Success? Perceptions of New Zealand Expatriates in Singapore
With growing international business opportunities the practice of employing expatriates is becoming widespread among New Zealand companies. New Zealanders are commonly selected or seek out expatriate assignments with Singapore being a key country where many expatriates relocate. New Zealand has a long established and close relationship with Singapore making it an invaluable market to maintain strong relationships and trade. Expatriates and New Zealand businesses are provided with a gateway into the Asian markets and the rest of the world. Singapore also offers the stimulus of an Asian economy, attracting a miscellaneous group of expatriates. This creates numerous cultural, financial and social reasons for why it is important to ensure expatriates are successful within their roles. The purpose of this empirical study is to understand if levels of pre-departure preparation, on-arrival and continued support affect the self-diagnosed perceived success of New Zealand expatriates in Singapore. This research offers two emergent frameworks, the first is a ‘model of expatriate success’ derived from the literature, the second, the ‘three factors of success model’ emanated from the results. Results were gathered using on-site interviews and an online survey. They show that all stages of expatriation are important to the success of an assignment, with emphasis around ‘on-arrival support’ significantly assisting adjustment. In addition to these stages, the personal characteristics and abilities of an expatriate are also shown to be important to success. Adjustment is a key attribute pivotal to the success of an expatriate assignment in Singapore, with inadequate adjustment correlated with expatriate failure. Success is the result of a successful acclimatisation and adjustment phase, with methods endorsed or provided by their organisation. Pre-departure preparation, on-arrival and continued support all contributed to the perceived success of expatriate assignments, with those methods recognised to be focused heavily on the adjustment of the expatriate gaining greater recognition. The success of an expatriate assignment also appeared to be focused on the expatriate’s personal values and measures of success. A ‘success’ paradigm was formed through the understanding that success was achieved through satisfaction of three key areas: professional, personal and reward. This research contributes to the study of expatriate’s experiences through the perceptions of success of expatriates on international assignments. The results and their implications for international firms are discussed in detail.
Advisor: Elkin, Graham
Degree Name: Master of Business
Degree Discipline: Management
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: Expat; Success Factors; New Zealand
Research Type: Thesis