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Pre-departure training

Discuss about the IHRM for Text and Cases.

The large scale expansion of multinational organizations has indicates that enterprises have identified the drawbacks of operating in a single geographical jurisdiction or country. The contemporary business environment is characterized by dynamics and hence companies are directed towards sending employees to foreign units of the enterprise. Therefore, competitiveness in the domain of international business could be achieved only through international human resource management (Armstrong & Taylor, 2014). The increasing number of expatriates employed in international assignments has created new prospects for realizing a varied assortment of functional and developmental entities in the sector of international business. Expatriates have become an inevitable constituent of organizational strategies pertaining to international business. Expatriates are responsible for catering the diverse needs of an enterprise during globalization such as management of crucial projects, fulfillment of staffing needs in the subsidiaries and operational units of the company in foreign jurisdiction, realizing competency in the distinct units and transfer of knowledge pertaining to organizational operations, processes and responsibilities (Aswathappa, 2013). Therefore, the significance of expatriates for multinational corporations could be clearly apprehended from the distinct roles assumed by them. Hence, the need for management of cross-cultural effectiveness and the adjustment of expatriates have been included as profoundly functional activities pertaining to human resources of a multinational organization.

It is imperative that the rising number of expatriates has led to a drastic changeover in the field of international business and intercultural adaptability has been considered as a major contribution to the efficiency of international assignments. As per Bratton & Gold International assignments involve substantial investments and the primary cause of failure in international assignments is reflected in the lack of intercultural adaptability which are necessary for expatriates to cope with the new business environment as well as the foreign culture (Bratton & Gold, 2012). Managers appointed for international assignments are generally selected on the basis of performance in the domestic jurisdiction. It is also observed that the most prominent areas which require pre departure training involve association with language facilities, local traditions, social behavior and beliefs as well as the political environment of the foreign jurisdiction. The views of several researchers and authors in the domain of international human resource management have suggested that the success of pre departure training is solely dependent on the provision of a plan which could enable the individuals to cope with the new cultural setting without any potential setbacks. Intercultural orientation is considered as a prolific aspect of pre departure training as it helps the expatriates to be prepared for unprecedented events in the novel business environment. Apprehension of social attitudes as well as the political scenario in an international business assignment is also included as a vital inclusion in the pre departure training.

Components of pre-departure training

According to Budhwar & Debrah, expatriates with the ability to predict socio-political adjustments and their subsequent implications for the operations of their enterprise in the foreign jurisdiction must be emphasized for international business assignment (Budhwar & Debrah, 2013). The most common benefits which could be drawn from pre departure training include clear identification and observation of disparities among different cultures and countries, adoption of behavioral practices for adapting to the new post and establishment of a cognizable cultural framework for understanding the behavior, values and norms of the resident population.


According to Caligiuri, components of ‘best practice’ pre departure training could be apprehended from the generalization of various theories and models laid out by authors and researchers in the domain of international business management (Caligiuri et al., 2001). The distinct components of a pre departure training program comprise of language training, practical support, training on cultural awareness and preliminary visits. Moderation of the individual factors in pre departure training could ensure that the expatriates are able to complete their period of stay in the international business assignments and acquire the desired returns on investments in the projects.

Preliminary visits account for a superficial apprehension of the host country environment. Expatriates should be sent to foreign countries intended by the organization for short trips. As per Mendenhall, Mark & Gnter, this initiative could enable the potential expatriates to evaluate the feasibility of their living in the foreign environment. The trips are also responsible for introduction of expatriates to the context of contemporary business in the host country (Mendenhall, Mark & Gnter, 2000). The initial adjustment process could also be facilitated through preliminary visits and hence the pre departure training program receives substantial support from preliminary visits. Practical support should be provided to the expatriates in the pre departure training which are responsible for helping the expatriates and their families to accept the new foreign environment. Mendenhall, Mark & Gnter  futher added that the practical assistance should be offered through the provision of facilities for determining appropriate schooling and health facilities as well as accommodation. Language training is a considerable investment that could be made in the pre departure training since language is the conduit which holds people together (Mendenhall, Mark & Gnter, 2000). Language is the basic necessity for communication and hence ‘best practice’ pre departure training should include language training in order to derive considerably favorable outcomes such as improved negotiation capabilities.

Language training

While many organizations prefer to exclude language training due to the complexity involved in training as well as learning a new language, the necessity of consistent monitoring of the retention of language skills is also a setback for inclusion of language practice in pre departure training. Cultural awareness programs are intended for effective performance of tasks and are a fundamental inclusion in the pre departure training program.  As per research of Nickson cultural awareness would enable the expatriates to appreciate the culture of the host country as well as understand the behavioral and orientation problems observed in host country. Furthermore, expatriates could garner a conclusive interpretation of suitable coping patterns from the observations in cultural awareness programs (Nickson, 2013). The cultural awareness programs are considered as the most crucial phases of pre departure training and are associated with numerous variations depending on individual factors such as host country, duration of stay and the objectives of the business assignment. Despite the consideration of individual components required for the most efficient pre departure training, the major setbacks for training of expatriates is associated with the distinctive influencing factors such as the length of training, level of rigor, the period of stay and level of integration required for the international business assignment.


