The Role of Social Categorization and Exchange
- It will run into 2-3 page with single space. The flow of the article review will be as:
- You will start with complete article title, author(s)’s name, journal name, volume no., issue no., and year of publication. (1st paragraph)
- Write about what this article is all about in terms of the concepts/issues being studied in this article. (2nd-3rd paragraph)
- Write about the main focus of the business paper (4th -5th Paragraph)
- Write about recommendations and implications of the study as discussed by the author(s) in the article (6th-7th Paragraph)
- Write about what you think of the utility as well as drawbacks/demerits of this study vis-à-vis its usage in the organizations (8th Paragraph).
There will be no reference section as this is an article review
Host Country National Willingness to Help Expatriates: The Role of Social Categorization and Exchange’
This is a review of the article ‘Host Country National Willingness to Help Expatriates: The Role of Social Categorization and Exchange’ written by Arum Varma, Shaun Pichler, Fullerton and Pawan Budhwar and published on ResearchGate on the 17th of July,2016. The article can be found on https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Shaun_Pichler/publication/228513567_Host_Country_National_Willingness_to_Help_Expatriates_The_Role_of_Social_Categorization_and_Exchange/links/0046352832dc9067fe000000.pdf.
The article is about the role played by host nations in determining the experience and success of expatriate workers. The authors highlight the fact that contrary to popular belief that home nationals are the ones that have significant impact on expatriate performance, host nation countries play an increasingly important role. Some of the key support areas where host nation countries influence on expatriates is social adjustments and information support concerning expatriate roles. Existing literature on this subject, according to the article, points at several factors that determine the host national’s willingness to help an expatriate. These include their understanding and relationship with the home country, their view of the expatriate as a co-worker, colleague or supervisor. In this case, the authors found that host country nations offered different levels of support to expatriates based on their categorization of those expatriates as either in-group or out-group. In-group are those expatriates that were more likely to receive more favorable assistance while out-group are those expatriates likely to receive less help from the host country nationals.
The article reviews existing literature on the subject of host national’s categorization of expatriate workers and observes that individual host nationals often categorized themselves and others in deciding how to behave in different contexts and also how much help they can give to expatriate workers. The host nationals categorize workers in terms of their level of work whether supervisors or subordinates and also their countries of origin among other considerations in determining whether to accord assistance or not. These forms of categorizations are important as they assist in determining whether an expatriate is determined as in-group or out-group, which in turn determines the level of assistance accorded to them by the host nationals and subsequently their success or failure in their assignments. The authors note the existing gap in empirical research in the area of host national’s reactions to expatriates and therefore focuses their study on testing hypothesis to establish the various categories which host nationals use to categorize expatriate staff. These categories include collectivism and ethnocentrism, value similarities, country of origin and role information, gender and level or position of the expatriate.
In their study, the authors analyzed data from 493 expatriate nationals in the UK and investigated the relationship between the expatriate home nations, gender and job level and their relationship with the host national’s willingness to offer assistance to expatriates. Participants in the study were through leading British university with over 80% of surveys returned successfully. There was s 64% to 36% ratio of female to male participants, who were given questionnaires and provided with the necessary information about expatriates demographic factors. The results of the study were analyzed using appropriate statistical methods.
The authors found that host country nationals from the UK often categorized expatriate workers based on how similar, collective or ethnocentric they perceived the expatriate. They also found that this categorization had a significant impact on the host national’s willingness to offer any form of support to expatriates, in such areas as social support or information on roles of the expatriate. The researchers also found that host nationals were more willing to help supervisors than co-workers or subordinates, an indication of the need to align to the host country nationals to their superiors since such supervisors have an impact on the evaluation of the host nationals, which would not be the case if it was a co-worker or a subordinate. On the issue of gender, the findings indicate that participants were more likely to provide more support to male co-workers as opposed to their female counterparts. Interestingly, the researchers found that the participants were more willing to provide assistance to male supervisors of American origin as compared to those from India. This means that categorization on Indian origin has a negative impact on host nation support, especially at a supervisory level.
Implications and recommendations
According to the article, globalization has opened up markets in many parts of the world and therefore there is an increasing significance on the focus on expatriate assignments. Despite this notable dynamic, it’s evident that there is little research focused on the factors that might help in determining the success or experience of expatriate workers and therefore the findings of this article could not have come at a more opportune time. The findings of this study are therefore useful to organizations in their expatriate arrangements such as pre-departure training, on-the-job assistance as well as performance appraisals. In pre-departure briefing, home nationals or multinational countries will find it necessary to inform expatriate staff on the history, culture and social characterization like language of the host nationals so as to reduce the learning curve and improve on the expatriate’s experience. The article also recommends that multinationals may consider training the host country nationals on the virtues of acceptance and embracing of expatriates from different nations for the benefit of their organizations. Knowing that host nationals offer different levels of support to expatriates based on the various categorizations may help the multinationals to offer different levels of pre-departure or on-the-job support for both male and female expatriates of different origins.
The authors further recommend that since existing literature was based on the belief that home nations controlled most of the factors that affect the expatriates experience and success on the assignment, the findings of this study should provide additional information on the increasing need to interrogate more, the role of the host nation countries in influencing the success and experience of the expatriate. There is the need for further research in this area, and especially on the categorization of expatriates by host nations, as this should form a key concern in determining where multinational organizations should post their employees for overseas assignments.
The research findings in this article provide a whole new perspective on the role of host nationals on the success of expatriates, an aspect that was hither-to deemed to be mostly controlled by home nations and the expatriates’ individual characteristics. Host nationals categorization of expatriate staff on areas such as country of origin, ethnocentrism, level of work, similarity and collectivism etc are new frontiers in international human resources management that warrant further studies as they affect their willingness to support expatriates which may have a direct impact on their performance. It’s instructive to international businesses to keep in mind that the decision to post employees to overseas assignments should be a well considered issue, given the serious findings of this article, which have a significant impact on their success, and ultimately the success of their organization. The knowledge that host nations play a significant role in determining the success or failure of the expatriate staff by influencing their support system should instruct the multinational evaluation of the expatriate employee performance. Despite the notable contribution of the article to modern business operations, there are several downsides to this article. The sample size and composition has a bearing on the gender aspect of the researchers findings, with a more gender balanced sample expected to yield different results. With 64% female vs. 36% male participants, the sample is rather skewed to one side and therefore the findings may not be easy to generalize. The finding that host country nationals in the UK prefer to offer support to American supervisors as opposed to those from other countries may indicate a given level of superiority complex which may be viewed as a form of racism, even in this era of globalization and international business integration.