Date of Defense




First Advisor

Jennifer Palthe, Management

Second Advisor

Satish Deshpande, Management

Third Advisor

Rich Compton, Management


For years, companies have been sending employees overseas to handle business operations abroad. However, historically, very few firms found the need to train these employees. Tung discovered this number to be 32% of U.S. firms in 1981. More recently, Daniels and Insch (1998) quoted a survey done by the Employee Relocation Council that found this number to be 75% of U.S. firms in 1997. Yet, there is still resistance by some employers to devote resources to this endeavor. These employees sent by a multinational firm to work in an overseas division are called expatriates (also international assignees). The training regimens they may undergo are cross-cultural training programs - used interchangeably here with expatriate training programs and training programs to avoid repetition. Bhawuk defined these as "those intercultural programs that are designed to prepare specific groups of learners to reside in specific target cultures for specific purposes," (1990, p. 326). The end goals of training expatriates include the following: First, the sojourners and host nationals feel that the overseas experience was positive. Second, the expatriate accomplishes his/her purpose(s) for the assignment. Third, the parent company profits from the assignment. And finally, the expatriate undergoes as little stress as possible (Thomas, 1996). The goal of this paper is to explore the objections to training expatriates and to discuss the necessity of training by examining expatriate training programs, establishing ways to improve training results, and looking at published studies that provide empirical support for and against training.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only