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Expatriates Vs. Local nationals

Situation: In the past 15 years many new firms have moved into Country X, a former British possession in sub-Saharn Africa, although only a few have important market shares. Brilliant, an auto parts distribution and retail subsidiary (SBU) of your firm, is doing well financially the past few years and is developing to be one of the market leaders. Country X has some important natural resources in precious metals and iron, but has only recently begun exploiting those resources. It is a mult-party, pro-Western, country that has has successful democratic elections over the past decade. Business practices are dominated by a very "familial" type of commerce. Business is still done largely based on family and community contracts. Economic development is proceeding slowly in the country, but the basic economic infrastructure is supportive of your business.

1. Which would you recommend to your senior HR manager as the better approach for your North American-headquartered firm using expatriates or using local nationals?

2. How would you proceed in preparing those selected for their positions?

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1) I would certainly recommend hiring local expatriates in key position for successfully operating in the country. As business dealings are largely carried out via family and community contracts and the country is pro western and runs on its own unique lines, it is essential to hire local experts that are fully aware of the local conditions and have strong connections, insight and links in the country.

Although it may not be a bad idea to send few ...

Solution Summary

Which would you recommend to your senior HR manager as the better approach for your North American-headquartered firm using expatriates or using local nationals?

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