Fundamental Supports Needed for Successful Expatriate Assignments

Research Paper (postgraduate), 2013

7 Pages

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An Examination with Suggestions

Host Country Nations (HCN’s) offer a life changing experience for every expatriate and their family. Neither professional examinations nor matchmaking have been able to produce those who successfully complete their overseas assignment. There was once a young soldier who expected to see Nazi tanks deep in the ground, buildings in rubble, homeless people walking and searching for food when he arrived in Germany in the 1970’s. He even carried chocolate bars to hand out. Fear had blinded him to the beauty and splendor of West Germany. He was ultimately promoted more than his peers. His desire to learn and understand his new environment aided him while support structures kept him focused on those goals and family he wanted to keep close to him. With an estimated 18,000 to 45,000 Americans becoming expatriates each year, reducing the 40% to 50% failure of assignments may seem impossible (Reish, et al, 2011! Those who work in developing countries witness a 70% attrition rate. (Copeland, et al., 1985) This too, has tremendous room for improvement.

If there is an allowable rate of 10% that turn out to be fired for underperforming, then the revised numbers simply look sickly. There are an estimated 4 to 6 million expatriates (expats) living overseas at any given time. (Usumier, et al., 1999) Using modest figures, we reveal an expat attitude of “I want to go home” at the rate of 1,200,000 expatriates per year. This most horrid figure is begging for an answer and solution. Imagine leaving your local airport, bound for an overseas assignment. No one has spent time with you. You can remember what you have seen on TV. Scenes from Combat show severe destruction in Germany. Or, you feel warm, anticipating beauty or the charms of a welcoming city. You have left your home, your nest. You will learn what it takes work in a new environment on your own-the hard way.

Less than 20% of employers have a cursory introduction to their upcoming assignment. (Cole, 2008) Fewer managers want to be introduced to a new language and culture class while still in America. The up and coming expatriates are much like the young soldier anticipating the aftermath of WW2 when he headed to Germany in the1970’s for his first assignment abroad.

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Fundamental Supports Needed for Successful Expatriate Assignments
International Management
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Paul Yates (Author), 2013, Fundamental Supports Needed for Successful Expatriate Assignments, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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