Tag Archives: Expatriate

Social Capital in Global Citizenship

mathias-sager-social-capital-mobiity

Content:

  • Matching national and organizational cultures
  • Prizing of social capital on individual, institutional, and societal levels
  • The ‘paradox of unsocial sociabilities’
  • Global citizenship, international careers, and the culture of global nomadism

Matching national and organizational culture

According to Nahapiet & Ghoshal (1998), social capital is “the sum of the actual and potential resources embedded within, available through, and derived from relationships” (as cited in [1]). However, it is not enough to design global leadership development programs with the goal to share knowledge according to national cultures in multinational enterprises (MNEs) without carefully making sure that the program also matches the organizational cultures involved (Espedal, Gooderham, & Stensaker, 2013).

Prizing of social capital on individual, institutional, and societal level

How the built social capital is prized depends on context. For example, Singaporean bureaucratic and political elite prizes social and cultural capital from the US, UK, and Western Europe highly as a result of Singapore’s unique history [3]. In academia, it is known that the apt use of researchers’ social capital in the form of international research networks helps significantly in achieving excellence [4]. On the other hand, global mobility experiences that come with a personal value such as new perspectives and knowledge about different cultures and systems can be not valuated as social or cultural capital by the home environment and therefore doesn’t get utilized by the respective institutions and organization [5]. There can be even biases on individual, organizational, and societal level because of strong interpersonal and intergroup processes preventing non-discriminatory perceptions of the intercultural aspects they are confronted with [6].

The ‘paradox of unsocial sociabilities’

The ‘paradox of unsocial sociabilities’ describes the behavior of individuals who aspire to grow their professional global connectivity but remain emotionally relatively uninvolved locally [3]. In the case of expatriates, they can be conflicted between resistance and acceptance of the new culture as part of incorporation its possibilities within themselves [7]. For people from collectivist cultures, the loss of their societal embeddedness might not be felt as compensated [7] by the newly gained increase of social capital from a global perspective. Money can replace social capital in the sense that knowledge transactions can be bought anywhere (e.g., banking, legal, and medical services, etc.), independent of location [8].

Global citizenship, international careers, and the culture of global nomadism

Social capital networks reinforce themselves [9] and education, financial means, and access to information and communication technology determine to what level talent can be optimized [10] . To get access to global social capital, globalized forms of education to foster global citizenship is recommended by the UN [11]. Often international assignments don’t necessarily lead to returns home and can result in onward mobility and international careers within a community, which shares a culture of global nomadism [12] that is of horizontal multi-cultural nature [13]. The alignment of an individual’s lifetime stages and an organization’s strategic direction can be helped through a mentoring, mutual help in storying and career/goal alignment that is managed by a well-integrated Talent and HR Management practice [14].

References

[1] Scullion, H., & Collings, D. G. (Eds.). (2011). Global talent management. Abington, UK: Routledge.

[2] Espedal, B., Gooderham, P. N., & Stensaker, I. G. (2013). Developing Organizational Social Capital or Prima Donnas in MNEs? The Role of Global Leadership Development Programs. Human Resource Management, 52(4), 607-625. doi:10.1002/hrm.21544

[3] Sidhu, R., Yeoh, B., & Chang, S. (2015). A Situated Analysis of Global Knowledge Networks: Capital Accumulation Strategies of Transnationally Mobile Scientists in Singapore. Higher Education: The International Journal Of Higher Education And Educational Planning, 69(1), 79-101.

[4] Jacob, M., & Meek, V. L. (2013). Scientific Mobility and International Research Networks: Trends and Policy Tools for Promoting Research Excellence and Capacity Building. Studies In Higher Education, 38(3), 331-344.

[5] Complex Professional Learning: Physicians Working for Aid Organisations. (2018). Professions & Professionalism, (1), doi:10.7577/pp.2002

[6] Carr, S. C. (2010). The psychology of global mobility (pp. 259-278). New York: Springer.

[7] Soong, H., Stahl, G., & Shan, H. (2018). Transnational Mobility through Education: A Bourdieusian Insight on Life as Middle Transnationals in Australia and Canada. Globalisation, Societies And Education, 16(2), 241-253.

