What Makes Repatriates More Likely to Transfer Knowledge upon Their Return?

In a recent post I wrote about the research my colleagues and I conducted on inpatriation and knowledge transfer. Based on the research data we concluded that inpatriates contribute considerably to knowledge transfer and subsidiary development, leading us to recommend multinational corporations (MNCs) to view inpatriation from a more strategic perspective.  As a follow-up on […]

Latest Research: Knowledge Transfer of HRM Practices Between Parent-country and Subsidiary

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 […]

Benefits of Social Capital upon Repatriation: Managerial Implications

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.

The value of inpatriates: Some managerial implications from my recent study

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.