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International Management Master - Essay Example

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When someone is living in another country on a temporary or a permanent basis and is exposed to a foreign culture, not of his own native country, then that person is an expatriate. However, what differentiates an expatriate from an immigrant is his opinion about the host country…
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International Management Master Essay
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Download file to see previous pages For companies who want to survive in the longer run and on a much wider scale, it has become a necessity to send assignments abroad.
However, even if the practice of initiating expatriate programs is necessary, companies usually tend to think that it is a high cost investment as they are expected to bear the cost of the pay of the employees, their housing and the other facilities given to them and their family, like education, health, safety and the daily necessary expenses. The costs generally shoot up if the country they are being sent to have a high cost and low standard of living.
Expatriate assignments may indeed be very expensive but some far sighted companies who have the longer run and the larger picture in mind are ready to afford the cost, as long as they believe that the return will be profitable and will help them expand. When it comes to calculating returns, not all companies can come to a satisfactory conclusion and experience qualms about entering into expatriate assignments. Some of the reasons for this are that costs cannot be traced back easily and the returns on the investment may take years to appear which may also not be very obvious at first.
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For example, a company may be able to report costs such as the remuneration given to the employee but can not quantify the return such as the value of the experience gained by the international managers at work, or the global exposure that the company got because of the assignment. Due to the difficulties faced in these calculations, many companies think that expatriates are very expensive and leave it at that, without bothering themselves about the future benefits they may earn over a period of time.
There a number of things the human resource professionals of the company need to consider before embarking upon an expatriate assignment. These assignments need to be dealt with prudently as they incur a lot of costs for the company and the return they are expected to get may not be what the company has in mind. Thus, these assignments should be programmed along the strategic goals of a business.
To minimize costs and to maximize the return, the human resource department of the company needs to decide whether the employees going abroad have the required technical skills to handle the task. Moreover, the employees being set abroad should be assigned a work that is important and will be beneficial to the business and the costs incurred by the company should not just be for a pleasure trip of the employees.
When expatriate assignments are undertaken, knowledge transfer between countries begins to grow. One of the most important benefits of having international assignments is the multi-cultural knowledge and experiences an expatriate gains and the ability to survive in a challenging and a strange environment certainly assists the company in the longer run. The expatriates then become invaluable for the company as their abilities meet the requirements of international standards and their knowledge and experience enables the company to grow and maintain a healthy environment for its other employees.
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