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Handbook of Research in International Human Resource Management

Edited by Günter K. Stahl and Ingmar Björkman

In providing an insightful overview of a wide range of global human resource issues facing MNCs, this pathbreaking Handbook highlights emergent topics and new research findings that could shape the field of future IHRM research. Theoretical discussion of the variables and processes that affect IHRM policies and practices is provided by renowned contributors with widely differing academic backgrounds, paradigmatic orientations, and theoretical and methodological approaches.
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Chapter 16: International Assignee Selection and Cross-Cultural Training and Development

Paula Caligiuri and Ibraiz Tarique


Paula Caligiuri and Ibraiz Tarique Multinational firms today compete on the effectiveness and competence of their core human talent around the world. Increasingly these core individuals are being required to operate effectively across a variety of national borders and in a greater number of cross-national job assignments. These international assignees, including all employees working outside of their own national borders (for example, parent country nationals, third country nationals, host country nationals), have collectively become vital for the success of multinational firms. These international assignees fill critical staffing needs in subsidiaries, manage key projects, transfer knowledge and corporate culture across geography, work on multinational teams and perform many other critical tasks for their firms. International assignments can be very challenging personally. While immersed in new cultural environments, international assignees are out of their own comfort zones and are susceptible to a variety of challenges such as the inability to speak the host national language, the inability to cope with the stress of culture shock, the inability to interact effectively with host nationals, and the like. Past research suggests that individuals who are not predisposed or prepared to confront these challenges may perform poorly, be maladjusted and so on. Given the criticality of their roles and the associated challenges of living and working in another country, maximizing the cross-national effectiveness of international assignees has become an increasingly important function for researchers and human resources (HR) practitioners alike. From a strategic perspective, optimizing the effectiveness of international...

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