Recruiting the expatriate and arising international Human Resources issues The evolution of International Human resources has been rapid and fast. It has been offset by rapid globalization and cross cultural contexts. Arising HRM problems are due to internationalization of the corporate world and the evolving of HRM strategies, policies and practices which corporations pursue in response to the internationalization process (Qi & Lange, 2005).
The recruitment of an expatriate is a company’s formula of exporting manpower and importing foreign technical knowledge of the country the expatriate is to work in. As such hiring and dispatching an expatriate to China is a sure way to gain Chinese HR and work environment awareness (Yurkiewicz & Rosen, 1995). Besides these, international assignments give managers valuable experiences useful for the company’s future (Scullion, 2001). Due to lack of experienced and skilled employees in China, the need for an expatriate is integral.
The need for the expatriate is to fill this gap since the company is building up a subsidiary in China. Expatriates conduct business on behalf of the company so as to insure the company against impending corporate storms which would facilitate failure. (Ronen,1986). Approaches to hiring expatriates include ethnocentric, polycentric and geocentric approach. The company shall expedite the expatriates through geocentric approach. This means that the MNCs will appoint choose the most qualified employees to lead the subsidiaries in China irrespective of nationality (Wild et al.
, 2000). The need for an expatriate is basically to ease the management of the subsidiary in China. His presence assures the company management the opportunity to control and coordinate their subsidiaries better. As discussed earlier in the paper, China’s corporate culture differs completely from the American corporate culture as well as the people’s attitude and behavior. The expatriate is tasked with the role of dealing and reducing costs of managing the culture and natives attitude problems which are very expensive for a company.
The expatriate is tasked also in the management of the company and foreseeing the company stays within the required standards and adheres to set regulation legislation as well as to respond to problems and share the aims of the parent company, and can interpret its policies and organizational culture. ‘Headquarters can put them in key positions around the world to coordinate and control the company (Black, Gregersen & Mendenhall, 1992). However expatriate failure may be a disappointment to the company.
The major causes of expatriate failure are the inability of a manager to adjust, the inability of a spouse to adjust, and other family problems. This leads to direct cost like “expatriate’s salary, Foreign Service premium, allowances, benefits, which are calculable. Indirect cost implications to the MNC jeopardize market shares and damage relations with customers, partners, suppliers and local governments. ” (Dowling, Schuler & Welch, 1994) Culture and structural outlook of the new business environment become difficulties to the overseas manager.
The expatriate has to absorb the culture shock as efficiently as possible. His capacity might be compromised since he is exposed to a new, foreign and unfamiliar environment and society. This makes him afraid, alone and discouraged. Qi and Lange define this “culture shock” as people feeling lost, confused and anxious because of the unfamiliar situations and different cultural norms and values (Neuliep, 2003). When people move to a new country and experience a new culture, they always take values, beliefs and behaviors based on their own culture with them.
If the new culture clashes with their home culture, people may experience culture shock. It is a psychological and social process in which people feel homesick, confounded, depressed, irritable, stressed and furious (Wild et al., 2000). Selection and recruitment of a MNC expatriate Recruitment and selection of an overseas manager is a thorough process of job analysis which helps the managers to determine the level of skills/technical abilities, competencies, flexibility of the employee required. Below are the most essential attributes which reflect a competent expatriate and the most suitable candidate for the position.
Technical Competence on the Job, job factors, Relational dimensions, Personal Characteristics, Environmental variables, Family situation, motivational state, language skills.
Adler,N. J. (2002) International Dimensions of Organizational Behavior (4th edition), Thomson Black, St. J. , Gregersen, H. B. & Mendenhall, M. E. (1992). Global Assignment. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers. Dowling, P. J. , Schuler, R. S. & Welch, D. E. (1994). International Dimensions of Human Resource Management (2nd ed. ). USA: Wadsworth Publishing. Neuliep, J. W. (2003).
Intercultural Communication: A Contextual Approach (2nd ed. ). USA. : Houghton Mifflin. Philip M. Rosenzweig, Nitin Nohria; Journal of International Business Studies, Vol. 25, 1994 Ronen, S. (1986). Comparative and Multinational Management (4th ed. ). New York: JohnWiley & Sons, Inc. Rosen, B. & Yurkiewicz, J. (1995). “Increasing Receptivity to Expatriate Assignment” in: Selmer, J. (Ed. ) Expatriate Management: New Ideas for International Business.
Westport (USA): Quorum Books, pp. 37-56 Scullion. H (2001). “International Human Resource Management” in: Storey, J. (Ed. ) Human Resource Management: A Critical Text. London: Thomson Learning, pp. 288-313. Wild, J. J., Wild, K. L. & Han, J. C. Y. (2000). International Business: an Integrated Approach. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall. Qi & Lange, 2005, Preventing Expatriate Failure, Kristianstad University The Department of Business Studies Richard S. W, John R. B, George T, Ronnie Tan Li Tong, (2007) Super human resources in china: practices, performances, and opportunities among china’s manufacturers. The Manufacturing Performance Institute www.mpi-group.net
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