In the modern business world, companies and other organizations entrust their international human resource managers at the hands of expatriates who are expected to be highly talented and have the potential to retain the company skills. Given such vital role, companies when choosing their expatriate managers consider different academic qualifications and also other abilities and attitudes that will enable them to choose and hire the right person for the job.
While academic qualifications are necessary for one to be hired as expatriate manager, it is widely accepted that there are other qualities that must be put into consideration when hiring an individual to fill such a position. Given that expatriate managers are charged with an important role of managing the skills in a company and in making sure that the company is able to retain its talents in all its branches, it is important that an expatriate manager possesses desirable talent and skills that will enable him or her to fulfill the requirements of the company and enable such a company to achieve its goals and objectives.
To start with, it is often challenging to work in an environment that is totally new environment. In fact, the environment in which one works in largely influences the performance and efficiency of an individual. Given this it is important for an expatriate manager to have wide knowledge of global matters. Understanding globalization will enable one to have prior knowledge of his or her expected working environment and to produce optimal results once he or she has started to work.
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For example, if an expatriate manager is been sent to a country marked with political hostility, prior knowledge of the country political situation will form an important aspect of the performance of the manager once in the work station (Moshe, 2002, p. 199). Further, an expatriate manager should be flexible at all costs as the company with which he or she works with may send him or her anywhere in the world provided it has operating branches in these parts. An interest in traveling is essential as one move from his home country to other parts of the world and this may occur more than once.
Traveling from one part of the world to another may reduce an employee commitment to the company and may lead to resigning. Flexibility enables the expatriate manager to move and cope easily with his or her working environment at any given time or under any given circumstance. Flexibility in administrative policies and individual’s work is essential for the performance of the company. Still, an expatriate manager should exhibit an interest in various cultures and languages in order to enable him or her to work in a new cultural background.
Some companies require that expatriate manager candidates be affiliated with some languages. However, international languages are mostly considered in this case leaving out native languages. In essence, the company gets much of its labor in the community in which it is located. As such, the expatriate manager will usually deals with employees who are native speakers. Moreover, ethnocentrism is one of the major barriers to the performance of expatriate managers.
In this respect, a good expatriate manager should be able to respect the culture of other people and to consider them not inferior but capable of giving good performance (Kline, 1998, p. 345). Further, an expatriate manager should be able to work and compose him or herself calmly once subjected to stress and pressure. Managing oversees companies may prove to be stressing given political regulations, environment condition and the employees drawn form the country in which the company is operating from.
As such, expatriate managers are often subjected to stressful conditions which is not well handle may put a barrier to their performance. The ability to work under stress and pressure is important is good performance is to be expected. Moreover, an expatriate manager should not inhibit an attitude of blaming specific for certain mistakes. In other words, he or she should never jump at pointing fingers at some specific individuals for certain given mistakes.
On the other hand, he or she should be able to take diplomatic measures when solving problems believed to have occurred as a result of other people’s mistakes. Further, he or she should have solid ethics and values that will guide him or her while working in a new environment. Here, one should be able to respect other people and their values besides respecting their beliefs. Good communication skills and the ability to inspire a spirit of teamwork and cooperation among the workers will
Still, one should have the ability to endure tough job assignments calmly and professionally. Working in some economic, social and political conditions that are new to an individual may affect his or her performance negatively. When an individual is capable of enduring tough job environments, he or she is also capable of producing good results in his performance. In some countries, achievement of company goals and objectives can be adversely affected by existing political regulations, political instability, poor economic conditions and social factors.
Given this, a job assignment may prove tough to perform despite the fact that the expatriate manager may possess the knowledge of how to perform them (Abbas, 2000, p. 221). Strong social judgment and being sensitive to cultural nuances also forms a major requirement of a good expatriate manager. As stated earlier, ethnocentrism is one of the major hindrances to good performance. Given that an expatriate manager is in most cases assigned to duty stations with new cultural background, one may be unable to register good performance in the new environment.
Further, if one considers his or her culture as been superior to that of the people in the new working environment, such a person will not be able to establish good relationships with other workers and will tend to see them as inferior. This will affect their performance, that of the expatriate manager and the performance of the company in general. Another trait that a good expatriate manager should have is lack of self centeredness. In this respect, one should not assume the feelings and general welfare of other workmates as good performance of the company is dependent on their performance.
Listening to the needs of other people boosts their performance and that of the company in general (Moshe, 2002, p. 201). In conclusion, while good academic qualification are a prerequisite in securing a expatriate manager job, there are other important character traits, abilities, attitudes and skills required to make a good expatriate manager. These combined with academic qualifications will ensure efficiency and good performance in any company. It is therefore true to say that international human resource managers consider a range of qualifications when choosing their expatriate managers.
Abbas, J. (2000). Expatriate and Indigenous Managers' Work Loyalty and Attitude toward Risk. Journal of Psychology, Vol. 131: 221 Kline, Harrison (1998). Developing Successful Expatriate Managers: A Framework for the Structural Design and Strategic Alignment of Cross-Cultural Training Programs. Human Resource Planning, Vol. 17: 345 Moshe, B. (2002). Expatriate Managers' Loyalty to the MNC: Myth or Reality? An Exploratory Study. Journal of International Business Studies, Vol. 24: 199, 201
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