Thesis proposal on the role of expatriate culture on performance in international assignments

Multinational corporations are faced with the peculiar task of deploying staff around different countries of the world in order to meet their human resource requirements. This includes top-level managers as well as other company officials whose role in the corporation might be central to its success in its respective industry. Sometimes these strategic human resource decisions require that the corporations engage the services of expatriates in various capacities to oversee the smooth running of overseas operations. Several researchers (Ghafoor, Khan, Idrees, Javed, & Ahmed, 2011; Koteswari & Bhattacharya, 2007; Sebastian, 2008) have hinted to significant failure among expatriates on international assignments fostered by culture among other factors. Culture, in this regard, basically refers to the behaviors and attitudes particular to a certain social group. This means that there must be a significant correlation between expatriate culture and performance in international assignments.
This paper proposes research into the specific correlation mentioned above, with particular focus on ways of using the results to enhance performance and reduce failure. According to Ko and Yang (2011), further research is required on a broader scale to determine the influence of expatriate on their performance under different sets of cultural conditions than the ones to which they might be more accustomed. These researchers in fact propose the use of systematic culture training programs to help expatriates adapt effectively to new socio-cultural conditions as a way of boosting their productivity. Similarly, Moulik and Mazumdar (2012) suggest that multinational corporations themselves should be on the front supporting their expatriate workers as they adjust to their new conditions. These sentiments are also echoed by Lovvorn and Chen (2011) who suggest that success within multinational corporations depends on whether or not the staff has a global mindset. These concepts essentially point to a correlation between expatriate culture and performance.


Ghafoor, S., Khan, U. F., Idrees, F., Javed, B., & Ahmed, F. (2011). Evaluation of expatriates performance and their training on International Assignments. Interdisciplinary Journal of Contemporary Research in Business, 3(5), 335-351.
Ko, H-C., & Yang, M-L. (2011). The effects of cross-cultural training on expatriate assignments. Intercultural Communication Studies, XX(1), 158-174.
Koteswari, V. B., & Bhattacharya, M. S. (2007). Managing expatriate stress. Delhi Business Review, 8(1) 89-98.
Lovvorn, S., & Chen, J-S. (2011). Developing a global mindset: The relationship between an international assignment and cultural intelligence. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 2(9), 275-283.
Moulik, S. R., & Mazumdar, S. (2012). Expatriate satisfaction in international assignments: Perspectives from Indian IT professionals working in the US. International Journal of Human Resource Studies, 2(3), 59-79.
Sebastian, B. (2008). International assignments. In A.-W. K. Harzing, & A. Pinnington (Eds.), International human resource management (3rd ed.). London, UK: Sage.