There are a number of reasons besides poor selection that contribute to expatriate failure. The major causes of expatriate failure are given below:
1. Selection based on headquarters criteria rather than assignment needs.
2. Inadequate preparation, training, and orientation prior to assignment.
3. Alienation or lack of support from headquarters.
4. Inability to adapt to local culture and working environment.
5. Problems with spouse and children – poor adaptation, family unhappiness.
6. Insufficient compensation and financial support.
7. Poor programmes for career support and repatriation.
The failure of an expatriate can have disastrous results.
1. There are substantial monetary costs associated with sending expatriates abroad, bringing them back to the home country and finding replacements.
2. The poor performance of an expatriate may damage the firm’s image in the host country.
3. There are also personal tragedies of employees who may have sold their homes, left jobs they liked and find themselves back in the home country branded as failures.
4. There is damage to the firm’s reputation, loss of employee morale, and disrupted relationships with local nationals.
Therefore care should be taken to choose the expatriate after careful selection based on the specific assignment and the long-run plans of both the organisation and the candidate, plans must be made for the preparation, training and development of expatriate managers.