Research Paper Entitled
"Effectiveness of Expatriates Training With Reference To IT/ITES Industry, Bangalore"
- Theoretical Study


By
Dr.M.K Purushothama
HOD
Vivekananda Degree College
Bangalore
Co-Author:
Santhosh Kumar N
Faculty
Nagesha.B.N
Faculty
Koshys Institute of Management Studies
 


EFFECTIVNESS OF EXPATRIATES' TRAINING -WITH REFERENCE TO IT/ITES INDUSTRY, BANGALORE

Introduction:

In recent years, the training of expatriates, who live and work away from their home country, has been recognized as one of the key elements for the success of business globally. It is suggested that international management experience and competence are required for firms to market and Operate overseas. Expatriate play "central roles as controllers, coordinators and knowledge transferors' within multinational and global firms. However, there is a lack of competent expatriates within companies" (Suutari & Burch). Training becomes an effective way to promote the competence of expatriates.

Meaning:

Expatriate: An expatriate is an employee working and living in a foreign country where he/she is a non-citizen. Thus, parent/home country nationals working in subsidiaries, host country nationals working in headquarters, third country nationals and 'other foreign employee' working domestic organizations belong to the expatriate category.

Objectives:

1. To study and understand expatriate training
2. To analyze the different training methods of expats training
3. To identify the need and importance of international assignment
4. To analyze the training effectiveness, and repatriation
5. To give constructive suggestions to the stake holders on the topic.
6. To Analyze Training leading to Job Satisfaction.

Roles and Responsibilities:

1) Securing transfer of technology/filling positions, as companies send the expatriates abroad in order to transfer their technology to the foreign subsidiary. I.e. in countries where qualified people are not available, companies send the PCNs to fill out the positions. This is mostly used by multinational and international firms.

2) Securing the headquarter control, where the companies can exercise this control by using the PCNs in their foreign subsidiaries. In such situations firms try to incorporate the headquarters' culture into the foreign operations, which in some cases may create cultural problems. Especially MNCs tend to demand administrative and financial control in their foreign operations.

3) Opportunity for international experience/ management development, as several firms finds international experience highly important before promoting their employees. Foreign transfers are here important in order to learn foreign cultures and environments. In such situations qualified HCNs are available but managers are still transferred to foreign subsidiaries to acquire knowledge and skills.

4) Securing organizational development, which also is called the "Geocentric approach". This role is performed only by the best people at the best places without nationality barriers. Transfers can take place from headquarter to subsidiary, from subsidiary to headquarter, or from subsidiary to subsidiary. Nationality of employees does not matter in this situation, as the objective of this staffing strategy is to get to know about different cultures, create international networks, decentralization, and interaction between managers of different nationalities. In general, this strategy is mostly followed by larger global companies.

Need and importance:

It may be insisted that the need for training arises from these reasons also

1. An increased use of technology in production.

2. Labour turnover/Attrition arising from normal separations due to death or physical incapacity. For accidents disease superannuating voluntary retirement promotion within the organization and change of occupation or job.

3. Need for additional hands to cope with increased production/Operations.

4. Employment of in experimented new or bad labor require detailed instruction for an effective performance of a job

5. Old employees need refresher training to enable them to keep abreast of the changing methods, techniques and use of sophisticated Systems and Soft wares.

Advantages and Disadvantages:

Advantages:

  • Headquarters control is greater;  
  • Headquarters organizational culture is more easily spread to the subsidiary;
  • Headquarters staff gain experience abroad. Managers gain understanding of inter-national business through expatriate assignments, and the organizational culture of headquarters becomes internationalized;    
  • Headquarters becomes more sensitized to subsidiary needs;   
  • Headquarters is more able to control local managerial and technical skill levels;   
  • Headquarters is better able to protect proprietary technology, and operating and main-tenance standards;   
  • Headquarters and the manager share a common national culture, and at this level, cultural differences and misunderstandings do not arise;   
  • Communications between headquarters and subsidiary are stronger;   
  • Headquarters is better able to in¥uence operations at critical times – for example, when the subsidiary market grows unstable, when the subsidiary is ailing, in a start-up;   
  • Closer links are made with other subsidiaries that are managed by headquarters staff.

