Expatriates are people who work in a country which is not their Essay

Expatriates are people who work in a country, which is not their country of origin. We all know that expatriates, especially expatriate managers undergo different trainings and learn from different challenges just to prepare themselves when the time comes that they need to go to their host country. One challenge that they must recognize and resolve is that organizational behavior practices, which they are used to, cannot be transferred directly from their country of origin to their host country. Two of the factors why those practices cannot be transferred directly are culture and differences in organizational practices.

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Culture is the customs, arts, social institutions, and achievements of a particular nation, people, or other social group and we all know that different countries have varying cultures. Examples of these are the different interpretations of people to gestures such as handshake. In Unites States, a firm short handshake usually means that you are showing self-confidence and a limp handshake can be interpreted as a sign of wimpiness or even lack of interest.

However, if you are going to do a limp handshake in Africa, it will be considered as the correct way and it is common for them that their handshakes last several minutes, while in US; a handshake that is longer than a few seconds is interpreted as familiarity and even sexual attraction. Another one is pointing things using your index finger. In US, it is common to point things using your index fingers, but when you do it in Africa, they are considered rude or just straight offensive. In US, when you are frustrated, you try to vent out some of your frustrations by screaming or knocking something down or even punching but in Africa, it’s highly important to not publicly display any sort of negative feeling in public. Africans have incredible self-control, being careful not to offend or shame anyone in public. So if you’re from the US then Africa is assigned as your host country, you should be able to adjust to their culture because you can’t directly do the organizational practices you’re used to when you’re in the US if you already transfer to Africa.

Even in managing organizations, US and Africa have big differences. To state a few, if you are in US, most of the employees in your company will be motivated by compensation and status and job advancement. However, this is not the case for Africa. In Africa, yes, they are motivated by compensation but they’re more interested in recognition than in job advancement. In deadlines or timelines, US is stricter in implementing deadlines, this is why employees often stay late and render over time just to finish their job on time. In Africa, deadlines tend to be more fluid than strictly adhered to unless specified. Also, delays are tolerated.

These are just some of the reasons why expatriate managers why they cannot transfer their organizational behavior practices directly and these are also some of the reasons why they must be flexible and why they should study and learn as much as they could on the host country they are going to be assigned.

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