Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.720397
Title: Exploration of cross-cultural assignment preparation activities of German small and medium sized enterprises with overseas branches in Asia
Author: Gerdes, Fabrice
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2017
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Abstract:
The aim of this research work is the examining of the cross-cultural assignment preparation activities of German Mittelstand-SMEs with overseas branches in Asia and the influence of the general managers’ foreign experience on these activities in terms of methods used to prepare the assignments. The study was conducted as a quantitative dominant mixed-methods se-quential explanatory design which started with the collection of the quantitative data via online questionnaire and was followed by semi-structured interviews as qualitative method in the sec-ond step. In total the use of 62 methods for expatriates and 50 methods for expatriates’ families have been examined for the three predictors ‘time general managers spent in a foreign culture’, ‘size of the companies’ and ‘presence of HR department’. In total only little differences were found. The research revealed that companies with general managers who spent more than 12 months in a foreign culture use more likely trial periods on the job and evaluations of qualifications and experience as selection methods for expatriates compared to companies where the general manager spent less than 12 months in a foreign culture. For families of expatriates this is only the case for the evaluation of foreign experience as selection method. In terms of differences related to the size of the organisations only unstructured interviews are more likely applied as selection methods for expatriates in larger organisations with 250 up to 499 employees, while in smaller organisations with less than 250 employees aptitude/ability tests, personality questionnaires, work sample tests and the provision of a mentor in the German headquarter are more likely offered for their expatriates. Structured interviews are more likely used for families of expatriates in companies with less than 250 employees compared to larger organisations. Companies without HR department are more likely to apply for the preparation of expatriates drug tests/medical checks, aptitude/ability tests, assessment centres, providing of information on leisure activities, language training during the stay and provision of repatriation counselling to ease adjustment of repatriates compared to companies with HR department. It is the same for families of expatriates where criminal background checks, aptitude/ability tests, immersion and return incentive payments are more likely applied or offered by companies without HR department. Surprising was, that not a single method was applied more likely for expatriates or their families within companies with HR department. Moreover the research results suggest that the presence of an HR department has a hindering effect on the preparation of expatriates and their families. Companies without HR department apply more likely at least one cross-cultural training method for expatriates compared to companies with HR department. The explanation therefore is that in companies without HR department general managers can not rely on their HR departments to manage the whole cross-cultural assignment preparation process. That is why they are more likely aware that they need external support in order to ensure a proper preparation and the use of external support professionalizes the process. However, the results of the qualitative results furthermore suggest that general managers who spent more than 12 months in a foreign culture and are aware that their HR departments are not capable of managing the whole process also use external support and apply cross-cultural training for expatriates and their families. Finally, the time general managers spent in a foreign culture has also an effect on the overall involvement of the expatriates’ families in the process. In compa-nies with general managers who spent more than 12 months in a foreign culture the families of expatriates are more likely involved in the whole process compared to companies where the general managers have less foreign experience. This research also reveals that only a minority of about 28% of the surveyed companies applies at least one cross-cultural training method for their expatriates and less than 12% of the surveyed companies apply at least one cross-cultural training method for the families of expatri-ates. This result suggests that there is a potential for trainers and consultants who offer cross-cultural training programs. All results of this research work are discussed in relation to their contribution to theory and practice in chapter five.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.B.A.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.720397  DOI: Not available
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