In the era of globalization, many companies seek to expand their business, yet facilitating knowledge transfer is a difficult task. It requires an employee who is not only knowledgeable in their sphere of competence but also willing to live in a foreign country for an extended period. Their communication skills must be up to the highest standards among international companies. Moreover, a firm must provide any assistance it can to improve its chances for a successful expansion. Furthermore, China is a challenging country to enter for an international firm regardless of its size. My company provided me with an opportunity that is difficult to refuse, and I plan to capitalize on it to the best of my abilities. This reflection paper will consider what competencies and requirements an expatriate Director of International Marketing might have and what a Fortune 500 firm can assist them with to ensure the success of this mission.
Questions for the Company
First of all, I will provide evidence on what are the common reasons for expatriates’ failures before creating a list of relevant questions for the company. I will assume that a Fortune 500 firm will provide suitable living apartments and cover transportation costs and leave basic financial necessities out of the picture. As a leader of a marketing department, I will need to find ways to gain the attention of the company’s local customers. However, this task is impossible to perform without acquiring top managers who are also native to the host country. For successful integration of a firm’s organizational culture into the Chinese market, it is essential to consider the loyalty of employees. Labor relations in an international company rely on understanding and accepting the values of different parties (Tarique et al., 2022). For example, I will need to know what channels of communication are established with Chinese worker unions and how they prefer to get represented.
There are several personal items that will need to be addressed. Shah et al. (2022) argue that “the most common reason for expatriate failure is inadequate or inflexible support” for their family (p. 13). As I move to a foreign country with my wife and children, I need to ensure that their life opportunities are not thwarted by my career pursuit. I assume that the organization already has experience with expatriates in China, and their knowledge will be shared with me for better integration into a foreign society.
The following questions will reveal all possible points of concern that I have identified:
- What degree of modification am I allowed to make in the current organizational culture of the subsidiary to ensure that the marketing team is suitable for its task?
- What is the state of customer relations, and what key issues can be identified that will require my immediate attention?
- How does the firm show its contribution to the host country’s growth?
- Does the firm want to see a continuation of its established HR practices, or am I allowed to combine our traditional approach with locally accepted methods?
- What actions will be taken by the company to ensure that my family will not serve as a factor in my turnover intentions? Does the organization provide assistance with schooling fees and my spouse’s mental well-being?
- Are there documented cases of other expatriates’ experiences of moving to China, or is it possible to meet with them before making my decision?
The position I am appointed to implies high competence in many fields related to communication. Cross-cultural interactions can prove to be difficult for a person with insufficient knowledge of their target country. By receiving such an invitation, I assume that my company has selected me for my outstanding marketing and communication skills. I believe that my cultural intelligence is on par with other managers from the Fortune 500 who succeeded in transferring their knowledge to the Chinese market. Understanding the nature of a culture affects both employee interactions and customer relations, as foreign values might cause breakdowns in communication that will lead to a project’s failure (Tarique et al., 2022). It is essential not only to be aware of differences but respect them in an appropriate manner.
However, becoming culturally competent requires more than just theoretical knowledge. A fresh expatriate must learn about local customs, traditions, and other aspects of a culture they will meet, yet this picture is not complete without direct communication with its native people (Akhal & Liu, 2019). The foundation for an expatriate’s journey must be laid through learning, yet the practical skills of adaptation will never be complete. I must be able to resolve differences and become integrated into Chinese society to carry out my mission assigned by the company.
My actions will represent my company’s image in a country where it is crucial to show genuine willingness to invest in the local community. Putting profits above people is considered to be a bad practice, and my communication efforts must reflect that notion (Malik, 2018). As I might seek to restructure our firm’s subsidiary marketing department, I must build a strong team made of locals who can be trusted by both native and international partners.
Expatriates are the most common international assignment that is focused on procuring human resources for a company that seeks to receive a significant boost to its operations. Since a Fortune 500 status implies that a company possesses considerable experience in expanding into different regions, I expect that the existing competencies led the organization to create a nurturing environment for cross-cultural communication and adaptation. Therefore, I will presume the best possible situation for an expatriate. My firm’s policy regarding employment location must comply with local regulations to avoid breaking Chinese payroll laws. All the financial aspects are taken care of, including benefit calculations, living costs adjustments, and tax returns. Any additional expenses for social security and insurance for expatriates and their families are fully covered by our company’s program for expatriates. There is assistance with immigration provided by the firm to an employee and their family members. The subsidiary in the host country has an onboarding procedure that will be sufficient for me to get into work with a minimal amount of additional research.
In conclusion, if the answers to the questions presented to the firm satisfy my expectations, I will gladly agree to take the position of Director of International Marketing at our Chinese subsidiary. As one of the top firms on the global market, I expect my organization to possess relocation policies that have proven to be relevant to the host country. This promotion must come with sufficient benefits to make my work devoid of any unnecessary stress, which includes assistance with my and my family’s integration into the local community. At the same time, my competencies in cross-cultural communication, in addition to my professional knowledge, must be updated to make me fit into Chinese society with ease. Moreover, despite possessing a high level of cultural intelligence, I need to learn more about Chinese traditions and customs to avoid any misunderstandings or conflicts. Knowing that the people of the host country are loyal to companies run by locals, I realize that my task will include creating a cohesive organizational structure made entirely by native employees.
Akhal, K., & Liu, S. (2019). Cultural intelligence effects on expatriates’ adjustment and turnover intentions in Mainland China. Management Research Review, 42(7), 818-836.
Malik, A. (2018). Strategic human resource management and employment relations: An international perspective. Springer.
Shah, D., De Oliveira, R. T., Barker, M., Moeller, M., & Nguyen, T. (2022). Expatriate family adjustment: How organisational support on international assignments matters. Journal of International Management, 28(2).
Tarique, I., Briscoe, D. R., & Schuler, R. S. (2022). International human resource management: Policies and practices for multinational enterprises (6th ed.). Routledge.