Expatriation hardships

Expatriation hardships

Dr Gaganpreet K. Ahluwalia

In today’s world, Knowledge transfer and Knowledge sharing have become a cry of the International business. In this context, expatriates have become an essential part of international management and company’s global success.

However, Expatriation in no way is a smooth road for the Expatriates. There are many hardships an Expatriate needs to face during the process. Some of the common hardship factors include:

Housing—availability and quality of expatriate housing, limitations due to crime or security considerations, reliability of utilities

Climate and physical conditions—conditions of excessive temperature or weather risk of major climatic problems or natural disasters

Pollution—severity of atmospheric, water, radiation and noise pollution

Diseases and sanitation—health risks, public sanitation, need for food or water treatment

Medical facilities—availability and quality of health care facilities and medical staff

Educational facilities —availability of quality schools for expatriate children

Infrastructure—quality and reliability of telecommunication, mail, utilities, road conditions;

Physical remoteness—geographic isolation, travel systems

Political violence and repression—risk of violence, terrorist activities, government repression

Political and social environment—freedom of expression, human rights, intolerance, corruption and poverty levels

Crime—risk to person and property, police force

Communication—use of major world languages, media availability and censorship

Availability of goods and services—availability and quality of food supplies, clothing and grocery.

In conclusion, Expatriation is a tough road but, a little management by MNCs at different phases of the process may smoothen the experience. On the other hand, in case of any negligence, it may result in unfavourable expat outcomes and dissatisfaction which may further lead to resistance towards international assignments.


Blog by

Dr Gaganpreet K. Ahluwalia

Associate Professor, ISBS

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