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Re-entry and Career

Issues
(Chapter 8)

The Repatriation Process

Recruitment
And selection

Predeparture
training

On
assignment

Repatriation or
Reassignment

The Repatriation Process


Three

phases:
Pre-Departure

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

Two

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
company

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
underutilized
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

Five

predictors for repatriates


maladjustment:

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
repatriation

The

experience of living and working in


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

The

Repatriate adjustment is thus affected by


four major factors

The Readjustment Challenge


Company Changes

Altered perspective

Home country
Societal changes

Repatriation

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

Social

Factors:

The international experience may create a


psychological and social distance
Reality shock due to glamorizing the life back
home
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
process:
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

Return

on investment

Cost/benefit analysis of financial/nonfinancial data

Knowledge

transfer:
Fink et al classified repatriate knowledge into five
categories:

Market specific knowledge


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

Designing a Repatriation
Program
Mentors

are assigned depending on the


following factors:

Size of expatriate workforce


Work unit responsible for the expatriate
Nationality of responding company

Mentor

duties:

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
Preparation,

physical relocation & transition

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

Stress

management, communication related


training
Establishing net working opportunities
Help in forming new social contacts