Cross-Cultural Training of Expatriates : A Case Study of Ericsson
Adjustment to a new culture is a slow and step-wise process, which can be facilitated by cross-cultural training. First, a comprehensive review of current theories about cross-cultural adjustment and different training techniques is presented. Then, the study looks at the preparation and training of expatriates at Ericsson in relation to these theories. In-depth interviews with two Area Managers at Ericsson have been carried out in order to establish how the company’s training program is structured. We found that Ericsson follows a sequential model with both pre-departure and post-arrival training, mainly didactic in nature. The pre-departure training is very culturegeneral, whereas the post-arrival training is more specific for the host culture. The post-arrival training is, however, not offered in all host countries. Language training is also offered, and expatriates are encouraged to visit the host country prior to the departure. Many components in Ericsson’s training program are supported by theory,but several other techniques described in the theory are not in use. A suggestion is made to further formalize the post-arrival training and make the overall training more culture-specific.
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