Expatriate employees are affected in many ways, and on multiple levels, by their experiences overseas. The challenges faced and adjustments that need to be made, over time, can profoundly impact the perceptions, beliefs, and behaviors of individuals as they attempt to successfully adapt to a new culture and a foreign work environment. Among the "internal" perceptions that can be affected by this process is the degree of identification with one's "home" and organizational cultures, and aspects of self-concept (e.g., clarity, strength). It is not surprising, then, that repatriating employees often face a number of internal (and external) challenges as they readjust to their "home" and corporate cultures, and that this adjustment is typically mediated by the personal and organizational support systems that are available to them. Through in-depth interviews, eight subjects, representing a broad range of backgrounds and expatriate work experiences, were asked questions about their experiences while overseas and upon returning to the U.S. Interview questions were informed by specific phenomena of interest to the researcher, based on a review of existing research on repatriation and the researcher's training and experience regarding transition issues. Resulting interview data were analyzed and coded for emerging themes common among interviewees. Guided by a Grounded Theory and Phenomenological Inquiry perspective, the study examined how subjects saw themselves in terms of cultural identity and self-concept, what their perceptions were regarding the availability, accessibility, and utility of multiple support systems, what their feelings were about their organizations, and to what extent they experienced repatriation challenges as they returned to life in the U.S and their home organizations.
Empowering expatriates and organizations to improve repatriation effectiveness.
Human Resources Planning, 21(4), 29-39. Andreason, A. (2001). Ensuring the
success of expatriate managers. Journal of Business and Public Affairs, Fall, ...