Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

More Multinational Firms Sending Execs Abroad

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

More Multinational Firms Sending Execs Abroad

Article excerpt

Global corporations plan a significant increase in the number of senior managers they will send abroad to gain experience, a scholarly survey reports.

Already, many transnationals have begun to "globalize" their executives, the better to prepare them "for future competitive success," the survey noted.

"Selecting future senior executives based on their international experience sends a key signal to employees that international perspectives and skills count," asserted the survey's authors, management professors Hal Gregersen of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, and J. Stewart Black of Thunderbird University in Glendale, Ariz. Currently, they noted, only 36 percent of European, 14 percent of Japanese and none of the American companies surveyed "actually required international experience as a prerequisite for becoming a senior manager." "In the future," Gregersen and Black predicted, "most firms in all three areas plan to expatriate managers more frequently." One-third of the global businesses surveyed plan no change in their expatriation policies and relatively few - 12 percent to 25 percent - plan to scale back this training approach, they said. Experience abroad, the researchers said, increases executives' ability "to think globally and act locally. Executives must develop an understanding of the global marketplace, yet have the ability to implement at the local level." The survey, completed last year, was designed to compare contemporary practices with future trends in global leader development, including expatriation, inpatriation, foreign travel, and task force project teams. Gregersen and Black gathered data from international human resources directors at 139 large transnationals, having 50,000 employees, on average. Of these, 69 companies were based in Europe and 35 each in Japan and the United States. …

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