Generally, the period of stay for expatriates is the influential moderator of pre departure training plans. The period of stay is responsible for deciding the degree of integration which includes low, moderate and high levels. According to Stahl, Björkman & Morris, expatriates required to stay for durations less than one month could be classified in the low degree of integration while those assigned with almost a year of stay in the international business environment are classified under the moderate degree of integration category. Individuals assigned for periods of stay exceeding one year are subject to high degree of integration (Stahl, Björkman & Morris, 2012). The distinct levels of integration are responsible for the decision on the cross cultural training approach to be followed for the expatriates. The cross-cultural training could be referred to as the cultural awareness component of pre departure training and the distinct approaches which could be identified for the distinct levels of interaction. As per Storey, information giving approach is preferred for expatriates in the low degree of integration (Storey, 2014).

The training period for this category of expatriates is generally lesser than one week which involves minimal level of rigor. The information giving approach is associated with the use of area briefings, basic language training, cultural knowledge through books and films and use of interpreters. The expatriates classified in the moderate level of integration are subjected to training periods of almost one month and they are required to follow the affective approach in cross cultural training. The affective approach involved critical incidents, moderate language training, case studies, role playing and stress reduction training. As per Vance, Charles & Yongsun, the expatriates selected for high level of integration are characterized with high level of rigor in training period which could last from one to two months. The high level of integration requires immersion approach of cultural training involving simulations, extensive language training, and sensitivity training and field experiences (Vance, Charles & Yongsun, 2016).

Cultural awareness programs


The effectiveness of pre departure training could be apprehended from the individual components included in an ideal pre departure training program. The significance of pre departure training program can be apprehended on distinct scales depending on the type of international business assignment as well as the selected type of cross cultural training program. The ability of handling spouse adjustment in the domain of international human resource management has led to the proliferation of distinct resources for progress of an organization in international business assignments. While the apprehension of individual measures for the components of pre departure training is imperative for multinational corporations, it is also necessary to understand the significance of ongoing expatriate development program. The training and development of expatriates is necessary, considering the requirement of varying competencies for success in international business assignments (Waxin, Marie & Alexandra, 2016). Expatriate development programs are intended for the improvisation of cognitive, performance and behavioral competencies. These programs enable the acquisition of facts and information related to the host country, integration of abilities to adapt to unprecedented conditions, acquire the justified business etiquettes, display of cross-cultural communication as well as the abilities pertaining to managerial skills, development of support networks and learning in context of the job itself (Stahl, Björkman & Morris, 2012).

Conclusion

The provision of prolific international training and development practices in multinational corporations could be classified as a mandatory initiative. The identification of real world examples of pre departure training programs as well as the suggested ‘best practice’ models could be validated as potential resources for expatriates to accomplish competitiveness in an international business assignment.

References

Armstrong, M., & Taylor, S. (2014). Armstrong's handbook of human resource management practice. Kogan Page Publishers.

Aswathappa, K. (2013). Human resource management: Text and cases. Tata McGraw-Hill Education.

Bratton, J., & Gold, J. (2012). Human resource management: theory and practice. Palgrave Macmillan.

Budhwar, P. S., & Debrah, Y. A. (Eds.). (2013). Human resource management in developing countries. Routledge.

Caligiuri, Paula et al. (2001):  "The Theory Of Met Expectations Applied To Expatriate Adjustment: The Role Of Crosscultural Training". The International Journal of Human Resource Management 12.3 357-372. Web.

Mendenhall, Mark E. and G?nter K. Stahl. (2000) "Expatriate Training And Development: Where Do We Go From Here?". Human Resource Management 39.2-3: 251-265. Web.

Nickson, D. (2013). Human resource management for hospitality, tourism and events. Routledge.

Puck, Jonas F., Markus G. Kittler, and Christopher Wright (2008),  "Does It Really Work? Re-Assessing The Impact Of Pre-Departure Cross-Cultural Training On Expatriate Adjustment". The International Journal of Human Resource Management 19.12 2182-2197. Web.

Stahl, G. K., Björkman, I., & Morris, S. (Eds.). (2012). Handbook of research in international human resource management. Edward Elgar Publishing.

Storey, J. (2014). New Perspectives on Human Resource Management (Routledge Revivals). Routledge.

Vance, Charles M. and Yongsun Paik. (2016) "One Size Fits All In Expatriate Pre?Departure Training?". N.p.,. Print.

Waxin, Marie?France and Alexandra Panaccio. (2016), "Cross?Cultural Training To Facilitate Expatriate Adjustment: It Works!". N.p.,. Print.

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My Assignment Help. International Human Resource Management For Text And Cases Is An Essay. [Internet]. My Assignment Help. 2018 [cited 17 July 2024]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/ihrm-text-and-cases.

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