[8] Minina, A. (2015). Home is Where the Money is: Financial Consumption in Global Mobility. Advances In Consumer Research, 43393-398.

[9] Young, J. (2017). All the World’s a School. Management In Education, 31(1), 21-26.

[10] Yaffe, D., & Educational Testing, S. (2011). “Optimizing Talent: Closing Educational and Social Mobility Gaps Worldwide”–A Salzburg Global Seminar. Policy Notes. Volume 19, Number 2, Spring 2011.

[11] Gardner-McTaggart, A. (2016). International Elite, or Global Citizens? Equity, Distinction and Power: The International Baccalaureate and the Rise of the South. Globalisation, Societies And Education, 14(1), 1-29.

[12] Findlay, A., Prazeres, L., McCollum, D., & Packwood, H. (2017). ‘It was always the plan’: international study as ‘learning to migrate’. Area, 49(2), 192-199.

[13] Colomer, L. (2017). Heritage on the move. Cross-cultural heritage as a response to globalisation, mobilities and multiple migrations. International Journal Of Heritage Studies, 23(10), 913-927. doi:10.1080/13527258.2017.1347890

[14] Kirk, S. (2016). Career capital in global Kaleidoscope Careers: The role of HRM. The International Journal Of Human Resource Management, 27(6), 681-697. doi:10.1080/09585192.2015.1042896

 

Mobility and Global Talent Management (GTM) Strategies

mobility-expatriation

Summary. The increasing number of expatriates reflects the need for multinational enterprises (MNEs) to compete in a global knowledge economy. Despite high pressure, mobility program cost management practices are often weakly formalized. To take full advantage of international assignments, the assignees’ gained knowledge should be matched with required job competencies. The ratio of parent-country nationals (PCNs) at subsidiaries is influencing business performance. Also, besides defensive and retaliatory actions, relational measures can be used to maintain access to social capital in case of poaching in the host country. Finally, intercultural training based on clearly defined goals for business and leadership development purposes can increase the success rate of international assignment significantly.


Over 200 million extra-national employees worldwide

The number of employees assigned to foreign countries in 2013 was 214 million people, tendency increasing [1]. This article focuses in places on a multinational enterprises (MNEs) setting of interdisciplinary digital businesses from a Japan perspective (with global reach) that is heavily relying on knowledge and relationship-based intangible data assets.

Room to evolve in aligning the role of mobility with talent management

The information technology industry continues to be a growing sector with fierce competition and cost pressures [2]. While almost half of IT companies do not systematically measure international assignment costs, companies respond sensitively to cost factors. For example, as a reaction to surging residence costs for expatriates, Japanese companies in 2014 sent 10,000 employees less to China than still in 2012 when the number was at 57,000 [3]. Also, an international assignee attrition rate that could be problematic for a company when too high seems to exist in the IT sector, with survey results reporting a 25% of assignee loss as compared to overall survey respondents’ average of 14%. Generally, assignee’s increase market value serves as an explanation for their moving on to better career opportunities outside of the firm. The Japanese tenure- rather than market-value-based employment system [4] could mitigate that risk though. On the other hand, some Japanese expats may not return due to concerns with too much discriminating, rigorous, and long working hours required in the Japanese working world, as a popular Japanese blog suggests [5]. In any case, to mutually benefit from mobility programs, both the employee and the firm should be able to count on HR’s ability to match the expatriate’s knowledge with job’s required competencies [6]. Furuya (2007) suggested the deliberate and proactive use of appropriate HR policies and practices (e.g., job analysis) that help realize the advantages of global assignments [7]. Indeed, successful mobility has become a barrier for Japanese MNEs; yet formal programs are rarely in place [8].

