What makes expatriate assignments successful?
journal contributionposted on 2017-06-05, 03:16 authored by Lee, Wai Ling, Beaumont, Nicholas
Expatriates are employees on assignments that require them to live overseas for lengthy periods (often defined as at least six months, a period forcing them and their families to interact with the host community). This paper identifies factors affecting expatriate assignment success. Globalisation generates more and more demanding international assignments (IBM stands for "I've been moved."). About half of expatriate assignments fail, generating high tangible and intangible costs. Expatriates may terminate assignments early for job or family reasons; are ineffective on the job; or do not reintegrate on returning to Head Office. Clear objectives and rational management enhance the success of an organisation's expatriate program; we propose a seven-step methodology that will help ensure that expatriate postings are managed effectively and efficiently. We stress the importance of planning the fruitful reintegration of repatriates on their return to Head Office and mention some emerging issues.