Lade Inhalt...

Global Deployment

An examination of causes for undesirably high employee turnover after the foreign assignment

©2002 Diplomarbeit 74 Seiten


This thesis has been written in cooperation with the human resource department of a top business consultant. The Global Deployment country manager worried about a higher turnover rate among employees back from foreign assignments (former expatriates) than the average employee fluctuation in the company.
Cross company research indicates that an average 25 % percent of repatriates leave their company in the year following repatriation and up to 50% in a period of three years.
This thesis has two main goals:
1. Finding out possible reasons for high turnover after repatriation
2. Identify measures likely to lower turnover after repatriation
In order to achieve this, foreign assignments are first placed in the context of the employee. The main question here is what happens to the employee in the process of the foreign assignment (pre-departure to re-entry) and how he possibly manages it.
This covers diverse aspects from cultural problems to financial aspects as well as the employees’ expectations. (See detail in summary, Part C)
The second step is to place foreign assignments in the context of the company. Why foreign assignments, what are its benefits and disadvantages. Do companies really take advantage of the full potential of their repatriates? How do most companies handle their foreign assignments? (See detail in summary, Part D)
Having defined the whole range of causes for high turnover, the last part of the thesis suggests a strategic approach to foreign assignments and measures to lower turnover after repatriation. (See detail in summary Part E)
Finally, a very valuable four pages questionnaire is provided. It was developed together with the business consultant and the academic supervisor, who is a specialist and freelance consultant in matters of intercultural management. In line with the thesis, the questionnaire aims to measure returning expatriates’ satisfaction level, identify possible reasons and solutions for high turnover after repatriation.

Inhaltsverzeichnis:Table of Contents:
2.2.1Concept of adjustment14
2.2.2Factors influencing […]





1. Definition of goals
2. Implications of the topic

1. Pre-departure
1.1. Initial motivation of the employee
1.2. Spouse motivation
2. While abroad
2.1. Culture shock - Facing the unknown
2.2. Adjustment - Taming the unknown
2.2.1. Concept of adjustment
2.2.2. Factors influencing adjustment
2.2.3. Summary of factors influencing adjustment
2.3. Changes in social status and lifestyle
2.4. Increased Job autonomy & responsibilities
2.5. The out-of-sight, out-of-mind syndrome
3. Pre-return (expectations)
3.1. The ideal home
3.2. Expecting a hero’s welcome and professional promotion
3.3. Summarized situation before return
4. Back home – Repatriation
4.1. Changes in the home environment
4.2. The Reverse culture shock cycle
4.2.1. Honeymoon
4.2.2. Culture shock & Adjustment
4.3. Factors influencing the employee and his adjustment back home
4.3.1. Expectations about home
4.3.2. The experience abroad
4.3.3. Job factors
4.3.4. Social factors
4.3.5. Financial factors
4.4. Summarized situation upon return
5. Summarized reasons for turnover after repatriation

1. Objectives of foreign assignments for companies
1.1. Operative Assignments
1.2. Strategic Assignments
1.2.1. Generation of knowledge and development of global managers
1.2.2. Transfer of the corporate culture to subsidiaries
1.2.3. Creating an informal network of people
1.3. The importance of foreign assignments
2. Possible negative consequences of assignments
2.1. Premature return home
2.2. Lowered efficiency and broken careers
2.3. Turnover after repatriation
2.4. Negative synergy
2.5. Costs of assignments
3. The status quo in companies
3.1. The paradox between the stated importance and the way foreign assignments are handled
3.2. Executive and expatriate opinion about how assignments are managed in their companies


1. Getting backing from the senior management
1.1. Why the backing of the senior management is needed
1.2. How the get the backing of the senior management

2. Foreign Assignment Management
2.1. The Foreign Assignment Management cycle
2.1.1. Internal Marketing of foreign assignments
2.1.2. Selection of best candidates
2.1.3. Pre-departure training
2.1.4. Help performing abroad & keeping contact
2.1.5. Successful repatriation & retention
2.1.6. Transfer know-how & create global leaders

