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Re-entry and Career

(Chapter 8)

The Repatriation Process

And selection



Repatriation or

The Repatriation Process



Sponsor assigned
Communication protocols established
Web & media contacts for context
Pre-departure training & orientation

During assignment:

Home leave
Work-related information exchanges
On-going communication with sponsor
Systematic pre-return orientation

Upon return:

New assignment
Organizational reconnection
Assistance with non-work factors
Rituals or ceremonies to share experience


stages of culture shock

Explanations for repatriate turn over:

Employees with international experience are more

likely to leave the company
To pursue other expatriate assignments beneficial
to their career
Anticipate a lack of attractive positions to return to
and seek out better opportunities outside their

Individual Reaction to re-entry

An interaction of several factors which can be
grouped into two categories (fig-8-3):
Job-related factors:

Career Anxiety:

The concern about the effect of international

assignment on the persons subsequent career
path; Whether the re-entry position matches the
repatriates career expectation

No post-assignment guarantee of reemployment

The expatriate may fear the loss of visibility and

isolation from the parent company (especially in a
completely independent subsidiary) and
consequently forgotten at the time of making
decisions about promotions.
Changes in the home work place

Work Adjustment:
Re-entry position: The repatriate finds
himself/herself in a position that, in effect, is a
demotion or even retrenched (particularly if
the expatriate does not have a guaranteed job
upon repatriation).
The employment relationship
Poor handling of repatriates may have an
adverse impact on staff availability for
international assignment

Devaluing the International Experience:

If the re-entry position does not seem to exploit

their newly gained, international expertise; feel
The re-entry position is a less challenging job with
reduced responsibility and status than that held
during the international assignment or held prior
to the period abroad
The devaluing of the international experience has
been linked to repatriate turn over

Coping with New Role Demands:

Role conceptions may remain influenced by that

of the foreign assignment
Role discretion refers to the freedom to adjust the
work role to fit the individual, making it easier for
the person to utilize past familiar behavior thus
reducing the uncertainty in the new job
Role clarity rather than role conflict was
significantly related to work adjustme


predictors for repatriates


Length of time abroad

Unrealistic expectations of job opportunities in the
home company
Downward job mobility
Reduced work status and
Negative perceptions of the help and support
provided by the employers during and after


experience of living and working in

another country can affect the persons selfefficacy (more self-confidence and broader


Repatriate adjustment is thus affected by

four major factors

The Readjustment Challenge

Company Changes

Altered perspective

Home country
Societal changes


New person emerges

Family adjustment

Exit considered

Loss of Status and Pay:

The international assignment is a form of

promotion carrying greater autonomy, a broader
area of responsibility, and a prominent role in the
local community (kingpin syndrome)
The loss of expatriate premiums results in a
lowered pay



The international experience may create a

psychological and social distance
Reality shock due to glamorizing the life back
Reestablishing social networks
A sense of loss as the level of attention and
support is withdrawn
A close expatriate community
Children may also find re-entry difficult
Effects on partners career

Multinational responses
Three reasons for an effective repatriation
Staff availability and career expectations

Boundaryless careers: where highly qualified

mobile professional builds his or her career
competencies and labor market value through
transfers across boundaries


on investment

Cost/benefit analysis of financial/nonfinancial data


Fink et al classified repatriate knowledge into five

Market specific knowledge

Personal skills
Job-related management skills
Network knowledge
General management capacity

Designing a Repatriation

are assigned depending on the

following factors:

Size of expatriate workforce

Work unit responsible for the expatriate
Nationality of responding company



Maintaining contact with the expatriate throughout

the assignment
Keeping expatriates uptodate with the
developments back home
Retention of expatriates in management
development programs
Assisting in repatriation process including helping
them with a repatriation position

Topics covered by a
repatriation program

physical relocation & transition

Financial and tax assistance
Re-entry position and career path assistance
Reverse culture shock
School system and children education
Work place changes


management, communication related

Establishing net working opportunities
Help in forming new social contacts