Neophytes to Cosmopolitans: How do we Prepare our Expatriates for Foreign Postings?

By Ellen McBarron and Nasir Butrous.

Published by The Organization Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The cultural environment in which expatriates work and live is an extremely important factor in determining successful performance. Despite the literature supporting this aspect and the implication on bottom line results, organisations continue to send employees on foreign assignments ill prepared for the environment. It appears that since Tung’s work (1981 and 1982) little has been done in the way of ensuring successful assignments. This project analyses findings of a pilot study involving Australian expatriates on the status of their formal pre-departure training; mentor programs to monitor the interests of the firm and the expatriate; and the support for those selected for their technical skills whilst on international assignment. The pilot project suggests further research is warranted with additional aspects of preparation for international assignments and linking this to organisational success.

Keywords: Expatriate, Acculturation Training, Diversity, Cultural Shock, International Assignment

International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management, Volume 10, Issue 7, pp.119-128. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 631.381KB).

Ellen McBarron

Lecturer, School of Business, ACU, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Ellen worked in the corporate sector for thirty years before moving to academia. She is currently a lecturer in the Faculty of Business at the Brisbane Campus (Banyo) of the Australian Catholic University. She teaches in Burma, Thailand, Beijing, Hong Kong and Brisbane in all areas of Management at undergraduate and post graduate levels. Her current research is in the area of international HRM and is currently developing a pedagogically sound tertiary curriculum for refugees in the camps. Ellen is a recipient of a teaching and learning award for the development of a replicable and sustainable model that delivers tertiary education to refugees in camps. This model has been adopted by the United Nations and is being used in other areas of refugee education in Rwanda and South America.

Dr. Nasir Butrous

Associate Professor, School of Business, ACU, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Associate Professor Butrous is the foundation Head of the School of Business and Informatics (Qld) 1999-2004 at the Australian Catholic University. During this period, A/Professor Butrous has been a member of the Arts and Sciences Faculty Board, the Business and Informatics Sub-Faculty Board, and the Management Advisory Committee on the Brisbane Campus. In addition, Dr Butrous has been staff representative on the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Board (2007-2010). In May 2004, A/Professor was elected to the ACU Senate as a staff member senator for 2 years. In 2005, Dr Butrous was appointed to the role of McAuley Campus Community Engagement Coordinator actively building linkages with the wider community in addition to his position as Associate Professor in Management, School of Business. A/P Butrous was acting Pro-Vice Chancellor (Quality and Outreach) in December 2003 and have acted as PVC while the incumbent is on leave (2004-2007).


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