3. Measures to lower Turnover after Repatriation
3.1. An efficient mentoring system
3.2. career plan & promotion of the employee
3.3. reintegration meeting for the repatriate
3.4. Make the company the ideal home




questionnaire for returning expatriates


Exhibit 1: Environmental sources of stimulation leading to turnover after repatriation

Exhibit 2: Model of relocation readiness

Exhibit 3: Factors causing resistance to accepting foreign assignments

Exhibit 4: Proposed model of factors influencing employees’ capacity for cross-cultural adjustment

Exhibit 5: Culture Shock Cycle

Exhibit 6: Intensity of reverse culture shock

Exhibit 7: The importance of developing competent global leaders compared to other needs

Exhibit 8: Compared executive and expatriate opinion on foreign assignments

Exhibit 9: Proposed Model of Foreign Assignment Management Practices

Exhibit 10: Survey of effectiveness of methods to reduce turnover after repatriation



The global economy has undergone tremendous changes over the past decade and has been the stage for an extreme increase in international trade and transactions. According to World Trade Organization (WTO), the world merchandise exports grew from US$ 3.4 trillion to US$ 6.3 trillion between 1990 and 2000 (+85%). Commercial services exports grew from 782.7 billion to 1,435.4 billion USD (+83%) and cross border financial transactions literally skyrocketed. (WTO REPORT, 2000). Truly, markets become global.

This steep evolution can be seen as a paradigm shift in international business and shows how strongly companies have reacted to this trend. Be it exporting companies or multinationals, all have adapted their structures to allow business expansion into new markets. A United Nations report indicates there are about 53,000 companies operating as multinationals through 450,000 affiliates worldwide (LOMAX, S.; 2001).

The National Foreign Trade Council (US) and Windham International issue an annual study of 150 American and foreign large companies involved in international business called “The Global Relocation Trends Survey”. The year 2000 study reveals that participating companies, generate on average 43% of their total revenues overseas. (NFTC, WINDHAM; 2000).

So markets and business structures go global, but what about people?

When investing in new markets companies used to have the approach not to adapt products nor marketing strategies to local needs. They followed the overriding theme of “one-size-fits-all” and it formed an important element in their international expansion. After all, what worked at home had to work abroad as well, especially, as: mass production of standardized products lead to economies of scale and customers. People were expected to have the same needs and selection criteria everywhere.

Soon companies had to find out that following this strategy can have severe disadvantages. A good example is Mitsubishi, when it first tried to introduce the four wheel-drive car called “Pajero” on the Spanish market: Mitsubishi’s marketing department overlooked the fact that “Pajero” is a Spanish swearword. Sales were disastrous until the product was renamed “Montero”. This example shows how important it is to adjust to local tastes, concepts and perceptions and that by simply changing the product name you can greatly improve the products’ success.

After a period of sobering experiences and pitfalls, companies have started to adapt products and marketing strategies to local needs. Not disputing the fact that a global marketplace exists, it is nevertheless important to realize that this is merely the sum of markets driven by specific needs or in other words driven by local consumers.

In order to penetrate the global markets, companies obviously have a need for labor as an important production and service resource. One of the side effects of international expansion is the growing need for human resource assets with international skills and specifically expatriates. Finding employees with the right skill set and who feel comfortable to operate in a global business environment is very difficult and it is easy to make numerous mistakes when sending employees abroad - people are just not a global commodity.

Science has analyzed many aspects of the problem in recent years such as the dynamics of expatriation or the “culture shock”. This development, especially the difficulties relating to expatriation, is now also widely recognized by many senior managers, however, one narrow aspect of foreign assignments remains widely unexplored:

Repatriation and, more specifically the turnover of employees after the foreign assignment.



