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Expat failure

Early return, under performance, failure rates 10–40%, high cost failure, lost business and reputation costs, average cost US $198,000


Reasons for expat failure

Spouse, inability to adapt, family problems, lack of technological competence, lack of motivation, lack of support from head office, not having open mindset, lack of willingness to learn


Cross cultural training

Pre departure: Information giving approaches, approaches that address people’s feelings and facts, emotion approaches.

Post departure: learning by doing, contact or support with HO, mentoring, language and culture classes, maintain performance appraisals, maintain development opportunities


Culture shock symptoms

Fatigue, discomfort, anger, fear for health, fear of being cheated, irritability, loneliness, spend time with people of our nationality, long for home, loss of inventiveness


U form model of adjustment

Loneliness (disillusionment, anxiety)
Slow climb (adjustment)
Integration (mastery)


Addressing culture shock

Cognitive learning – explicit knowledge, learn about a culture

Social learning theory – how to function in a culture, tacit knowledge


Learning cultures

Enculturation – learning to live in culture
Acculturation- Individuals or groups learning to fit in the host culture
Assimilation – changing to join new culture permanently, imagine the level of reverse culture shock


Managing repatriation

Alienate it returnees – reject home country values, wish to return to foreign location

Re-socialised returnees – attempt to re-integrate, reject foreign experience

Proactive returnees – return home with renewed energy and optimism, want to use what they learned