Managing expatriates: the role of mentors

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2006


Sending key managers on foreign assignments is common practice for multinational and international firms. Although firms spend considerable resources to support expatriates, the return they receive remains disappointing. Current research suggests that expatriates are very likely to cut short their visit, and/or return to dissatisfying careers. Effective mentoring promises to remedy some of these problems, yet few firms seem to implement the mentor concept in practice Based on depth-interviews of expatriates, we delineate the mentor's role both in the home and host office. We also develop a checklist of activities for home-office mentors.

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