Thinking strategically about integrating repatriated managers in MNCs

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Abstract

Although multinational corporations (MNCs) invest considerable resources in sending managers on foreign assignments, too many managers report dissatisfaction with their postrepatriation careers, and a significant percentage leave the firm within a year. This failure to harness learning and develop a cadre of globally trained managers raises questions about the current objectives and strategies that drive the investment in expatriation. A study of managers who had recently completed their expatriate assignment points to underorganized home office operations, poorly defined mentor roles, and large gaps between managers' expectations and reality as key contributors to the problem. This paper calls for a strategic orientation toward managing the expatriate function and proposes a comprehensive configuration of processes, systems, and structures necessary for implementing new strategies for developing the next generation of globally trained managers. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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