Challenges faced by Indian expatriates in the UK


This study is on a survey conducted among a group of exiles in United Kingdom. The aim of the survey is to analyze challenges faced by the exiles and accommodations made to the challenges in UK. Cultural clangs between foreign and local values are inevitable in which expatriates experience challenges. In-depth interviews are conducted with exiles working in assorted houses in UK. The survey highlighted the psychological, socio-cultural and work challenges. Adjustments were based on single enterprises based on the psychological and mental strengths of the exiles, combined with attempts of equal exiles, parent houses and host organisations.


Economic liberalisation triggers many international organisations to spread out their concern along with set uping their repute globally. Harmonizing to, Bartol and Martin ( 1998 ) globalisation procedure a worldwide integrating scheme where the intent involves at developing comparatively standardized merchandises with planetary entreaties, every bit good as apologizing operations throughout the universe. In accomplishing this aim, organisations require to direct their designate representatives for abroad assignments in order to keep the criterions of their merchandises or services abroad.

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At present there are many international organisations spread outing their concerns along with set uping their repute in this state. The state acknowledges the influx of exiles into this state to run into the demands for skilled and professional work force or human expertness in assorted Fieldss. It is expected that the state still needs this foreign expertness for 10 to 20 old ages to come ( Shephard, 1996 ) . Hiring exiles from abroad is one of the ways to expose the Indian work force toward foreign expertness.

An ‘expatriate ‘ can be defined as an person who is non a citizen of the state of which he or she is assigned to work in. Richardson and McKenna ( 2002 ) say that expatriates as professionals who are populating in an abroad state on a impermanent footing, but usually for more than one twelvemonth. In general, besides monitoring and commanding the fiscal distribution and net income addition of the company, an exile is expected to widen their cognition and accomplishments in engineering transportation ( Shephard, 1996 ) . The exiles are expected to offer new cognition for the locals to accommodate therefore the latter has high regard towards the former at the workplace. The function of an exile is regarded as distinctively important since the chief undertaking is to move upon keeping the organisational construction and doctrine of Multinational Corporations ( MNCs ) while following the regulations and ordinances of work within the host state. In the populace sector, the exiles chiefly hold diplomatic stations in foreign embassies or as advisers for authorities bureaus ; while in the private sector, the exile directors are largely positioned in MNCs that tally concern operations. Populating in a new cultural environment, exiles are bound to face challenges and do accommodations in their life styles in order to do their assignment effectual ( Ward and Rana-Deuba, 2000 ; Zakaria, 2000 ) .

Therefore, this survey was conducted two answer two research inquiries: First, what are challenges faced by the Indian exiles during their stay in United Kingdom ( UK ) with respect to the differences in civilization? Second, how did the Indian expatriates adjust to traverse cultural differences in the state? Although there are empirical surveies that have been done abroad with respect to the issues of exile, a limited sum has merely been done harmonizing to Indian scenes. Therefore, the consequence of this survey is important in order to add to the organic structure of cognition, specifically in the field of cross-cultural surveies and international direction among exiles in the state. Furthermore, it is hoped to make consciousness on issues of accommodations of Indian exiles in order to construct a more productive work force in old ages.

Research Aims and Aims:

A. Aim of the Research:

The ultimate purpose of the proposal is to analyze the Cross civilization challenges and adjustment issue of Indian exile assign to United Kingdom in the Information Technology ( IT ) industry.

B. Research aim

To analysis the key challenges Indian exiles faces during abroad assignment.

To analyze how Indian exile header with new working environment.

To analysis how these expatriates cope with the cross cultural differences?

To discourse the obtained determination and to do recommendations.

C. The research inquiries

What are challenges faced by the Indian exiles during their stay in United Kingdom ( UK ) with respect to the differences in civilization?

How did the Indian expatriates adjust to traverse cultural differences in the state?

What is the nature of each expatriate assignment exiles experienced?

What were the cultural differences they found most ambitious?

Which personal strengths expatriates find most helpful during there abroad assignment?

What types of preparation ( and other types of support ) they receive from house in UK?

What are the recommendations for future readying of exile? ( W-2 )

Literature Review

The turning internationalization of concern and the of all time increasing figure of transnational companies and international joint ventures have resulted in an addition in the despatch of chiefly managerial and proficient staff on foreign assignment, for periods runing from a few months to a few old ages. The turning cost of foreign assignments shows the strategic importance that companies attach to this facet of their operations. Harmonizing to Selmer ( 2001 ) most companies spend between US $ 300,000 and US $ 1,000,000 yearly on an person on foreign assignment. But who are the exiles and why are they sent to foreign subordinates by their company? Cohen ( 1977, p. 5 ) defines an exile as a ‘voluntary impermanent migrator, largely from the flush states, who resides abroad for one of the undermentioned reasons-business, mission, instruction, research and civilization or leisure ‘ . Whereas harmonizing to Harry ( 2003, p. 284 ) the term exile refers to professional or managerial staff employed outside their place state either on endorsement from a parent administration or straight by the host administration.

