The world has become the global village and globalization has become an important tool for the organizations to be successful in this rapidly changing world. So the coordination between different cultures and people with different backgrounds is increasing in a different multinational organization day by day. So it is very important to study that how the organizations deal with the multicultural set ups within an organization. During the past few decades the rapid changes in economic, social and political environment of the world has led organizations towards the globalization.
According to Harvey & Novicevic the increasing international activities and global competition resulted in increase in globalization. The process of recruitment and selection has always been very important in any organization. According to Dowling (1999) hiring and placing people in positions where they can perform effectively for the benefit of the organization is the goal of most organizations whether they are domestic or international.
Heraty et al (1997) suggested that, in these new changing global condition increasingly, many organizations are transforming jobs into new structures which are more likely based on self directed work teams, made up of empowered individuals with the diverse background are replacing traditional specialized workers. So in this new challenging environment competition is increasing day by day and organizations need such personalities who can adjust themselves with the change.
Burack and Singh (1995) also suggested that firms need adaptable people who can rapidly adjust themselves to the changing environment. So the people who are ready to change with the environmental changes always give advantage to the organization, and these kinds of people are very fruitful for the organization.
According to ones and Viswesvaran (1997) in this rapidly changing world where the change is taking place every minute the organizations have been sending their members to other parts of the world to complete their assignments.
According to Aycan and Kanungo expatriate is an employee of a business or government which is sent abroad to accomplish their organizational goals for temporary period which is more than six months and less than five years. International assignments not only give benefit to the individual expatriate but it also give the competitive advantage to the organization in the global environment. For many organizations sending of expatriate to the other countries to gain competitive advantage in global environment is the part of their overall human resource plan. (Caligiuri & Lazarova, 2001).
So keeping in view the importance of an expatriate the selection process of an expatriate is also very important step for an organization. According to Dowling the failure of expatriate is due to the selection error. This tells that selection plays an important role for a successful expatriate.
So with the changing world it is need to have such staff who can adjust itself with the change. In this paper an effort is being made to give the importance of selection techniques for expatriates within a multinational organization.
Key purpose of study
The world is globalizing day by day and now it is also called global village and specifically UK has become one of the biggest multicultural countries and there are a lot of multinational organizations working in UK
With the changing world more of MNEs are sending their expatriates in other parts of the world to accomplish their goals and to gain competitive advantage in global world.
As the selection is the most important step for any organization to choose its expatriate and it is always important for MNE’s to choose or select the right person for the given task.
In fact an expatriate failure is often result of a selection error, and often compounded by in effective expatriate management policies. (Dowling Welch & Schuler, 1999).
The key purpose of this study is to show the importance of selection techniques for a MNE when selecting an expatriate for an international assignment.
The aim of this study is to explore the proper selection techniques which can improve the performance of an expatriate and help him to retain.
To outline the factors that influences the selection of expatriates.
To examine different selection methods used for expatriate selection.
To discuss in detail, issues of cross cultural variation in selection process of expatriates.
The hypothesis which is developed for this study is stated as below
Without doing proper selection of expatriate much will be poor for the company and result in loss of company.
Theory an overview
There has been a lot of work done on selection techniques of expatriates in last couple of decades. Selection is the most important part of the success of any expatriate, and if the selection is not according to the needs of organization then the failure chances of expatriate. Dowling says that redirecting future performance potential when hiring or promoting staff is challenging at the best time but if operating in foreign environment certainly adds other level of uncertainty. So if the process of selection is beholds specific importance within a domestic organisation then it must have some extra importance while choosing an international staff.
The selection is kind of prediction of the organization’s peoples or decision makers keeping in view the profile of the candidate for the particular job (Hackett, 1991).
The selection is a complete process of analyzing and viewing the profile of the employee and then selecting for the required job.
Moore (2006) discussed this as the selection is the whole process which includes choosing the right candidate for the position from those persons who have been recruited. This involves testing and evaluating the skills of an individual is required for the particular job.
According to desler (2000) the selection is the process in which the recruited individual is whittled down by using screening tools like assessment centers, interviews, and different tests.
Methods of Selection:
There are various selection techniques available, and for the selection procedure all of these depending on the situation and culture of the organization. Some of these selection methods are given below.
Assessment centres (Beardwell and Holden, 2001)
So the above mentioned procedures are used by different organizations depending upon the nature of job and the normal practice they use within the organization.
Approaches for the Multinational
There are four approaches for the recruitment and selection in any multinational organization. These four approaches are given as follows.