The topic of the following thesis originates in the observation of a company which for anonymity reason will be called “the firm”: The global deployment country manager of the firm analyzed employee information with focus in the field of foreign assignments. The suspicion was that the turnover rate among employees back from foreign assignments is higher than the average fluctuation in the company. The result of the internal research in the three years considered proofed that in fact the turnover after repatriation was much higher than the firm’s overall employee turnover.

Calculation of the turnover after repatriation confirmed her intuition: In the three years considered, turnover after repatriation was significantly higher than the firm’s overall employee turnover.

1. Definition of goals

Upon this, two overall goals were defined:

ð Finding out possible reasons for high turnover after repatriation

The initial intention was to carry out in-house research, but the initiative had to be abandoned, mainly due to changing objectives at the senior management level.

Nevertheless, worldwide research underlines an overlapping of symptoms and reasons for turnover after repatriation at companies involved in international human resource issues. This research forms the basis to identify reasons for turnover after repatriation at the firm. The report of the March 2002 “re-entry debriefing” seminar held at the firm could further confirm the findings of the research.

- Identify measures likely to lower turnover after repatriation

Best practices will be researched and suggestions will be made to reduce turnover after repatriation. These considerations are general in nature and aim to be applicable in most companies.

2. Implications of the topic

The firm faces the problem of a high number of employees leaving after returning from foreign assignments. Three elements can be identified:

- The Firm
- The Employee
- The Foreign Assignment

ΠResearch will focus on the interaction of these three elements.

There is statistical evidence that turnover after repatriation is higher than overall employee turnover. Assuming it is not accidental, we conclude that:


a. Among people who are sent on assignments, there is a higher proportion of people who intend to leave the company, than among those who do not accept an assignment.


b. Something happens in the process of foreign assignments (from pre-departure to re-entry) that stimulate employees to leave the company.

It is conclusive to assume that both points contribute to turnover after repatriation. Nevertheless, the focus of the analyses will be on the second statement for the following reasons: If people already think about leaving the company before accepting the assignment, their reasons are not related to the foreign assignment itself. They are leaving the firm for reasons which belong in the sphere of overall employee turnover. In this case, accepting an assignment only means postponing the decision to leave the firm into the future. It is not the topic of this paper to research overall employee turnover reasons, on the other hand – given statement “a” is relevant – it increases turnover after repatriation.

Reasons for overall employee turnover are not going to be analyzed; nevertheless a profile of expatriates will be suggested. Applied to the selection process of candidates for expatriation it may allow to screen out people who are unsure about their career in the firm, in order to avoid sending them abroad in the first place. It is deduced that:

 Reasons for turnover after repatriation are to be found in the way employees respond to the stimulation of the foreign assignment process.

By linking conclusion Œ and  it is to be assumed that the stimulation comes from the firm as well as the experience of the foreign assignment. Upon this the following diagram can be drawn:

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Exhibit 1: Environmental sources of stimulation leading to turnover after repatriation

The diagram above underlines the fact that the employee is the central element in the issue of turnover after repatriation. The first level of the diagram exposes environmental variables which influence the employee. These stimuli are then processed in the employee’s brain and result in turnover after repatriation and other responses. In other words, the nature of stimuli needs to be understood, but also the employee and how he reacts. The complexity of the turnover is due to a blend of external stimulation and on the other hand mental processes and expectations of the employee.

The mindset of the employee after the foreign assignment is the foundation on which turnover after repatriation grows and in-company organizational factors are the release mechanism for consequences like turnover after repatriation. As a consequence this thesis wants to analyze what are common experiences for employees during their assignment, and how they are affected. Furthermore the analysis will focus on foreign assignments from the corporate perspective. Upon this, measures will be suggested which are likely to lower turnover after repatriation.



