the international context, organizations must choose from several types of
global staff members, who may be selected from among three different types:
expatriates, host-country nationals, and third-country nationals. According to
Mondy et al. (2012), an expatriate is a citizen in the country in which the
organization´s headquarters are located. A host-country national has a
citizenship of the country, where the organization´s subsidiary is placed,
whereas a third-country national is employed by the companies headquartered
location but works in another country and has a citizenship of a third country (Mondy
& Mondy, 2012, p. 387).
2.2 Staffing policies
searching and hiring employees, organizations can follow different staffing policies.
International staffing policies can be differentiated by ethnocentric, polycentric
or geocentric approaches. In polycentric-oriented organizations home offices
will be filled by parent-country nationals whereas foreign subsidiaries will
only be staffed by host-country nationals. This approach is based on the
assumption that host-country nationals are better provided to engage with local
market conditions (Mondy & Mondy, 2012, p. 388).
geocentric approach attempts to fill the key positions only by the best person
available, regardless of their nationality. Such worldwide integrated business
strategies are most often used by global firms (Mondy & Mondy, 2012, p. 388).
an ethnocentric staffing policy, the organization aims to use parent-country nationals
in order to fill the key management positions, including high-level foreign positions.
Reasons why organizations pursue ethnocentric policies are lacks of qualified
host-country talents, the need to maintain a good communication between headquarters
and subsidiaries as well as the transfer from values from headquarters to foreign
& Brewster, 1996). An ethnocentric policy would be an example
for an expatriate assignment.
2.3 International assignments
international assignment is the process of dispatching employees from the home country
to another country for work and business operations in a foreign office. The
direction of delegation can either be from the headquarters to a foreign unit
of the organization (expatriation) or from a foreign unit to the headquarters
of the organization (inpatriation).
purpose to send employees abroad, either an expatriation or inpatriation, is greatly
similar. For example, both are used, to reduce information non-uniformity
between the organization´s headquarters and the subsidiaries located abroad (Stein & D., 2011).
headquarters use inpatriation in order to integrate delegated managers into the
corporate culture. Furthermore, inpatriates are used to establish formless communication
networks (Reiche, 2006). Whereas, the
expatriation process focuses more on the control over subsidiaries, the
coordination of their activity in relation to them of the headquarters as well
as the transfer of knowledge from the headquarters to the operations in the
host country (Reiche, 2006). In a study from 2017, conducted by
Scheible, several human resource managers as well as expatriates from a
mechanical engineering company were interviewed with the purpose to identify
expatriation as a tool to manage diversity. Thereby, respondents mentioned
aspects, like “the development of a global identification with the
company, becoming acquainted with colleagues from the other sides, sharing
experiences and passing on knowledge” as essential parts of an expatriate
assignment (Scheible, 2017).