Expatriation and repatriation of employees at group technology
Matrose, Zwelinjani Apostle
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The primary objective of the research is to determine the preparedness of Group Technology’s employees for expatriation and repatriation. This is in response to the fact that there is a view that the employees at Group Technology are not adequately prepared for expatriation to and repatriation from long-term international assignments, leading to delays; cross-cultural tension; career uncertainty issues; decrease in productivity; and ultimately, resignations. This study falls within the Human Resources Management (HRM) sphere. The population of this research was all Group Technology employees that are expatriates and repatriates. A sample of 52 employees was drawn from the population of 79 employees that were on the expatriate database. A comprehensive sampling method was used. The criteria used to take the sample from the population were that an employee had to be a permanent employee, had to be on a long-term assignment (six months or longer) and the employee had to be on an international project. A quantitative research method and a structured questionnaire with a five-point Likert scale was used to gather responses on the levels of satisfaction of the expatriates with the expatriate process at Group Technology. Descriptive statistics were applied in the analysis of the data gathered and a software tool called SPSS was used to analyse the data. The model – identified as a model of choice for the research – is a four-stage expatriate cycle. The stages of the expatriate cycle are: selection, preparation, support and repatriation. The expatriates and repatriates rated Group Technology’s expatriate process as being fair for all four of the expatriate cycle stages. As a new entrant into the international market (compared to peers), Group Technology still has a long way to go in improving its process. However, it has been proven that the fair rating received from its employees is comparable with multi-national companies in all regions.