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 […]
Although both practitioners and academics in the field of global mobility are well used to the term expatriate, the term inpatriate is still in need of further presentation. Indeed, the latter is far less used in publications, and even Microsoft Word is still underlining it as an unknown or incorrectly spelled word :). As such, […]
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 […]
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.
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.