About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3356-3365
Publication year: 2011
ISBN: 978-84-615-0441-1
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 3rd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2011
Location: Barcelona, Spain

PUTTING RESEARCH INTO CONTEXT: ESTABLISHING A PROPER STRUCTURE FOR TRAINING EXPATRIATE MANAGERS

K. Barlow

Bishop's University (CANADA)
As more companies realize the benefits of globalization, expatriate assignments have become more common. However, the success rate of these assignments is increasingly uncertain as task and cultural differences continue to test the expatriates’ capabilities (Kealey, Prontheroe, MacDonald & Vulpe, 2006; McCall & Hollenbeck, 2002). Despite the fact that there is still no definitive description of the global manager, which includes expatriates, a set of core multicultural competencies has recently emerged in the literature (Egan & Bendick, 2008; Fortier, 2009; Yamazaki & Kayes, 2004). These competencies are inclusive in nature and emphasize interpersonal and communication skills. However, no previous research has indicated a process that should be followed in order to best prepare managers for foreign assignments. Indeed, even with an increasing library of information, expatriate failure rates remain prohibitive. One key problem with the literature on corporate training for expatriates is that no structure exists outlining the preferred sequence for optimal training with managers leaving on global assignments (Landis, Bennett & Bennett, 2004). Using Experiential Learning Theory (ELT), this article offers a model that provides a proposed structure for training expatriate managers. The ELT model puts the manager at the center of the process emphasizing differences and self-development, allowing the expatriates to rapidly develop self-confidence. Our goal is to provide a framework that can be used to help decrease the amount of culture shock experienced by expatriates and enhance their competence on foreign assignments which in turn should decrease failure rates of international assignments. Our model is both flexible and specific and assumes that all managers require a set of core skills, while expatriates require additional country-specific training. Therefore the model consists of two phases that range from recruitment to specific cultural training. The first phase consists of four core stages, namely to 1) IDENTIFY candidates possessing the required threshold capabilities, in other words the required job-specific abilities and key behavioral traits such as openness to experience, that will allow them to adapt to the situation, 2) ASSESS the candidates’ competencies and interpersonal skills, 3) CREATE awareness of self and others, and 4) TRAIN and DEVELOP multicultural competencies and skills. The emphasis of this initial phase is to increase the level of core knowledge and skills that would benefit managers for work both on the domestic front as well as in foreign environments. The second phase needs to be administered only when a foreign assignment materializes. This training will focus on educating expatriates on the culture of the country they are assigned to through culture specific training and knowledge reminiscent of that published in the GLOBE studies, while also providing them with the specific skills needed to accomplish the assignment. Ultimately, the model shows a sequence of training that can address the complexity of today’s global environment so that expatriates are prepared to successfully meet the challenges they encounter in a globalized world.
@InProceedings{BARLOW2011PUT,
author = {Barlow, K.},
title = {PUTTING RESEARCH INTO CONTEXT: ESTABLISHING A PROPER STRUCTURE FOR TRAINING EXPATRIATE MANAGERS},
series = {3rd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN11 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-615-0441-1},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {4-6 July, 2011},
year = {2011},
pages = {3356-3365}}
TY - CONF
AU - K. Barlow
TI - PUTTING RESEARCH INTO CONTEXT: ESTABLISHING A PROPER STRUCTURE FOR TRAINING EXPATRIATE MANAGERS
SN - 978-84-615-0441-1/2340-1117
PY - 2011
Y1 - 4-6 July, 2011
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 3rd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN11 Proceedings
SP - 3356
EP - 3365
ER -
K. Barlow (2011) PUTTING RESEARCH INTO CONTEXT: ESTABLISHING A PROPER STRUCTURE FOR TRAINING EXPATRIATE MANAGERS, EDULEARN11 Proceedings, pp. 3356-3365.
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