Host Country National Willingness to Help Expatriates

The focus of this paper is the article titled “Host Country National Willingness to Help Expatriates: The Role of Social Categorization and Exchange” by Arup Varma, Shaun Pichler, and Pawan Budhwar. The work was published in 2016 on the Research Gate database and is a part of Global Talent Management via the Skilled Migration and Services Offshoring Project.

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The article explores the phenomenon of a host country’s nationals’ (HCNs) willingness to assist expatriate workers with their needs by considering social categorization and exchange roles. In this study, 493 host country nationals in the United Kingdom are analyzed to determine the relationship between expatriate gender, national origin, job level, and HCN willingness to help expatriate workers. The authors suggest that the HCNs categorize expatriate workers as individuals performing their work-related duties as parts of groups or as separate members relying on their perceived values, ethnocentrism, similarity, and collectivism.

Moreover, the findings of the study indicate that the HCNs’ likeliness to cooperate was also determined by their hierarchical relation to the other parties. In particular, the authors point out that the information was provided with a higher level of willingness from coworkers to coworkers or from the superiors to the subordinates than the other way around. The authors also emphasize that the help of the HCNs is more effective for the adaptation of the expatriate workers and the success of expatriate assignment than any training and development.

To be more precise, the study results indicate that the culture of the receiving organization and expatriate control tend to affect the expatriate workers’ professional performance because they formulate the overall environment that surrounds an expatriate during their period of integration in the new workplace. In that way, for the expatriates to assimilate faster and in stress-free conditions, an organization must accomplish a series of tasks, such as pre-assignment planning, selection, and training, to match the assignments with the expatriate workers appropriately.

The concepts explored in the study refer to the formation of workplace attitudes and the impact produced by the employees’ values and perceptions on the organizational culture and performance. To be more precise, the article’s authors notice that an organization is a community with its own internal climate and relationships. In that way, when the new individuals are added to this community, it is likely that the existing members may go into a clash with them or become reluctant to accept the new people and cooperate with them. Even in the most accepting organizational environments, the process of the assimilation of the expatriates takes time and effort, especially knowing the fact that the expatriates come from cultures that differ from those of the HCNs.

The major focus of this business paper is to determine the role played by the host country nationals in the process of the expatriate workers’ adjustment to a new country. In particular, the attitudes and behavior of the HCNs are rather important factors to explore in this regard because they are deeply connected to the conditions that the expatriates would face once they arrive at the new workplaces. This issue is especially relevant today because the number of expatriates assigned all around the world is increasing. In that way, many multinational organizations are interested in finding ways to help their expatriate projects run smoother and demonstrate a higher level of performance.

Accordingly, the primary objective of this article is to establish a clear and accessible framework for the leaders and managers of the multinational organizations working with expatriates to prepare for the newcomers and help them integrate and begin to generate positive results as soon as possible. The authors specify that the host country nationals impact the expatriate workers’ adjustment process by providing (or withholding) work-related information and facilitation of their social assimilation to the new environment. This article aims to find and categorize the HCNs’ relationships with the expatriate workers, their level of assistance and cooperation, and the degree to which they are prepared to help the expatriate workers.

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The study concentrated on two countries – the United States and India (the expatriate country with long ties and a continuous exchange of people with the United Kingdom). As a result of the purchase of different groups by Tata Corporation in the United Kingdom, the outflow of expatriate workers to the country has increased. The business focus of this article is the establishment of understanding of the host country nationals’ influence on the social, cultural, and business-related adjustment of the expatriate worker in the United Kingdom.

The results of the study imply that multinational corporations, where expatriate assignments play a very significant role, would be provided with a framework to ensure the successful assimilation of their expatriates. With the operational expansion of multinational organizations all around the globe, the need for expatriate projects is likely to grow, and the results of this study would enable more corporations to reassess their planning and preparation of the expatriate assignments.

The authors identified an important aspect of expatriate assignment success by determining the role of HCN. In that way, this article contributes to the existing literature that covers the organizational and individual factors of the expatriate success investigated by previous research.

The study has explored such factors as the perceived values, collectivism, ethnocentrism, and similarity and the role they play in the HCNs’ categorization and their willingness to provide role information and social support to expatriates. Organizations can use the results of this article for formulating the framework of sending their expatriate workers to the UK. Namely, it helps the organizations to educate the traveling workers about the culture, history, language, and social features of the host countries, and plan the pre-departure trainings successfully accordingly. In addition, the results of this study can be utilized by modern organizations in order to prepare their HCNs for dealing with expatriates of diverse backgrounds.

It is suggested by the findings of this article that future research could explore the issues related to working with expatriate subordinates and the impact of the internal relationships between the latter and the HCNs on the success of the expatriate assignment. The limitations of this study include the collection of data at the same point in time. The casual reference ability of the research is limited. The article used the tried and tested paper-person model that limits the transferability and generalizability of the study results. Future studies focusing on this issue could rely on video material as a source of data and study the actual experiences and problems that expatriate workers tend to face at work. In addition, future research could also determine the degree of help provided by HCNs for the transition of an expatriate worker.

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "Host Country National Willingness to Help Expatriates." March 4, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Host Country National Willingness to Help Expatriates'. 4 March.

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