing it up here is that apart from being exciting and entertaining in itself, […]
In last week’s entry I reviewed the sources of expat motivation, as derived from the standpoint of self-determination theory. Specifically, I brought up the argument that the more self-determined one’s behavior, the more intrinsically motivated this behavior. On the other hand, as mentioned in my previous post, goals or tasks can also be viewed as […]
Recently, two of the leading global relocation companies, Brookfield GRS and Cartus, have published their annual surveys. As in previous years, both surveys shed light on the most relevant trends in global mobility, describing current international assignee populations, their main motives and challenges, as well as the challenges faced by employers and relocation professionals. I […]
Corporate expatriates have always been an important group of globally mobile employees, because they can serve various organizational aims by fulfilling either practical or more strategic roles. For example, an employee can be sent on an international assignment to share important knowledge and optimize certain processes in a new company subsidiary, or on the other […]
Globally mobile individuals are the ones who know by experience how it feels to adjust to a new destination, suffer from reverse cultural shock when returning back home, have a restless urge for new relocations, and finally recognize the homesickness when away from home again. The latter, namely homesickness, is not as pronounced a topic […]
Some time ago, under the ‘fact or fiction’ category of my blog, I posted the question whether living abroad makes one more creative. Comments from many readers showed general agreement with this notion, and research evidence presented later on supported it as well. Back then we looked at research by Maddux and colleagues (2009, 2010) […]
Generally speaking, expatriates share similar engagement drivers to non-expatriates. However, there are also some unique elements of expatriate engagement, which stem from the nature of their employment type. Specifically, expatriates seem to pay more attention to all factors related to a company’s future and actions of senior leadership, as well as their engagement tends to be more driven by one’s individual outlook and future prospects compared to non-expats.
Traditional expatriate classifications apply to a conventional framework of employment where the individual’s career is meant to be fixed with one, or very few, employers. However, in the past few decades the traditional career path has been changing, and by now one’s successful career is a matter of personal responsibility, initiative, and is quite likely to go beyond one organization. A new breed of expatriates, the so called ‘international itinerants’, has emerged.
Scarce local talent in emerging markets tops mobility challenges according to the recent Mercer HR & Mobility Challenges of Emerging Markets Survey. Echoing these findings, the latest article in McKinsey Quarterly, the business journal of McKinsey & Company, posits that ‘competition for talent in emerging markets is heating up’ which the authors attribute to two main reasons: scarcity of local talent, and reluctance of parent country managers to go abroad.
The term Third Culture Kid (TCK) usually refers to a person who has spent a significant part of his or her developmental years outside the parents’ culture, growing up in a highly mobile and cross-culturally diverse environment. A quite recent book by Van Reken and Pollock ‘Third Culture Kids: Growing up among Worlds’ (2009) draws on the experiences of the TCK individuals, showing that although growing up in a culturally diverse world is certainly enriching, it also implies some real challenges along the way…
‘Forget expats’ and ‘Foreigners need not apply’ – these statements sound rather uncommon in today’s environment of multinational business. However, a recent WSJ article uses these statements to describe the shift in recruitment practices in Asia. Specifically, the article notes that western companies doing business in Asia now tend to prefer local employees, as opposed to expatriates, to fill important executive positions.
Referring to the workforce in general, the ‘Boomers’ ‘Xers’ and ‘Ys’ are familiar terms that reflect popular beliefs of significant differences among employee generations. However, contrary to the popular press, scholarly publications tend to discard such generational stereotyping. Yet, what about expatriates?
Several empirical and theoretical researches continuously report on the lack of knowledge and understanding within the field of assessing value of international assignments. A recent article by Australian scholars McNulty and De Cieri (2011) contribute to our limited knowledge by presenting a framework of expatriate ROI from the perspective of long-term assignments.
A recent expatriate study by Finnish scholars Mäkelä, Känsälä and Suutari (2011) looked into the partner roles of expatriates and identified six different types, namely “supporting”, “ﬂexible”, “determining”, “restricting”, “instrumental”, and “equal partner” roles.
Whether expatriates do not feel ‘at home’ in the host country and refer to their country of origin as their home can be true for some expats and false for others, as it depends on many factors. However, the notion that expatriates overall lose a feeling of home and become ‘placeless’ needs to be contested.
Take a look at some evidence.