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To what extent does the pre-departure training restrict challenges of expatriate employees and how multinational companies provide it to their staffs before an overseas assignment?

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Introduction

Research Question: To what extent does the pre-departure training restrict challenges of expatriate employees and how multinational companies provide it to their staffs before an overseas assignment? Introduction Nowadays, International Human Resource Management (IHRM) is considered to be a critical factor for a success of organizations in the context of globalization and international competitive market environment. Within the IHRM, management of expatriate employees is a primary field. A tendency of globalization offers more opportunities to employees to do business abroad. However, there are many difficulties and challenges for expatriates who want to live and work in the host country such as culture-sock, language barrier or instructional behaviours. Consequently, what can companies do to help their staff to deal with these issues? Pre-departure training seems to be a good answer for this question. Pre-departure training programs play an important role in Multinational Companies (MNCs). The program provides expatriates with skills and practical knowledge that will help them to overcome difficulties when they work overseas. Many MNCs are successful in their business by sending their employees abroad for pre-departure training while some companies found that it is not really necessary. Thus, pre-departure training programs are really necessary for MNCs or not? The question has been answered by many studies about expatriate training and how companies provide pre-departure training programs to their staffs. The challenges of expatriation In the globalization and competitive market environment, business is no longer limited by national boundaries (Ashamalla, 1998). The majority of large corporations over the world perform their business outside their home countries. The employees are required to work in overseas assignments, so they become expatriates. An "expatriate" can be described as an individual who is assigned to work in the country where he or she is not a citizen (Tahir and Ismar, 2007). ...read more.

Middle

(Downling, Festing, Engel, 2008, p145). That is the reason why Hurn (2007) mentioned about language training as "This is an obvious, but much neglected area". In 2002, the ORC Worldwide poll reported that 59 per cent of the responding companies provided pre-departure training before the departure and 74 per cent provided language training while their staffs were on assignment (Downling, Festing, Engel, 2008, p145). Practical assistance is another program of pre-departure training. This program promotes the adaptation of expatriates and their families when they move to a new environment. By providing these programs, pre-departure training is very useful and effective to bring a good preparation for expatriates before their departure. It will make their lives easier in the host country. How companies provide pre-departure training programs for their employees. An expatriate's adjustment is one of the most important factors makes international assignments success or failure. Understanding the important role of cross-cultural training, many multinational corporations offer pre-departure training programs to their employees prior to an overseas assignment. The number of MNCs which are offering a cross-cultural training has increased over period of time. For instance, in early 1980s, there were about 32 per cent of MNCs offered cross-cultural training (Tung, 1982). In 1998, almost twenty years later, 70 per cent of the 177 MNCs surveyed by Global Relocation Trends Survey Report provide cross-culture of at least one day's duration (Windham International & National Foreign Trade Council, 1998). However, the number of companies providing pre-departure training is different regarding to nationality. According to Tung's study (1982), MNCs in USA conducted pre-departure training for expatriates less than MNCs in Europe and Japan. There were only 32 per cent of US MNCs in comparison with 69 per cent of European MNCs and 57 per cent of Japanese MNCs. ...read more.

Conclusion

If the company is implementing effectively and profitably, the expatriate will have more opportunities to receive pre-departure training programs prior to his or her international assignment. In contrast, if the company's financial status is not good enough to offer the pre-departure training programs, the company will have to accept some risks in its international assignments. According to the research above, there is a fact that most of multinational corporations want to give pre-departure training programs to their employees. However, because of some specific situations, they can not do that. How to improve the pre-departure training to make it more effective and convenient to the multinational companies? There should be some further research in this question. Conclusion In the current context of globalization and competitive market environment, international assignments play a key role in corporations' business activities. The international assignments significantly contribute to a success and profitability of the company. It is hardly to ensure sustainable development of the companies if their overseas assignments are unsuccessful. Carefully preparation for employees prior their departure through pre-departure training programs proved to be a very effective and efficient modality to ensure a success of overseas assignments. . By doing this, companies could restrict the challenges which their expatriate employees will cope in the host country and they will have more chances to make their assignment successful. This study contributes the literature which supports the modality of providing the pre-departure training for employees who will do their assignment abroad. The study covers a number of researches about what challenges the expatriates have to face and how the pre-departure training can help them to reduce these challenges. The study also includes some research on a number of organizations which offer this training to their staffs as well as several reasons why some companies do not find it necessary. ...read more.

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