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International Human Resource Management: The case of expatriates

Expats and migrant workers form a chunk of Australia’s workforce. Estimates indicate that almost one-fourth of the nation’s working population comprises of people who do not hail from the country. And this trend is not something new for the country. It has always been, historically, dependent on expat and migrant workforce to add impetus to its economy and contribute towards its growth.



Yet the issue of expats is today a bone of contention having local implications which can affect the way expats work and stay in the country. With notions of job loss gaining ground the impact on local communities is significant. The other developing notion is that intake of expats will also affect long term skills training program of the nation. Therefore the need of the hour is to provide all support to expats through training and guidance to make them feel comfortable in Australia which can positively affect their contribution while in the country.

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With the increasing globalization of companies, expatriation is fast becoming a reality for corporate. Such expatriation is emerging as the latest challenge for human resource managers as it is now evident that this trend is here to stay. Expatriation is today a necessity in the lives of companies as expat managers are required for completion of strategic and critical tasks in important markets (Downes & Thomas 1999), to facilitate a company’s foray into new markets and to also develop international managerial competence (Bird & Dunbar 1991). Expats are mostly in demand because of their expertise which proves to be of immense value to organizations (Chew 2004).

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