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International Personal Selling and Personnel Management. Dana-Nicoleta Lascu Chapter 15. Chapter Objectives. Examine companies' expatriate management strategies Describe the different types of employees suited for a company's international operations

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International Personal Selling and Personnel Management

Dana-Nicoleta Lascu

Chapter 15

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Chapter Objectives

  • Examine companies' expatriate management strategies

  • Describe the different types of employees suited for a company's international operations

  • Address issues related to expatriate management, such as motivating international employees and ensuring successful assignment performance and repatriation

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International Personnel Issues

  • Hiring expatriates or locals is a function of the company’s involvement in the market

  • Market presence, entry mode and commitment to market determine:

    • Size of the sales team

    • Types of sales representatives

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International Presence

  • Companies using home-country middlemen

    • Rely on sales force of the intermediary for international sales

  • Companies using host-country brokers and agents

    • Rely on sales force of the intermediary for international sales

  • Companies using host-country manufacturers’ representatives and distributors

    • Are engaged, at some level, in personal selling

    • Hires local salespeople to call on distributors

    • May have local sales office, or a wholly-owned subsidiary that engages in the marketing function

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Expatriates: Home-Country Nationals

  • Preferred by companies whose products are at the forefront of technology:

    • Preferred when selling relies on extensive training and highly specialized information

    • Preferred where there is a greater interdependence between overseas unit and corporate headquarters

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Expatriates: Home-Country Nationals, continued

  • Disadvantages:

    • High costs

    • Cultural barriers

    • Lack of local personal connections in the local environment

    • Difficulty finding employees willing to take on international assignments

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Expatriates: Third-Country Nationals

  • Employees working temporarily in the assignment country who are NOT nationals of that country OR of country in which headquarters is located

  • Speak numerous languages

  • Familiar with customs and business practices in different environments

  • Have learned, through experience, to adapt optimally for international assignments

  • Cost less than home-country nationals

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Host-Country Nationals

  • Local salespeople who work in the home country for an international corporation

  • Understands the business environment and business practices in the company’s home country

  • Well trained technically

  • Willing to return to home country to work for the multinational firm

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Long Distance International Selling

Selling via the Internet or mail is likely to become an important venue in approaching new customers overseas in the near future.

Costs of distance selling are lower, allowing for greater market coverage,but the selling infrastructure (mail, Internet accessibility) lags behind in developing countries.

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Managing International Employees

Companies that attempt to transplant personnel policies proven successful in the home country will run against obstacles in different international environments.

  • Issues related to culture come into play

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Buyer-Seller Relationship

  • Certain selling approaches work better than others

    • Hard sell

    • Eye-to-eye contact

    • Business cards

    • Negotiation

    • Building relationships

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Understanding Values

  • National Character

  • Organizational Culture

  • Individual Personality

    CONTENT:substantive aspects of the interaction

    STYLE:rituals, format, mannerisms, and ground rules

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National Character

  • Personality traits shared at the national level

    • Individualism

    • Power Distance

    • Uncertainty Avoidance

    • Masculinity/Femininity

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Low- and High-Context Cultures

Low Contextcultures use formal, direct communication that is verbally expressed.

High Contextculturesuse extensive nonverbal information to convey the message: cues, gestures, and facial expressions.

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Successfully Managing Expatriates

Success requires:

  • Effective selection / screening

  • Training and development strategies

  • Motivating for peak performance

  • Ensuring successful repatriation

50% of expatriateassignments FAIL

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Recruiting Expatriates: Ideal Expatriate

  • Has high cultural sensitivity and awareness

  • Has the ability to adapt behavior in cross-national settings

  • Has high level of resiliency

  • Has extensive international knowledge and willingness to gain it

  • Has a strong desire to work overseas

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Culture Shock and Motivation

  • A pervasive feeling of anxiety resulting from one’s presence in an unfamiliar culture.

  • Lessen shock by:

    • Helping employees know what to expect:

      • Physical Environment

      • Social Environment

    • Creating additional incentives:

      • Extrinsic factors: compensation, leave and family policies, and career incentives

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Compensation Incentives

  • Cost of living adjustment

  • Housing allowance

  • Education allowance

  • Home-leave allowance

  • Moving allowance

  • Repatriation allowance

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Expatriate Obstacles

  • Gravitating toward home-country expatriates

  • Relying extensively on expatriate groups and forums (websites that unite expatriates in a region, newspapers, etc.)

  • Isolation


Going Native

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Repatriation Issues

  • Vast company changes

  • Loss of status

  • Lack of community

  • Reverse culture shock

    AVOID by maintaining connection to company headquarters

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Chapter Summary

  • Addressed expatriate management strategies

  • Described the different types of employees hired for firms’ international operations

  • Addressed issues related to ensuring the success of international assignments