Expatriates of host-country origin: 'Coming home to test the waters'

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Journal Article

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Interim status: Citation only.

Thite, M., Srinivasan, V., Harvey, M. & Valk, R. (2009). Expatriates of host-country origin: 'Coming home to test the waters'. The international journal of human resource management, 20(2), 269-285.

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2009 HERDC submission. FoR code: 1503

© Copyright 2009 Taylor & Francis


Expatriates are an integral part of any multinational company's (MNC) staffing strategy. However, the high failure rate of expatriates has forced these firms to look at alternate or complementary staffing strategies. This paper focuses on one such strategy, i.e., transferring people of host-country ethnic origin from parent-country to manage host-country operations. The purpose of this exploratory study is to ascertain whether and how MNCs have used expatriates of host-country origin (EHCO) as a global staffing strategy, in the context of India, and the extent of its success both for the individuals and the organizations concerned.

Based on a survey and in-depth interviews of human resource managers of 15 MNCs with operations in India, the study concludes that EHCOs are more willing to accept expatriate assignments than parent-country nationals (PCNs); however, their success on the assignment depends on the breadth and depth of their experience both in the parent and host country. With regard to their work effectiveness vis-à-vis PCNs, no significant difference was found. Managerial implications of this staffing strategy are explored and future research directions identified.

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This document has been peer reviewed.