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Establishing an Australian manager & his family in Shanghai

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  1. Executive summary
  2. Literature review on expatriation
  3. Issues adjusting from Australia to China
  4. Conclusions

With lager multinational organisations' pre-occupation with increasing their profit & market share (Kobrin 1996 cited in Lewis 1997), globalization and internationalization is clearly the next step to achieving these objectives (Brewester 1988 & Guzzo et al. 1994 cited in Brewester 1988). However these new opportunities come at a price; Mendenhall & Oddou (1985 cited in Lewis 1997) states that the last 20 years, there has been a persistent expatriate problem; they return much too early, cutting short their assignments.

According to Lewis (1997) who has reviewed a wide body of literature; most of the reasons given can be narrowed down to the top three difficulties encountered by expatriates, ?inability of spouse to adjust, inability of the manager to adjust & other family problems? (Tung 1993 cited in Lewis 1997, p280). The reasons are commonly attributed to Culture shock (Fiechtinger & Fink 1998). The Culture shock U curve diagram was first introduce by Church (1982 cited in Littrell et al. 2006) with his of adjustment theory or phases of culture shock (Church 1982 cited in Littrell et al. 2006); culture shock is when an individual is exposed for a long period of time (usually 3 months or more) to a different culture from their own (Fiechtinger & Fink 1998). Culture shock could impede on the adjustment & the eventual performance and success of an expatriate's overseas assignment. Fiechtinger & Fink (1998) further believes that culture shock is unavoidable; however some academics believe that the culture shock phases can be shortened.

[...] Offering CCT to all employees and not just reserved to employees being developed for international assignments and current expatriates. Further, be a normal offering in any training and development program of every organisation, and not just MNCs. Table of Contents Introduction With lager multinational organisations' pre-occupation with increasing their profit & market share (Kobrin 1996 cited in Lewis 1997), globalisation and internationalisation is clearly the next step to achieving these objectives (Brewester 1988 & Guzzo et al cited in Brewester 1988). [...]

[...] Stress is another reason given for expatriate failure as Donkin (1995 cited in Lewis 1997) explain; moving house are the found to be the most common source of stress for people, ?combine this with moving to a new country? with all that it entails can be quiet traumatic for all involved (p285). Consequently for the spouse, further assistance is required (Lewis 1997). Tung ( cited in Haslberger & Brewster 2008) stressed the impact of expatriate family on the success of overseas assignments. Noticeably, there has to be a relationship between spousal & family adjustment with the expatriate manager adjustment (Takeuchi et al cited in Littrell et at. [...]

[...] Equally, the Australian manager's family would also need CCT when they arrive in China (Haslberger & Brewster 2008; Tung 1987). It would be helpful if the MNC would appoint a carefully selected host family, a current and longer term expatriate family that would be able to assist in the critical stages of adjustment in China. They would serve as a guide on what is involved in their day to day living; showing the local neighbourhood, where to find Australian food, where to go shopping, where the (Anglican) Church is or the local sports clubs frequented by expatriates are, what to do (entertainment) and which schools are appropriate to attend. [...]

[...] Australians on the other hand are high in the IND; self and immediate family comes first. However, Australians like the Chinese are strong in MAS; competitive and preoccupied with accumulating material wealth (Hofstede 1988 cited in Rodrigues 2009). Finally, both Australians and Chinese have LTO, they believe patience and careful planning and well thought out strategy reaps the desired rewards (Bhasin 2007; Hofstede 1988 cited in Rodrigues 2009). Hofestede's (1988 cited in Rodrigues 2009) is only a guide and should not be used as a precise predictor as to how the Chinese would act or react. [...]

[...] It is therefore safe to assume that the more hours spent on CCT by the expatriate and his family, the more success is imminent Specific Issues involved in establishing an Australian manager and his family in Shanghai Moving to another country and continent; Australia to Asia, it follows that the Australian manager and his family will encounter a vastly different national culture from their own. As previously mentioned, culture shock is one of the many reasons given for expatriate failure and early return (Fiechtinger & Fink 1998). To minimise this, the Australian expatriate and his family need to understand the differences between the two cultures; Australia and China. [...]

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