MBA522 Discussion 6 WK6

MBA522 Discussion 6 WK6

Unit 6: Discussion

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Global firms hope that most employees who are sent on foreign assignments, particularly expatriates who might be expected to last for a couple of years or more, will reach the interdependence stage. However, expatriates sometimes return home early, for a variety of reasons. There are several reasons why expatriates fail to complete the duration of their stay in a different country. The most common is family stress. While the employee is experiencing a novel and exciting environment and making new friends at work, the spouse, who may have left a job or career behind at home, may be lonely and struggling to adjust to the new culture, which can put an enormous amount of pressure on a relationship. Another factor is that foreign assignments often come with a higher degree of responsibility, which some people find overwhelming. Managing people from different cultures can be frustrating and perplexing, especially if the expatriate is not familiar with the local customs. For example, in Asia some workers may not show up to work if they want to “save face” – a decision U.S. managers may find difficult to accommodate. If an expatriate is unable to fulfill the requirements of his or her role or does not possess the emotional maturity to handle additional responsibility, then the organization itself may choose to terminate the assignment. Finally, another reason for expatriate failure is inability to adjust to cultural or language differences, which often occurs because of poor advance preparation. This can lead to severe homesickness and an early return home.

Discussion Questions

Read the following article to answer the discussion questions (link below).

Expatriate Adjustment

Takeuchi, R. (2010). A critical review of expatriate adjustment research through a multiple stakeholder view: Progress, emerging trends, and prospects. Journal of Management, 36(4), 1040-1064.

“A critical review of expatriate adjustment research through a multiple stakeholder view: Progress, emerging trends, and prospects” (Links to an external site.)

Questions that apply to this article:

  1. Following your reading of this article, describe your thoughts on whether you would like to work as an expatriate or not.
  2. If you were a manager in charge of expatriate success at your organization, what action steps would you take to ensure effective performance by your employees?
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