Managing Local Employees: Expatriate Roles in a Subsidiary

Petison, Phallapa and Johri, Lalit (2008) Managing Local Employees: Expatriate Roles in a Subsidiary. Management Decision, 46 (5). pp. 743-760.


Purpose – In order to identify expatriate roles in a subsidiary it is necessary to go beyond those functions which are subservient to the headquarters. This paper sets out to prescribe a new spectrum of development roles with respect to varying capabilities and development needs of local employees.

Design/methodology/approach – The roles of expatriates are analyzed based on seven case studies conducted with top automobile manufacturers in Thailand: Toyota Motor Thailand; Hino Motors (Thailand); Honda Automobile (Thailand); Isuzu Motors (Thailand); BMW (Thailand); DaimlerChrysler (Thailand); and Auto Alliance (Thailand).

Findings – Four types of expatriate roles – commander, conductor, coach, and connector – are proposed; the roles correspond to the degree of task readiness and managerial capabilities of local employees.

Practical implications – The paper provides a tool that will help expatriates understand their roles according to the technical skills and managerial capabilities of local employees.

Originality/value – The paper offers practical advice for diagnosing expatriate roles and their training prior to assignment to a subsidiary.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Automotive industry; Expatriates; Human resource management; Skills; Thailand
Subject(s): Strategy; Entrepreneurship & Global business
Centre: Faculty of Strategy, Entrepreneurship and International Business
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2012 10:58
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2015 14:07

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