Disadvantages:

  • Local staff get fewer opportunities to manage
  • Political risk is increased when the expatriate does not understand the local political situation
  • The expatriate takes time to develop local connections
  • The expatriate has less sensitivity to local market demands;
  • The expatriate may not know the local language
  • The expatriate may have less experience in managing the local staff
  • Training for expatriate assignment has to be provided
  • Expatriate costs are incurred
  • The expatriate may cost more to reward
  • Disparities in rewards between the expatriate and local staff create ill-feeling among local staff.

Benefits:

As organizations increasingly appreciate the importance of engaging individuals' in boundary less career trajectories, career development professionals should incorporate these findings into individual career development planning. Career development professional's support for individuals' self-directed global career development may bring long-term organizational benefits.

Language training involves teaching the expatriate the native language and/or the business language of the host country. While fluency can take months or even years to attain there are still benefits of using this training method. The method is often used in CCT and is an effective way of preparing an expatriate since lack of language skills can slow down an  adjustment process. Even though fluency in the native language is not attained, the ability to enter informal discussions, use common courtesies and show cultural empathy can help to facilitate adaptation to the host culture Forster also concludes that some knowledge of the local language is important to send visible signals of politeness and to better understand the culture of the host country. Language barriers can prevent the expatriate from processing information posted in the local language, both privately and at a professional level, and this prevents integration Knowledge of the local language does, as mentioned, facilitate cultural adjustment. Mention language skills as the dimension with the strongest effect on expatriate adjustment. In a study by Forster respondents did not regard pre-departure language training as very important, but criticism from respondents partly included the short duration of most of the courses.

Impact of Training:

This has created a different of expatriate where commuter and short-term assignments are becoming more common and often used by organizations to supplement traditional expatriation. Private motivation is becoming more relevant than company assignment. Families might often stay behind when work opportunities amount to months instead of years. The cultural impact of this trend is more significant. Traditional corporate expatriates did not integrate and normally only associated with the elite of the country they were living in. Modem expatriates form a global middle class with shared work experiences in Multi-national Corporations and working and living in the global financial and economical centers. Integration is incomplete but strong cultural influences are transmitted. Many factors contribute to the international success of an organization. Among these are strategic location of markets, competition, financial issues and pricing, and government regulation.

The human resource professional should consider the impact of the international assignment on the candidate. In one situation where a young manager was considered a "rising star" the training and socialization provided by the company consisted of pamphlets for the executive and family to read prior to their relocation to other country. To make matters worse, the young manager's peer and rival back home had just been promoted to a position to which both young executives aspired. In the course of the assignment, due to focusing on problems with family adaptation and extensive long-distance calls to ensure the expatriate manager was not "out of the race" for future promotions back home, the company lost 98 percent of its market share to a major European competitor (Tung,). Clearly, aligning the selection process with the attitudes of the candidates will result in more successful international assignments.

Conclusion:

The purpose of this study was to understand and evaluate expatriate training and training effectiveness, complexity of expatriate task assignment, need for training and cross cultural differences. In conclusion the researcher wants to state that, expatriate training program systematically institutionalized by multinational companies who compete in the global market, are essential for career enhancement. More attention to be paid to understand the complexity of international assignment and the factors leading to their success.

The present study cannot be generalized, so it is suggested that further research on this issue needs to be done. It is suggested that other approaches be employed to investigate the reasons that affect the expatriation training and its effectiveness. The comparisons of the results between qualitative study and quantitative study could further identify the casual relationships for expats effectiveness.
 


Dr.M.K Purushothama
HOD
Vivekananda Degree College
Bangalore
Co-Author:
Santhosh Kumar N
Faculty
Nagesha.B.N
Faculty
Koshys Institute of Management Studies
 

Source: E-mail August 3, 2012

          

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