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This chapter discusses expatriate recruitment sources, methods, and the expatriates’ motivations to work abroad. Then it examines expatriate selection criteria, methods, and how expatriates are selected in practice. The chapter also presents the variety of expatriate preparation methods, discusses expatriate training effectiveness, and expatriate preparation in practice. It concludes by considering future avenues of research. Overall, in the area of selection and preparation for international assignments there is good material for researchers to build on and a growing understanding of the key issues. Nevertheless, there remains here a rich field for exciting research in the future.
This chapter introduces background information and recent trends in expatriation. It begins by briefly reviewing the early literature on expatriation, from the 1960s to the late-1980s. It then describes changes that occurred in the 1990s that transformed radically the area of global mobility. Finally, the chapter outlines key trends in global mobility that define the landscape of the topic today. The chapter concludes by summarising the contents and key contributions that the reader will find in each chapter of this book.
Adjustment is the process of changing behaviour, feelings, and cognitions to achieve a balance with the environment. Adjustment is needed whenever an individual transfers from a familiar setting to an unfamiliar setting to interact effectively and to feel a sense of belonging. Expatriates experience adjustment in the cognitive, affective, and behavioural dimensions and across different domains such as for example work, culture, and personal domains. The needed change includes new routines and uncertainty which might cause anxiety. Adjustment to the new situational context is essential for expatriation success. In this chapter, we examine what we have learnt from the literature. We discuss antecedents to adjustment and critically reflect on the most common approaches to analysing expatriate adjustment. Furthermore, new alternatives on how to understand adjustment that mitigate the limitations of previous models will be highlighted and we will provide insights on how to apply a holistic assessment. Finally, we will provide our readers with some practical and research implications.
This chapter explores international working options other than expatriation and migration, focusing, in particular, on three of the main alternative ‘other’ ways of arranging international work: short-term assignments (STAs), international business travel (IBTs), and international commuting (McNulty & Brewster, 2019). These ‘other’ ways of working in another country tend to be shorter and, crucially, do not involve relocating ‘home’ or taking the family, if there is one, with them. The chapter explores some of the advantages and disadvantages of these alternative forms of international experience.
With approximately 50 million people across the globe considered expatriates (persons living and working abroad for a limited time), global mobility is an important issue for individuals, organisations, and national governments, and a major research stream in universities and business schools. Written by a team of internationally renowned scholars from around the world, this volume summarises what is known about the management of global mobility and sets an agenda for future research. It also offers a comprehensive overview of the practical implications for organisations that manage expatriates, and individuals who are currently or aspiring expatriates. Providing an accessible and globally relevant introduction to the subject of expatriation and global mobility, this book will appeal to postgraduate, MBA, and EMBA students studying global mobility or international human resource management. It will also be of interest to practitioners, such as human resource managers and global mobility managers, who would like to gain a better understanding of the expatriation process.
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