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For success in a cross-cultural environment, choose foreign executives wisely

Frithjof Arp

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Abstract: The increasing globalization of the world economy challenges multinational as well as small and medium‐sized local organizations to attract and retain global talent. Academic researchers have lately turned their attention from organizational expatriate assignments to various new types of global careers, including self‐initiated expatriation in geographically and culturally distant countries. Among these new global careers, foreign executives in local organizations (FELOs) are a very specific phenomenon. Highly visible and often controversial, FELOs are appointed to help organizations compete with—and even leapfrog–international competitors. Research shows that a dichotomy exists between the initial reason for an FELO appointment and the reasons that actually make a cross‐cultural workplace successful in the long term. Local organizations that appoint foreign executives without regard for contextual influences, people management skills, and capacity development do so at their peril.

Keywords: foreign executives; expatriates; self-initiated expatriation; cultural distance (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2012-11
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Published in Global Business and Organizational Excellence, Wiley, 2012, 32 (1), pp.40-50. ⟨10.1002/joe.21462⟩

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DOI: 10.1002/joe.21462

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