Facilitating Expatriate Cross Cultural Adjustment Commerce Essay


This piece of work analyses the problems faced by the expatriate employees in multinational corporations considering the better results to their adjustment, standard of living in the foreign environment. The literature review studies about the practices of international human resource management, role of expatriates in adapting new cultural environment, training and development, expatriates failures in adapting new culture, situation dealing with ethical dilemmas, outcome of culture and external environment on their personal and professional life and the approach towards their adjustment, training and development. In the conclusion, it tells about the experience of expatriates as global managers and methods and tools which can be used to accelerate their adjustment in the different environment.

Background and Introduction:

The core subject on which the proposal is bound to be written is Cross Culture Management and Expatriates adjustment. Today cross culture management is becoming a big challenge for everyone. It is a proficient and explorable field. Joint ventures and strategic alliances are formed by different companies from all over the world in order to make place in global market. International assignments help in expanding international trade which in result increases people of diverse people work together. The scenario of the proposal is to identify how trainers help people from different cultures work together, how expatriates adjust in foreign environment and what tools help in developing their adjustment in an unknown culture and country.

Literature Review:

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Many firms are operating in domestic market which possess certain skills, techniques and have the potential to capture international market as well. National markets are merging into a global market and as a result organisations choose to produce and emerge in different countries and assign skilled and qualified people to work abroad (Hennart, 1982). According to Dunning's Eclectic theory, the key point is that organisations populate to ride inputs into outputs and this totally depends on firm's resources such as manpower, capital and other natural resources, whether it is situated in the parent country or the host country. Expatriates enter the scene when firms have strong resources and incentives to take on international assignment and other activities. According to Dowling et al (2008), expatriate is defined as "Someone is an employee who is working and temporarily residing in a foreign country" (Thanacoody, 2010). When the firm has got resources, manpower and capital then it wishes to internalize these but because of some market defects, expatriates comes into existence (Hewart, 1982). From IHRM point of view expatriates are classified into three categories: PCN's (Parent country nationals), HCN's (Host country nationals) and TCN's (Third country nationals). As outlined by the GMAC survey (2007) there has been increase in the number of expatriates in which 20% of expatriates are female, 48% are aged between 20 to 39 years, 60% are married and 54% accompanied by children, 82% of expatriates are accompanied by their spouses and 10% of them had previous international experience. The cited destinations where these expatriates are employed are U.S, U.K., China and Germany (Thanacoody, 2010). It has been noticed that many of the international assignments fail due to the expatriate's failure and possible outcomes are not achieved. The possible reasons for expatriate failures are partner dissatisfaction, inability to adapt the host country culture, family issues and poor candidate selection (Thanacoody, 2010). As stated by Hodgerts and Luthans (2003), many problems arise in operating in diverse international teams such a mistrust, stereotyping and language differences. Expatriate adjustment is the foremost task to be carried on in order to attain the target set for an international assignment.

Up to now the above literature review states that how expatriates come into existence and how they work in a diversified environment and how they adjust and adapt the culture and working patterns. Much of the conceptual frameworks are based on multinational organisations and country based comparison. In addition to this organisations should adopt two aspects in order to remove cultural barriers and other gaps which hinder expatriates growth in terms of work and performance.


The fundamental aim of writing this piece of work is to draw up a guideline for expatriates on how they adjust well in diversified environment in perspective of changing their standard of living and adapting new culture and how strongly they motivate themselves to work and adjust in a totally different environment.


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To recognize the importance of cross cultural training boosting the morale of manager's essence.

To assess the value of cross cultural training in real and competitive world.

To identify how cultural values have influenced HRM policies and practices.

To examine how employee motivation is enhanced working in diverse cultural environment.


In view of the proposal and the research carried out it is clearly illustrated that culture plays an important role and how successfully expatriates adapt the culture. Now- a days it is a competitive necessity to have a workforce that is fluent in the ways of world. Hence it is not surprising that an overwhelming majority of medium sized and large companies send professionals abroad and many of them plan to increase their number of expatriates. The main role of expatriate adjustment is the language differences, standard of living and basic needs. I personally believe that if the expatriates are unable to adjust to work and life in general in the new cultural context, they are likely to perform poorly at their foreign environment. So in order to knock down these culture barriers, psychological adjustment and socio cultural adjustment is a distinction that will be proposed in this piece of work. The psychological adjustment is based on problem-oriented view focusing on attitudinal factors of the adjustment process. The socio cultural notion of adjustment is based on cultural learning theory and highlights social behaviour and practical social skills underlying attitudinal factors. As a postgraduate management student I highly visualise organisations adopting such diversified culture by giving them trainings and development.

Personal Justification:

My interest into this topic is based on how expatriates adapt diversified culture and as we know that changing country, adapting culture, language differences wider and local environment. The primary reason of choosing this topic is this might help me to incorporate idea to develop with me giving me ability to implement it more affectively in practice. The secondary reason in selecting this topic as a thesis is this is a topic which i found to be most intriguing and highly enthusiastically interesting. In a critical approach I view this topic as a challenge for an organisation and as well as an expatriate to train and to adapt respectively in order to attain international targets. In addition to this the topic is wide enough to discuss and that would help mr to enhance my own learning experience.

Anticipated Methodology:

Research methods provide a clear picture of what is accurate and credible. Generally two types of methods are used for research: qualitative and quantitative (Creswell, 2009). The key part of the secondary data will be collected from the journal articles accessed through EBSCO. As the data obtained from these sources are relevant, accurate and justified properly. The primary data will be gathered by conducting individual as well as group interviews. Questionnaires will also be part of this research. Books will also be used to gather key points which will help to create arguments. Apart from this, on the Athens Login page there are many other databases that will be looked into. Online journal articles and news page will also be used as a part of research. Even the university library as well as other local libraries will be used to source and hunt for various articles that I may come across that cannot be located online. In addition to this entire research, even internet will play an important role in locating company information.

Chronology of Research:

Phase 1:

Collection of data related to the research theory.

Secondary Research and summarisation of data

Tracking employees for primary research.

Phase 2:

Focusing on primary data and its summarisation

Re evaluating research and carry out group interviews along with individual interviews.

Phase 3:

Analysing and bringing up all the data gathered and preparing an outline for the dissertation.

Phase 4:

Data analysis and finding out gaps and errors of the research data.

Phase 5:

Drafting first part of dissertation.

Phase 6:

Verify the work covered and get a feedback from supervisor.

Phase 7:

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Re-consider feedback and proceed over the gaps and missing parts with writing a final draft of dissertation.

Phase 8:

Prepare final draft and wait for the feedback from the supervisor.

Act upon the changes given by the tutor.

Phase 9:

Final dissertation and hand it over for reviewing and then checking out general errors like grammatical and spelling mistakes.

Phase 10:

Play with conclusion and cover last minute changes ad hand the assignment by deadline.


In indication to brief of the dissertation and the sources needed to gain information will be the resources which are already there and no other data will be required much. In order to locate some relevant information the chosen places will mostly likely be London and India based, costs would be minimal.

Ground on which the topic was chosen:

When I noticed that there has been intense global competition in the market and the assignments requires teamwork which needs to be highly productive and innovative. The requirement cannot be achieved by working in the same environment and with the same people, methods and technology. Thus by this, organisations must develop joint effort with people scattered over different cultures and zones. However, cross cultural interdependence becomes a biggest challenge for the organisations.


As more research will be done thoroughly while drafting dissertation there may be slight changes in title and objectives.