Cross-Cultural Preparation of Australian Expatriates in Organisations in China: The Need for Greater Attention to Training

Abstract

The historically unprecedented pace of internationalising organisations in the last twenty years has made the need for cross-cultural awareness, sensitivity and adaptability of expatriates in the daily operations of international businesses in host nation subsidiaries much more salient. One of the key aspects identified in literature as contributing towards achieving intercultural effectiveness of expatriates is cross-cultural training. The research presented in this paper examines the training provided to Australian expatriates in China, a nation that has loomed large in the current and future trading and expansion plans of many Australian corporations since it opened its doors to international commerce in the late 1970s. While academic literature has given increasing attention to recognising the skills necessary to achieve intercultural effectiveness in China, organisations are continuing to give scant time and resources to developing their expatriates' China awareness. Based on information gathered through semi-structured interviews conducted with Australian expatriates in Shanghai, this research indicates that while Australian organisations are recognising the need to employ expatriates that have prior China knowledge, organisational preparation remains negligible.

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Hutchings, K. Cross-Cultural Preparation of Australian Expatriates in Organisations in China: The Need for Greater Attention to Training. Asia Pacific Journal of Management 20, 375–396 (2003). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1024001600867

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  • China
  • Australia
  • expatriates
  • cross-cultural training