Expatriation into and out of Emerging Markets: Challenges for IHRM

Dennis R. Briscoe

Abstract


Increasingly, the focus of global business is on emerging – or growth – markets. Up to now, most research in IHRM has focused on management of expatriates from MNEs headquartered in developed countries to positions in subsidiaries in other developed countries. If the research involved expatriate experiences in emerging markets, that fact was rarely mentioned and even more rarely focused on as a significant issue. In this article, I present a review of the literature involving the assignment of expatriates by developed-country MNEs to subsidiaries in emerging markets plus an overview of the literature that now examines the use of expatriates by emerging-market MNEs. First, I define the nature and use of the term “emerging markets”. For practical discussion and research purposes, this term is too broad. Then I review the limited literature on expatriation from developed-country MNEs into emerging-market subsidiaries, assess the research on comparisons between developed-market assignments and emerging-market assignments, and evaluate the newly-developing focus on expatriates from emerging-market-based MNEs who are being assigned to subsidiaries in either other emerging markets or to subsidiaries in developed markets. At the end of the article, I review a number of recent surveys by consulting firms of the challenges MNEs are experiencing today with their assignments of employees to positions in emerging markets and assess whether these experiences are different than prior assignments of expatriates to developed markets and suggest some solutions to the challenges being experienced.

Keywords


MNEs, emerging markets, expatriation, international HRM

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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.15678/AOC.2014.1103