After looking at the vast amount of differences in management techniques from one nation or culture to the next, it became apparent that a paper on the subject would be extremely general. I decided to narrow my focus to expatriates and the changes that have taken place over the past decade or so that make expatriates so valuable today in this world of globalization. This subject has been discussed at great length in my MGT 384 class recently.
The challenges faced by multinational organizations in attracting employees to accept international assignments are different today than 10 years ago. Issues that have assumed growing importance include changes in employee lifestyle, the expansion of the global marketplace, and the escalation of expatriate costs. .
Two-career families have been steadily bringing increased pressure on employers, who rarely considered this issue in relocation policies a few decades ago. During more recent years, the emergence of new markets in Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa has increased the need for expatriate assignments to difficult, dangerous or unpleasant locations. Added to these factors is the high cost of sending an expatriate abroad, averaging approximately two to three times base salary when allowances, incentives and extra adjustments are thrown into the pay package. .
How are employers responding to these pressures? According to a series of surveys conducted by Organization Resources Counselors, Inc. (ORC), which has been monitoring expatriate practices and policies of multinational companies over time, employers are taking the following actions: .
* Reducing the cost of the expatriation process, where possible; .
* Trying to strike the right balance between creating expatriate packages that are cost-effective but still attractive to the potential expatriate; and .
* Trying to strike the right balance between an unduly prescriptive policy and allowing so much flexibility that glaring inconsistencies arise.