One out of five Global Mobility Trends IT sector survey participants responded that they do not know their business need for internationally experienced talents [2]. Not enough parent country nationals (PCNs) at subsidiaries is curbing business performance; too many PCNs, however, let performance decline due to increasing resistance against loss of local identity [9]. The APAC region’s (IT) companies see Brazil and second, Taiwan as their favorite destinations for foreign assignments beyond 2015 [2]. From a host country’s perspective, e.g., Taiwanese firms seek Japanese employees’ knowledge [10] and increasingly poach Japanese workers [11]. For MNEs, relational actions such as alumni to keep access to human social capital might be an additional alternative to overly defensive or punitive measures [12].

Need for intercultural training

20% of international assignees reported difficulties in acclimating to the new culture. Also, people from strong cultures like China and Japan tend to stick with their compatriots [13]. Therefore, intercultural training [2] and/or timely termination (in case of issues) of expatriate projects are crucial to avoid relational damage [6]. Also, separate but integral goals and strategies for business and talent development should be defined in Japanese MNEs mobility programs [14]. Sufficient language proficiency has to be fostered too to enable an efficient knowledge transfer [15].

References

[1] Employee Mobility and Talent Management. (2013, September). The magazine of the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan. Retrieved from https://bccjacumen.com/employee-mobility-and-talent-management/

[2] BGRS. (2016). Global Mobility Trends. Insight into how 163 Global Mobility leaders view the future of talent mobility. Retrieved from http://globalmobilitytrends.bgrs.com/#/data-highlights

[3] Cho, Y. (2016, July 07). Japanese expats being priced out of Shanghai. Nikkei Asian Review. Retrieved from https://asia.nikkei.com/Economy/Japanese-expats-being-priced-out-of-Shanghai

[4] Watanabe, M., & Miyadera, H. (2017, October 11). Moving Past Japan’s Archaic Employment Practices. Brink Asia. Retrieved from https://www.brinknews.com/asia/moving-past-japans-archaic-employment-practices/

[5] Lund, E. (2016, Jan. 30). 5 reasons why Japanese expats say sayonara to their homeland for good. Japan Today. Retrieved from https://japantoday.com/category/features/lifestyle/5-reasons-why-japanese-expats-say-sayonara-to-their-homeland-for-good

[6] Tungli, Z., & Peiperl, M. (2009). Expatriate practices in German, Japanese, U.K., and U.S. multinational companies: a comparative survey of changes. Human Resource Management, 48(1), 153-171.

[7] Furuya, N. (2007). The effects of HR policies and repatriate self-adjustment on global competency transfer. Asia Pacific Journal Of Human Resources, 45(1), 6-23.

[8] Global & Regional Mobility for Japanese MNCs – Leverage your talent pool in Asia. (n.d.). Mercer. Retrieved from https://www.mercer.co.jp/events/2016-jmnc-iap-rap-seminar-singapore-en.html

[9] Ando, N., & Paik, Y. (2014). Effects of two staffing decisions on the performance of MNC subsidiaries. Journal Of Global Mobility, (1), 85. doi:10.1108/JGM-08-2013-0051

[10] Kang, B., Sato, Y., & Ueki, Y. (2018). Mobility of Highly Skilled Retirees from Japan to Korea and Taiwan. Pacific Focus, 33(1), 58. doi:10.1111/pafo.12108

[11] Tabata, M. (2012). The Absorption of Japanese Engineers into Taiwan’s TFT-LCD Industry. Asian Survey, 52(3), 571-594.

[12] Scullion, H., & Collings, D. G. (Eds.). (2011). Global talent management. Abington, UK: Routledge.

[13] Holmes, R. (2016, June 6). Innovating mobility services in Asia Pacific. Relocate global. Retrieved from https://www.relocatemagazine.com/innovating-mobility-services-in-asia-pacific-rholmes.html

[14] Jagger, P. (2017, March 23). Bridging East to West – Japan Inc’s Top 3 HR Priorities for The Year Ahead. Retrieved from https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/bridging-east-west-japan-incs-top-3-hr-priorities-year-pichaya-jagger/

[15] Peltokorpi, V. (2015). Corporate Language Proficiency and Reverse Knowledge Transfer in Multinational Corporations: Interactive Effects of Communication Media Richness and Commitment to Headquarters. Journal Of International Management, 2149-62. doi:10.1016/j.intman.2014.11.003