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Human Resource Management Essay

2456 words - 10 pages


As firms internationalize, the management of human resource complicates. Organizations need to integrate different cultural backgrounds, to understand the different institutional environments of subsidiaries and to control geographically dispersed activities. Expatriate is an increasingly popular approach by these situations. An expatriate is someone moving from the parent company or HQ to foreign subsidiaries while staying in the employment of the same firm. Expatriates are referred to by global firms as their “international assignees”. Expatriation is the key concern for MNC’s as they need to build global relationships.

Expatriate normally has three types:
1. Short-term ...view middle of the document...

In relation to family-related problems, the involvement of the expatriate spouse is very important in implementing expatriation strategy. Living abroad may bring the family together or living apart. Both outcomes have significant effects on the expatriate’s job performance. There may be more stress on the spouse and their children than on the expatriate. The expatriate has the support of fellow nationals at work. The family may feel isolated and depend totally on the expatriate for care and comfort.

If the husband and wife are both employed, the spouse maybe unable to work overseas. The relationship will be altered and challenged. Therefore, is hard to change their situation – moving abroad. If the companies want to send these people overseas, there is a requirement must be offered, such as overcome dual career couples, childcare, schooling housing and healthcare etc.

For non-working spouse, when they live in a new country, they will feel lonely. “How can I develop my personal life in my new home? How can I make friends? With whom will I make friends?” These are the issues that exist for non-working spouse.

The expatriate also has to think very carefully about how to cope without his or her network of friends around. Maybe they can make new friends; maybe their old friends will visit them, but some expatriates still couldn’t adapt to change the direction dramatically.

According to research done by Val Boyko into global solutions for international assignments’ at the Families in Global Transition conference in 2004, she found that the partner’s biggest challenges are that they fell:
1. Unrecognized.
2. Unsupported.
3. Let down because of inaccurate or irrelevant information.
4. Isolated.[2]

Culture Difference and Language Barrier

There is no escape. All persons who move into a foreign country eventually confront difficulties in adapting to the indigenous culture. Culture shock is the main problems faced by expatriates in the early days of their transfers. It is a natural response and a challenging period of adaptation. “The effects of culture shock may range from mild uneasiness or temporary homesickness to acute unhappiness or even, in extreme cases; psychological panic, irritability, hypersensitivity and loss of perspective are common symptoms. Often the victim doesn’t know what’s the matter with him. He just knows that something’s wrong – and he feels miserable.”[3]

Language and culture are closely intertwined. Language skills were seen as critical to task performance and cultural adjustment. The expatriate quickly confront adjustment difficulties when they are relocated to a foreign country. There are a number of reasons for this experience. The vast majority of expatriates do not fluently speak the language of their new host country. They may only have a superficial knowledge of the culture and the people with whom they now live and work. Many have never lived far from their families and friends before they accepted...

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