Expatriation management is a popular topic in human resources because, nowadays, expatriates play a very important role in the global operation of the Multinational Corporation (MNC).
RIT’s recent research study aims to understand how MNCs select, train, deploy and support expatriate managers during and after their foreign assignment in the UAE.
The findings of the study demonstrate that the overall expatriation process for MNCs operating in the UAE is rather unplanned. Hence, there is a necessity for the MNCs to create a strategic expatriation process including the selection of the right individual for the right job, relevant and specific pre-departure and post-arrival cross-cultural training, realistic support for the expatriates and accompanying families in the UAE and, finally, a clear repatriation policy to mark an effective conclusion to the international assignment in the UAE.
Most importantly, this study indicates that technical skills are generally the primary, or only, criteria for the selection of expatriates. However, other abilities such as relational and perceptual adjustability and language skills are vital for expatriates working in the UAE.
Finally, the study found strong correlations between expatriate preparation and support on the one hand and expatriate performance and organizational commitment on the other hand.
The motive is crucial, especially for MNCs who frequently depend on technically-skilled personnel, who are in short supply, to set-up, staff and manage subsidiaries in overseas locations to insure the success of the expatriate mangers and of the company.
Author: Dr Rizwan Taher, Associate Professor of Business. Rochester Institute of Technology Dubai