Socialization is dependent on two Player, the host country nationals and the expatriates themselves. Discordant behaviour by either party can disrupt the socialization process. It appears that expatriates at times display behaviours that are unhelpful to their own adjustment process.American expatriates who attempted to avoid resocialization (socializing to a new environment) have been found to experience conflicting internal and external demands. They were unable to communicate effectively with host country nationals and less satisfied with their situation. Best practice in socialization strategies can assist relocating staff members in achieving their new fit to both the organization and a new community. However, expatriate motivation is key in achieving this fit and, at the same time, reducing expatriate turnover. Information and feedback seeking, relationship building, negotiation of job changes and positive framing are suitable tactics for proactive socialization.
Positive framing, which in contrast with the other techniques does not involve interactions with others, is a personal technique whereby individuals change their understanding of a situation by epic controlling the cognitive frame they put on the situation. Relationship building and positive framing were found to have positive effects on expatriate adjustment. Findings in literature suggest that one size fits all approaches to socialization may not be effective. In order to benefit from the possible positive outcomes related to diversity at the workplace organizations should individualize their socialization tactics within, in particular, collectivistic organizational cultures. Collectivistic cultures tend to favour ingroups and behave according to values and norms within these ingroups.
Organizational culture can be defined as the underlying values, beliefs, and principles that serve as a foundation for the organization’s management system, as well as the set of management practices and behaviours that both exemplify and reinforce those principles. This definition emphasizes the role of unique organizational context in socialization processes. Individualized socialization tactics therefore may provide tailored solutions for the individual, which may thus increase the efficiency of the learning process as it would build on established skills and knowledge. In summary,. deliberate socialization is clearly related to expatriate adjustment and turnover and requires participation of host country nationals. It takes two to tango! Dr. B.J.L. van den Anker received his PhD in business and management from the International Graduate School of business of the University of South Australia. Dr. van den Anker hails from the Netherlands and has extensive experience living and working in SE Asia. His (I) HRM and cross cultural consultancy assignments focus primarily on western-Asian contexts. He can be contacted. Faris, G.W. and Fogel, D.S. (1999). Expatriate adjustment and commitment: the role of host-unit treatment. International Journal of human resource management, 10 (5), 783 807 Laizer, s.b. and Svyantek, D.J. (2000). Organizational socialization in the host country: the missing link in reducing expatriate turnover. The International Journal of organizational analysis, 8(4), 380-400 steel, g.k. and Caligiuri, p. (2005). The effectiveness of expatriate coping strategies: the moderating role of cultural distance, position level, and time on the international assignment. Journal of applied psychology. 90(4), 603-615.