Wenn man nichts anderes kennergelernt hat, dann ist man immer der Meinung, dass dort wo man herkommt der Mittelpunkt ist, und dort alles richtig ist.“

Working on the topic of turnover after repatriation implies addressing the expatriate’s mind. The following analysis describes a typical process. However, it is important to keep in mind that people are unique, and their way of reacting in a certain situation might be different. In some cases employees will be affected strongly, and in other cases only little by given factors. Nevertheless, empirical research suggests that most employees are affected in a significant manner by the factors outlined in the analysis to come.

It is essential to understand factors in the experience of assignees, which are the foundation for turnover after repatriation. The analysis to come will be carried out along a chronological guideline which follows the cycle of foreign assignments, from pre-departure to re-entry. Following issues will be addressed:

1. Identify factors pre-disposing employees to experience problems during the assignment (pre-departure)

2. Identify external stimulation and mental processes likely to influence the employee with regards to his job and company (while abroad, pre-return, back home)

3. Identify reasons for turnover after repatriation

1. Pre-departure

1.1. Initial motivation of the employee

The first major issue is pre-departure motivation and anticipation of the assignment. The following Model by Marr and Schmölz describes motivation for the assignment as a product of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation factors.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Exhibit 2: Model of relocation readiness (MARR, R.; SCHMÖLZ, A.; 1989)

Not only does the intrinsic motivation directly influence motivation for the assignment, it also influences the subjective appreciation of extrinsic motivation factors. Furthermore the appreciation process is influenced by other variables, like the career of the spouse and children of school age. Marr and Schmölz suggest that companies only have very limited influence on employees’ readiness for relocation, as it is highly dependent upon private circumstances. (STAHL, G.; 1998)

It is a common assumption that employees’ experience of the assignment is strongly influenced by the initial motivation.

The 1994 Global Relocation Trends Survey cited following factors as a cause for resistance to overseas postings (percentage of participating companies mentioning suggested reasons):

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Exhibit 3: Factors causing resistance to accepting foreign assignments (NFTC, WINDHAM, 1994)

The two first factors fit into Marr & Schmölz’s category of other variables and underline the assumption that motivation is highly dependent upon private issues. Interestingly, the year 2000 edition of the same survey highlights that the two major causes of assignment failures are partner dissatisfaction and family concerns. (NFTC, WINDHAM; 2000)

1.2. Spouse motivation

When mentioned, the term spouse refers to expatriates’ wives, as it is the more common case in the current business context.

In contrast with the mentioned importance of family and spousal issues, a recent study among 194 expatriate spouses surveyed in four world regions had following results: “Only 6.2 percent of spouses said their husbands’ employers had talked to them and 31 percent felt they and/or their partner were pressured into accepting the international move.” (PRUDENTIAL FINANCIAL; 2002).

Motivation of both the employee and the spouse are of primary importance for a successful assignment. On the other hand, motivation issues can only be considered if companies have qualified candidates to choose from. Unfortunately, a study among 800 German junior managers by the researchers Spieß and Wittman mentions that only that only 13% are highly motivated to go abroad.(SPIEß & WITTMAN; 1996).

2. While abroad

2.1. Culture shock - Facing the unknown

When arriving in a foreign country, all is new to an expatriate. Things to which he was accustomed at home can be different, or even non-existent in the host country. Differences permeate all levels of existence: From matter to thoughts and cultural concepts.

In the new environment, people might for example use other rules of communication. Some cultures favor explicit communication, which means entirely expressing thoughts and concepts through words, as is the case in most western cultures. Other cultures do not like to formulate everything, and subtle intonations or facial expressions may change the meaning of a word. In some cases a worded “yes” means “no”.

Language reflects culture: In addition to his potential lack of communication skills, a new expatriate does not usually recognize the underlying concepts of a culture. The usual schemes of interpretation used in the expatriate’s home environment become irrelevant or inappropriate when transferred to another place. The following anecdote may give insight as to how concepts change from one place to another:

An American expatriate in China had to stay for a few days with a family in the countryside, where the living standards were very low. Despite the extreme winter temperatures, he would brave the cold every morning, and go shower outside under cold water. In the meantime, none of the Chinese people had a shower. After a few days the expatriate realized for his biggest surprise, that the whole family thought him to be dirty! Indeed, he was not washing feet before going to bed, as many Chinese consciously do.