Ethnocentric: It is the type of the recruitment approach in which all the key positions and top management is filled by the nationals of the parent company. According to this approach all the top management decisions and the key strategies of the companies is made by the parent country headquarters.
Polycentric: It is the type of recruitment approach in which the host country fills all the key positions in the subsidiary. Each subsidiary is treated as the separate national entity. But all the key financial decisions are taken by the parent country headquarter.
Regiocentric: It is the type of recruitment approach in which regional talent is preferred. For example if the person is required on for the development of any product then the person who will be recruited will be from the host country.
Geocentric: This is the kind of approach where the persons are recruited without seen any race, religion or region. This approach is international based and is getting in practice in most of the developed countries like UK, USA etc.
Methods of international selection
The different methods of selection for the expatriate selection which most of the multinational organizations use is as follows
Coffee Machine System
Selection of an Expatriarate
The selection of expatriate is a bit different from the local selection of a local manager. For the selection of an international manager there are a lot of extra factors which needs to be considered by the selectors. The expatriate selection process results in higher cost to the multinationals including relocation process, allowance and accommodation apart from the training costs. (Hailey 2000, pg; 90). During the expatriate selection process, 02 conflicting forces operate within the expatriate’s mind. One that pulls the employee into moving to the new place, the other tends to stop him from going. (Baruch 2005, pg 129).
Factors involve in selection of an Expatriate.
According to Dowling and Welch the factor involve to determine an appropriate expatriate selection process are as
Cross Cultural Suitability
Family Requirements (Dowling, Welch, Schuler, 1999)
So keeping in view all the above mentioned factors an expatriate should be selected by a multinational organization.
(Kluckholn & Strodtbeck 1952) define culture as, “a set of basic assumptions-shared solutions to universal problems of external adaptation (and internal integration- which have evolved over time and are handed down form one generation to the next.’’
Corporate culture includes the behavioral patterns, concept, values, ceremonies and rituals that take place in the organization. It gives the members of the organization meaning as well as the internal rule of behavior when these values and beliefs customs’ rules and ceremony are accepted shared and circulated throughout the organization. (Trompenaars & Turner 1997, pg 157-181)
Why consider culture?
Adjusting in a new culture is always difficult and it causes problems for both expatriate and family members, therefore it is important for an International HR to look for the similarities of the two cultures in order to deal with the challenges in the business world key activity.
dowling, welch,schuler, 1998 pg 132
Recent research shows that the expatriates who are unable to cope with the challenges find it difficult to adjust and incur costly implications. (Caligiuri, 1997, pg: 45-67). The factor of culture is very important for an expatriate selection process and HR managers will have to select such expatriate who is adjustable with the different cultured people and work with them for the cultural dimension Hofstede and Trompenaars cultural dimensions are given as follows Hofstede’s four dimensions (1967-1973):
Gooderham & Nordhang (2003). ‘Culture is always a collective phenomenon, because it is at least partially shared with people who live or lived within the same environment, which is where it was learned. It is the collective programming of the mind which distinguishes the members of one group or category of people from another.’
Hofstede surveyed 116,000 IBM employees in 40 different nations about their preferences in the work environment. The analysis revealed the results creating 4 dimensions:
Power distance: The dimension indicates the extent to which a society expects and accepts a high degree of inequality in institutions and organizations.
Uncertainty avoidance: This refers to the degree to which a society prefers predictability, security and stability.
Individualism-Collectivism: this dimension relates to the extent to which people prefer to take care of themselves and their immediate families rather than being bound to some wider collectively such as extended family.
Masculinity-Femininity: Masculine societies value assertiveness, competitiveness and materialism as opposed to the feminine values of relationships and the quality of life.
Trompenaars’ cultural dimensions:
Trompenaars concluded four cultural dimensions that relate to the question of inter-personal relationships and work-related values Gooderham & Nordhang (2003).
Universalism vs. Particularism
Communitarism vs. Individualism:
Specific vs. diffuse
Achievement vs. ascription:
So these four dimensions of Trompenar also affect the selection process of an expatriate for international assignments.
Strategic choices in expatriate selection:
Organizations normally have some strategic choices while selection of an expatriate. These strategic choices are mentioned below.
Internal recruitment versus external recruitment
Individuals versus teams
Technical qualification versus other selection criteria
Extrinsic rewards versus intrinsic rewards.
Chapter 2 literature review:
In this chapter researcher tried to discuss all the related studies which are done in past and are available in literature. A lot of work has been done in the literature on the topic of selection. Before proceeding to the actual topic it is necessary to look at the different methods of selection which an organization uses and see that what are the different techniques and criteria which are used for the selection of staff.