You have probably heard an old aphorism – Time is Money. Today, in the knowledge economy, it is more suitable to equate money with knowledge though. I believe that any contemporary economist would argue that knowledge (and technology) are the required components for enhanced productivity and economic growth. This premise holds particularly true for multinational […]
Lately a lot is being said and written about the growing trend of sending international assignees to developing and emerging countries. In fact, emerging markets have remained a hot topic in the current year, and mobility specialists and relocation managers continue to point to the many challenges in developing destinations: Security issues, appropriateness of compensation packages, […]
There is increasing evidence that a person’s “social capital” plays a crucial role for benefits from an international assignment to materialize – and my recent study entitled ‘Knowledge Benefits of Social Capital upon Repatriation: A Longitudinal Study of International Assignees’ (2012) shows that this not only applies during the assignment but also upon repatriation. Focused on inpatriates, my study suggests that the social capital that assignees develop during their posting at the host unit relates to their access to and transfer of host-unit knowledge upon return.
Expatriation is a broad term referring to a whole range of work experiences abroad. However, at closer inspection there are many different forms and classifications of expatriation.
When we speak of international assignees and their value, we tend to think about an expatriate employee moving from headquarters (HQ) to one of the company’s subsidiaries. A key purpose of this expatriation is the sharing of knowledge and connecting HQ to its subsidiaries. However, the role of connectors can be fulfilled not only by HQ staff transferred to a subsidiary, but also in the other direction.Thus, contrary to the term ‘expatriate’, an inpatriate is an employee that is transferred from a foreign subsidiary to the HQ.