People learn to see, act and value according to cultural norms. What a person considers to be true is the product of an adaptation to social or cultural norms. In the case of the American expatriate, most people would probably agree that taking a shower is a better indicator of body hygiene than washing feet before going to bed. For these Chinese peasants, and in this context, though, it was not.

Knowing and following cultural norms allows people to be respected and recognized as an integrated element of a culture or ethnic group. People who live in society, are accustomed to be in line with these codes of conduct, and the feeling of being respected is important for the self-image. The ego is strengthened by external feedback and for many motivation and energy is drawn from there. What the image of the American expatriate implies is that, no matter how true our values seem to us, we are not going to be respected if we do not accept local rituals and patterns of behavior.

By the end of childhood, people acquire a toolbox of appropriate attitudes and values. It is on this foundation that everyday routines can be built. So called routines allow people to act without need to analyze whether they are in line with social and cultural codes of conduct or not. It is a repetitive and validated action allowing to save mental energy for more important things. “Because we cannot process an infinite number of issues simultaneously, we establish routines. Routines and the certainty they provide create a kind of psychological economy.” (BLACK, J.S.; GREGERSEN, H.B.; MENDENHALL, M.E.; STROH, L.K.; 1999)

Another advantage of routines is an added feeling of security: The alarm clock ringing at the expected hour, the Thursday evening tennis match, and so on. Executing these actions confirms that everything is as usual and on the right track. Routines have the twofold benefit of saving mental energy and validating self-awareness.

What happens when people are transferred abroad, is that suddenly routines are disrupted. There is no harmony between self and environment anymore and the ego feels threatened, or at least cannot benefit from external confirmation anymore. Behavior does not produce expected results and doubt arises in all issues: “When to shake hands and what to say when we meet people, when and how to give tips, how to give orders to servants, how to make purchases, when to accept and when to refuse invitations, when to take statements seriously and when not.” (OBERG, K;1960)

Literally hundreds of questions and feelings bombard the expatriate, who is hurried from day to day routines – which are efficient and in line with home cultural standards – to a state of conflict between the self and environment. The more someone is successful in the home country, the more it may be difficult to accept to be inefficient.

All this creates what is called culture shock:

Culture shock is the set of psychological and emotional responses people experience when they are overwhelmed by their lack of knowledge and understanding of the new, foreign culture and the negative consequences that follow. (BLACK, J.S.; GREGERSEN, H.B.; MENDENHALL, M.E.; STROH, L.K.; 1999)

Kalvero Oberg adds that:

The [resulting] psychological crisis manifests in health (Insomnia, Loss of appetite), experience (Feeling of helplessness, Irascibility, Home sickness) and behavior (Lowered efficiency, Avoiding contact to host country locals) of the employee. (OBERG, K;1960)

For most people it is unbearable to remain in a situation of weakness over an extended period of time. After the initial phase, the assignee can either:

- Shut off from the host country: Because of the intangible nature of the decision, it is almost impossible to get empirical information about its consequences. Nevertheless it is questionable if these employees should have been sent abroad in the first hand. Refusal to accept the environment diminishes their ability to learn and work efficiently in a significant manner. More than that, if not resolved, the manifestations of the psychological crisis mentioned by Kalvero Oberg, may become chronic.
- Adapting to the host country: The next chapter covers the process of adaptation.

2.2. Adjustment - Taming the unknown

2.2.1. Concept of adjustment

People who decide to adapt go through a learning process in order to assimilate the “do’s and don’ts” and to interpret correctly information and stimuli of the host country. Learning can be achieved through contact with locals and expatriates which already adjusted, observation and imitation, and background information. Adapting is no easy task and may involve changes in the very core of people, like assumptions about life and values.

