International Assignments: An Integration of Strategy, Research, and Practice

International Assignments: An Integration of Strategy, Research, and Practice

International Assignments: An Integration of Strategy, Research, and Practice

International Assignments: An Integration of Strategy, Research, and Practice

Synopsis

Although firms have been sending employees on international assignments for decades, systematic understanding is sorely lacking. This volume looks at such critical aspects of the assignment process as the selection process, the training required, factors that affect adjustment, performance and commitment, and how to retain and capitalize on the international experience once employees return home.This book is written for human resource managers and executives whose focus includes the global economy and the strategic role of people in achieving international competitiveness. It can be used as a textbook for courses in International Human Resource Management.

Excerpt

Although the authors of this book and I approach the strategic challenges of globalization from different perspectives, we've come to a similar conclusion: that the “people” imperative is often overlooked when companies decide to enter new countries or world regions. Stroh, Black, Mendenhall, and Gregersen base their assertion on extensive research and practice; mine is the product of more than 30 years in corporate leadership roles—the last two decades of which have included positions with substantial exposure to the global marketplace.

It is stunning to think just how much the world of commerce has changed during that time. Many of our most cherished business paradigms have been forever altered by the impact offerees such as improved communications and transportation technologies and borderless trade policies. When we speak today of the “Big Three” automakers in the United States, for example, we must remember that one of those—DaimlerChrysler—is now controlled by German ownership; and we must recognize that in any given month, a Japanese firm with U. S. manufacturing facilities is likely to be one of the top three.

As noted by Stroh et al., globalization has become a fact of business life. It is inevitable in an era when the corporate customers that many companies serve are positioning themselves to become global players. A company can no longer afford to focus on a single geographic market—not if it expects to earn business contracts from corporations and conglomerates that are aggressively developing their business opportunities on a global stage. Such customers won't wait for their traditional suppliers to catch up. Instead, they will turn to new suppliers, suppliers that can in fact help produce and distribute their products and services in the markets they want to enter.

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