In the actual business environment, expatriates are a highly valuable resource for companies going abroad. Indeed, globalization created a global market for high skill personnel, which was also facilitated by the decrease of the travelling costs. However it must be stated that expatriation is not a new fact. Some famous people were already living in foreign countries at the end of World War 1, such as Ernest Hemingway and Henri Miller who were living in Paris.
Generally an expatriate is a person living in another country than the one where he is a citizen. It generally applies to business professionals sent abroad by their companies. These expatriates fill needs thanks to their skills; those needs could not be fulfilled by local workers. A difference is made between high skills professionals living in a foreign country and called expatriates and the low skilled workers living abroad called immigrants.
Expatriates are so valuable for companies that they have organizations and processes to welcome them in the hosting countries and also to stabilize their personal life. Some companies use process such as coaching or mentoring of the expatriates and also give a voice to the spouses in the decision making process.
Expatriation has become so frequent and valuable within companies, that they now use short or medium term expatriation where the family stays behind. This new trend in expatriation reinforces the cultural shock as expatriates do not integrate to the new culture in a few months and also are only in contact with the elite of the hosting country.
[...] Habit of socializing on Thursday evening in the Pub near the office with the colleagues Passion of sports and music shared by all 4. How would you sum up your first six months? The first months were challenging due to the signature of a first private contract for a high quality residential development in Chelsea, and the cultural adaptation Did you have someone who could explain the local culture to you and that you could confide in? Yes, the company has a mentorship system for the expatriates How did people see you? [...]
[...] After the interview I did my best to transcript the interviewee answer, and to respect the truth of its answers. The interview includes 4 different parts representing different themes, background, current position, expatriation process and cultural shock and awareness. Interview transcription Background 1. In what company are you currently working? Bouygues UK Ltd, a subsidiary of Bouygues Construction, a world-leading construction and services group present in more than 80 countries. Bouygues Construction employs more than people and realized in 2008 a 9.5 billion Euros turnover In which country? [...]
[...] The most important thing I learned was to live and work in a multicultural environment 10. What did your family/spouse think about living in London? They were all very excited and happy, my children were very happy of the French lycée and my wife enjoyed the city a lot Whom did you mainly socialize with (people from your own culture, third-country expatriates, or host-country nationals)? All of them 12. How many host-country co-workers did you interact with on an average day? Ten as a minimum 13. [...]
[...] Intercultural management - interview of an expatriate In the actual business environment, expatriates are a highly valuable resource for companies going abroad. Indeed, globalization created a global market for high skill personnel, which was also facilitated by the decrease of the travelling costs. However it must be stated that expatriation is not a new fact. Some famous people were already living in foreign countries at the end of World War such as Ernest Hemingway and Henri Miller who were living in Paris. [...]
[...] Yes on the basis of better, no worse”, i.e. the Company takes in charge the costs of the accommodation, the fees for the Lycee and the difference of life costs through a living allowance. As London is a very expensive city, it was essential that the company makes an effort Did your purchasing power and level of living increase? Yes, thanks to Bouygue's financial incentives and the advancement of my career Do you think that your career would have evolved on the same path without going to London? [...]
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