A Japanese expatriate to the United States or Europe will for example have difficult times in adapting to the offensive style of business negotiations or meetings. The face concept in Japan forbids to openly criticize or to put someone in a difficult situation in public. This concept is deeply rooted in Japanese mentality and permeates all levels of social life, from family to business. In Europe, though, the Japanese expatriate will need to be more open in expressing his thoughts, if he does not want to be thought of as inefficient by colleagues. In this case, adapting means totally changing views about the role and importance of the individual in society.

Culture may be compared to an iceberg where artifacts and behavior form the visible part, and assumptions and ideals are the immersed part of the iceberg. The hidden values are the origin of behavior. As a consequence, the real difficulty of understanding the foreign behavior lies in understanding the intangible aspects of culture, which are per se more difficult to recognize.

The idea of two levels, internal and external (or hidden and visible), can be transposed to the case of an expatriate: He will adapt his handling to the circumstances in the country and should feel better the more he assimilates and understands the foreign culture. But what happens at the same time, is that by adapting his reactions, he may alter his way of thinking and perceiving. Unconsciously distance is created to the home culture, and to what the expatriate has been. He is now able to better cope with the foreign country, but is not aware – at least to the full extent – that he might have dramatically changed in order to achieve this.

However, a German sent to Mali will face problems on another scale than an American sent to Canada. It is generally accepted that the more alien the culture, the more difficult adaptation and, as a consequence, repatriation.

But then again, expectations might be different: The German expatriate knows that he will have to face serious difficulties, whereas the American expatriate thinks that Canada should be about the same than the United States. In this case the German has the advantage of a better preparation through anticipatory adjustment.

Someone coming back from expatriation is not the same person than the one who left. Furthermore he or she is not aware to what extent he or she has changed.

2.2.2. Factors influencing adjustment

At the beginning of the chapter, pre-departure motivation was mentioned with the concept of adjustment not being introduced yet. Pre-departure motivation is one of the factors which eventually influence adjustment. Further factors can now be added:

- Cultural distance

The more a culture differs from the home culture, the more adjustment becomes difficult. Some expatriates might perform at top level in a country which is not too different, while being unable to adapt in a culturally distant country.

- Individual factors

Individual factors include the employee’s overall capacity to handle new surroundings and to interact with foreigners. On the one hand the employee needs enough self confidence to face given problems and to persist in trying to solve them; on the other hand, he must be sensitive enough to question his own behavior and identify the roots of his conflict. This presupposes an ability to meet and communicate with foreigners. This ability is usually referred to as intercultural competence. Interculturally competent individuals tend to be curious, flexible, open minded, tolerant of ambiguity, open to new experiences, friendly, respectful of others and patient. Because of their innate nature, these characteristics are not easy to develop. Nevertheless, being aware of intercultural processes is already helpful for the process of adjustment.

- Job factors

The new job can help or hinder efficient adjustment. Job satisfaction helps overcoming cultural problems. In this respect, a clearly defined job is of primary importance. This also implies that the job has been well defined between sending and receiving office in the first hand.

- Organizational factors

Organizational factors include aspects such as logistical support from the company and cross cultural training. The importance of training is justified by individual factors, which are the basis for adjustment. It also makes sense to provide first class logistical support to employees, so they can concentrate on relevant aspects of the foreign assignment.

- S ocial factors

Meeting people and building a network of acquaintances may help coping with the new environment, as it provides information and assistance.

