Staffing of French MNCs in Asia: The Roles of Long-Term Expatriates Versus Short-Term Assignees

  • Bruno Amann
  • Jacques Jaussaud
  • Johannes Schaaper


The development of global travel and high-speed communication technologies has considerably changed the way people work across borders. This contribution investigates the roles and functions of short-term assignees compared with long-term expatriates. Face-to-face interviews with 77 expatriated managers in charge of the subsidiaries of 47 French multinational companies (MNCs), located in 11 Asian countries, reveal that French expatriation to Asia is contained but not declining, with no signs of disappearing soon. In specific cases, French MNCs continue to use expatriates extensively. Although the use of short-term assignments is increasing, this trend is not systematic in all MNCs. Finally, expatriates have more strategic, long-term oriented roles, whereas short-term assignees complement expatriates by taking over more operational and functional roles. These findings produce some key managerial recommendations for managing and promoting short-term assignments, as well as implications for further research.


Expatriates French MNCs Short-term international assignments Functions Roles Asia 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bruno Amann
    • 1
  • Jacques Jaussaud
    • 2
  • Johannes Schaaper
    • 3
  1. 1.Paul Sabatier UniversityToulouseFrance
  2. 2.University of Pau and Pays de l’AdourPauFrance
  3. 3.University of BordeauxBordeauxFrance

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