Cross-Cultural Training and Success Versus Failure of Expatriates Page: 50
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and expatriates are to be minimized and cross-cultural capability achieved (Caligiuri, 2000;
Forster, 2000; Osman-Gani, 2000; Sargent & Matthews, 1998). At the core of this argument was
the belief that better selection techniques (Black, Gregersen & Mendenhall, 1992; Harvey, Speier
& Novicevic, 2001; Richardson, 2000; Tung, 1982), cross-cultural training (Black, Mendenhall
& Oddou, 1991; Desphande & Viswesvaran, 1992; Selmer, 2001; Tung, 1988; Zakaria, 2000),
and in-post support (De Cieri, Dowling & Taylor, 1991; Harris, 1989; Hippler, 2000; Kraimer,
Wayne & Jaworski, 2001), can play a major role in contributing to expatriates' intercultural
effectiveness. Despite a recent survey suggesting that expatriates want their employers to provide
cross-cultural assistance to them and their families (Britt, 2002), research conducted over two
decades has consistently shown that international organizations either neglect or handle
expatriate cross-cultural preparation poorly (Osman-Gani, 2000).
Multinational companies (MNCs) can maximize the likelihood of expatriate success
through appropriate selection programs. Since the dimensions comprising the performance
construct for expatriate positions differ from performance in domestic positions, expatriate
employees in a foreign environment need a somewhat different set of skills and abilities to
accomplish the same job they performed successfully in a domestic environment (Liu & Lee,
2008; Tung, 1981)
Lee and Croker (2006) suggested four perspectives when selecting employees for CCT:
1. A competence perspective of expatriate training which looks at the personal
characteristics of expatriates
2. A task perspective of expatriate training which examines the relationships between
characteristics of expatriate assignments and the needs of expatriate training.
3. A culture perspective of expatriate training - Individuals tended to perceive culture
factors differently, and expatriate perceiving higher cultural differences between the
parent country and host country might need higher levels of expatriate training
4. Learning style and teaching modes as moderators of training performance - Learning
style analysis has become a critical element in the expatriate training process (Lam,
1998). The analysis of the learning styles of the expatriates is useful in identifying what
kinds of training modes should be offered before and after their departure. To enhance
the effectiveness of training, trainers should deliver materials in particular teaching
modes to fit the interests of the various learning style of the learners.
Besides selection techniques, cross - cultural adaptation is the biggest challenge that
derails expatriate success (Jassawala, Truglia, & Garvey, 2004). Therefore, Jassawala et al.,
suggest ways to ensure success. Helping expatriates understand and manage conflict situations
arising from cross-cultural differences, using emotional intelligence as a selection procedure, and
enhancing training content and methods to prepare participants for the day-to-day reality of
interacting with host nationals, thus creating lower stress familiarization pre-sojourn visits can all
contribute to the success of expatriation. Tan, Hartel, Panipucci and Strybosch (2005) suggest
that emotional management skills are pertinent to the study of expatriate experiences and
important to achieving successful cross-cultural operations.
Characteristics of Expatriate Training
MNCs have realized that the way to thrive and not just survive in the global market is by
developing global human resource management strategies. Even though the tasks carried out in
Learning and Performance Quarterly, 1(2), 2012
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Joshua-Gojer, Ashwini Esther. Cross-Cultural Training and Success Versus Failure of Expatriates, article, 2012; [Denton, Texas]. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122179/m1/4/: accessed April 25, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT College of Information.