Spouse adjustment also belongs to the category of social factors influencing the adjustment of the expatriate. When arriving abroad, employees can rely on the structure given by the new job, and children may have the school to help integrating the new environment. There they are likely to meet people who share identical cultural problems. Not only can spouses not rely on such a structure, they also cannot share their thoughts or difficulties with friends in the initial period abroad. This situation could even be exacerbated by the expatriate manager working long hours to master his new job. Nancy Adler mentions that:

“The husband’s work often leaves him the least available during the first few months abroad, exactly when his wife needs him the most to help with the logistics of settling in and to provide companionship and support. […] Unfortunately, the pattern of absent husbands and isolated wives reinforces itself in a vicious circle. […] As the wife’s situation becomes more difficult, her husband, often feeling guilty at the realization that his career caused the situation in the first place, increasingly avoids home.” (ADLER, N., 1991)

Tensions inside the family are strong enough to put a fast end on an assignment or – in the better case – to reduce the employee’s ability to concentrate on his job. Efficient adjustment of the employee is only possible if the spouse (or family) adjusts. Family and spousal problems have been identified as the major sources for failed assignments. Their relative weight in the adjustment process may probably be of great importance.

2.2.3. summary of factors influencing adjustment

The diagram below gives a general idea about the multitude of factors influencing the adjustment process.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Exhibit 4: Proposed model of factors influencing employees’ capacity for cross-cultural adjustment

Culture shock and adjustment have been identified as a major issue influencing the employee during his stay abroad. Other factors may be added:

2.3. Changes in social status and lifestyle

Depending on the country of destination and the compensation policy of the sending companies, expatriates experience an important shift in social status, level of life and purchasing power.

This may be confirmed by the following statement of a German expatriate spouse back from Benin – West Africa:

“[When receiving] I only had to tell the cook which menu he should prepare for the guests. Meanwhile I could relax and concentrate on the conversation while cocktails were being served.”

(KRÖHER, M.O.R, 2000)

It is not unusual for employees to live well above their home standards during their stay abroad. Most companies tend to be generous with expatriate packages and even if a company does not grant such a package, employees may be advantaged by the lower costs of living in the country of destination.

Changes in social status might be even more striking than living standards. Foreigners abroad meet easily and minorities (cultural, national, religious) tend to stick together. If two south-Africans meet in China they are likely to get in contact, no matter if one is general manger of a large multinational and the other is language teacher. The selection criteria is less social level, than belonging to a specific group.

Also it is not unusual in developing countries to be invited at embassy receptions or other high status social events. The different social strata are more permeable than in the home country. It is suggested that expatriates may become accustomed to such social and level of life shifts.

2.4. Increased Job autonomy & responsibilities

Depending on the company, its international structure and the nature of the assignment, employees may experience a great increase in their job responsibility. Especially people sent abroad to establish new subsidiaries and open markets learn to take decisions in a fast and individual manner.

“During the time abroad, the expatriate is likely to have had a greater autonomy and authority than he may have had at home. He is also likely to have solved business challenges that, by virtue of occurring in an unfamiliar culture and context were more difficult than familiar challenges back home” (STOLZ-LOIKE, M., 2001)

2.5. The out-of-sight, out-of-mind syndrome

While abroad, employees gradually lose contact with their home office. After the assignment, they may not identify anymore with the sending office. This is called the out-of-sight, out-of-mind syndrome. Employees begin identifying with the foreign office and fail to stay up-to-date with ongoing events at home. By doing this, the employee takes distance and his allegiance to the home office is diminished. An article in “Relocation Journal” claims that: “More than 50 percent of expatriates experience the out-of-sight, out-of-mind syndrome” (JAGATSINGH, K., 2000)



ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Paperback)
1.1 MB
Institution / Hochschule
Hochschule Furtwangen – Internationale Betriebswirtschaft
2003 (März)
human resources personal interkulturelles management auslandsendungen expatriates

Titel: Global Deployment
book preview page numper 1
book preview page numper 2
book preview page numper 3
book preview page numper 4
book preview page numper 5
book preview page numper 6
book preview page numper 7
book preview page numper 8
book preview page numper 9
book preview page numper 10
book preview page numper 11
book preview page numper 12
book preview page numper 13
book preview page numper 14
book preview page numper 15
book preview page numper 16
74 Seiten