The literature on international accommodation has made a differentiation between psychological accommodation and sociocultural accommodation ( Searle and Ward, 1990 ; Ward and Kennedy, 1992 ; Ward and Searle, 1991 ) . Although these impressions are conceptually interrelated, they refer to different phenomena. Psychological accommodation trades with subjective wellbeing or emotional satisfaction ( e.g. depression, anxiousness, tenseness, and weariness ) , while sociocultural accommodation relates to culture-specific accomplishments, the ability to negociate the host civilization, or general intercultural competency as measured by the sum of trouble experienced in the direction of mundane state of affairss in the host civilization ( Ward and Chang, 1997 ; Ward and Kennedy, 1996 ) . The construct of sociocultural accommodation is based on cultural larning theory and high spots societal behaviour and practical societal accomplishments implicit in attitudinal factors ( Black and Mendenhall, 1991 ; Furnham, 1993 ; Klineberg, 1982 ) . The impression of psychological accommodation is based on a problem-oriented position concentrating on attitudinal factors of the accommodation procedure ( Grove and Torbiorn, 1985 ; Juffer, 1986 ; Oberg, 1960 ) . This differentiation is compatible with behavioural and attitudinal socialization as late discussed by Jun et Al. ( 1997 ) . They suggest that behavioural alterations ( sociocultural accommodation ) may hold to be adopted nonvoluntary due to bing fortunes, while attitudinal alterations ( psychological accommodation ) are likely to be more voluntary. A correspondent suggestion has been extended by Furnham and Bochner ( 1986 ) suggesting that the exile does non needfully hold to undergo a basic displacement in deeply held values to conform to a new set of cultural norms abroad. It is sufficient simply to larn new societal and cultural accomplishments, in much the same manner as one learns a foreign linguistic communication. The new patterns need non go portion of the lasting repertory and can be abandoned when they are no longer utile, for illustration when run intoing fellow-nationals or after repatriation.

Black et Al. ( 1991 ) proposed that the grade of cross-cultural accommodation should be treated as a multidimensional construct instead than a unitary phenomenon as was antecedently the dominating position ( Gullahorn and Gullahorn, 1962 ; Oberg, 1960 ) . In their theoretical theoretical account for international accommodation, Black et Al. ( 1991 ) made a differentiation between three dimensions of in-country accommodation:

to work ;

to interacting with host subjects ; and

to the general non-work environment.

This model covers sociocultural facets of accommodation and it has been supported by a series of empirical surveies of US exiles and their partners ( Black and Gregersen, 1990 ; 1991a ; 1991b ; Black and Stephens, 1989 ) . McEvoy and Parker ( 1995 ) besides found support for the three dimensions of expatriate accommodation.

The construct of subjective wellbeing, matching to the psychological facets of international accommodation, has been theoretically good developed, particularly in relation to work and work environment features ( Kornhauser, 1965 ; Caplan et al. , 1975 ; Karasek, 1979 ) . This construct has been applied through empirical observation on the accommodation of exile concern directors ( Arnetz and Anderzen, 1992 ; Forster, 1997 ; Nicholson and Imaizumi, 1993 ) . ( website 1 )

Since life in abroad offers a different life style and set of experiences for the exiles, who are confronting challenges and doing necessary accommodations in order to last working and life in a foreign state. The alterations encountered during transverse cultural passages may look to be nerve-racking. Adjustments consume clip, attempt and money. Furthermore, it requires forbearance and involvement of the exiles to do the accommodations a success. There are exiles who find that the challenges have an influence towards their determination to reconsider remaining in the host state ( Aycan, 1997 ) . Literature on exile shows that persons from different civilizations may meet troubles in groking each other ‘s values and behavior towards another. Therefore, this may take to cultural clang ( Elashmawi & A ; Harris, 1993 ) . Due to the “ cultural luggage ” that has been nurtured based on the person ‘s ain cultural orientation and wages or penalty systems ( Elashmawi, 2000 ) , differences of beliefs in a multicultural scene becomes inevitable. Cultural clangs in the workplace can be referred to as an illustration of a major cross-cultural challenge for exiles working abroad. Harmonizing to Asma ( 1996 ) , among the common challenges that aliens commented during their stay UK, include the issues of the local populace services, cleanliness, environmental consciousness and restricted local media.

Many companies dispatch exile directors and other senior staff to their subordinates in order to keep their integrating into a consistent whole and to keep effectual communicating between the HQ and the foreign operation. Pucik ( 1998 ) points out, most international assignments are still ‘demand driven ‘ , and make fulling places where local know-how is deficient or where the authorization of the Centre needs to be upheld in a more direct manner. In other words, international directors are instructors, reassigning new capablenesss and keeping order. In many companies expatriates sent from the HQ to the subordinates tend besides to hold a culture-building function.

In add-on to set in unfamiliar milieus, exiles have to get by with a province of double trueness: to the HQ and to the subordinate in which they work. At times, there could be some struggles between the two, particularly when there are cardinal dissensions over certain issues between the parent company and the foreign subordinate.

The exiles have to get by with such struggles and trade with them suitably. In their interviews with exile directors, Black et Al. ( 1999 ) found that the most common beginning of struggle for those exiles who had high commitment to both the parent company and subordinate was conflicting outlooks, demands or aims between the parent and the foreign operation. Although it was clear what was expected of the exiles, the outlooks of the administrations were different. In this connexion Black et Al. ( 1999, pp. 132-47 ) place four types of exiles, depending on the base they take with regard to their trueness.

1. Exiles who ‘go native ‘ are those who have higher trueness to the subordinate than they do to the parent company and normally organize a strong designation with and fond regard to the larger cultural context in which they work, including its concern patterns and values. There are both advantages and disadvantages of traveling native. For illustration, it will be hard for the parent company to acquire its corporate policies or programmes implemented decently in the foreign subordinate. On the other manus, these exiles understand host-country employees, clients and providers. As a consequence, they can follow direction manners which are compatible with the values and attitudes of the local employees ; they can besides accommodate merchandises and services to accommodate the local market.

2. Exiles who ‘leave their Black Marias at place ‘ are those who have higher trueness to the parent company than to the subordinate and its wider concern and cultural context. Here some of the advantages and disadvantages are the contrary of the above. These exiles make it easier for the HQ to organize its activities with the foreign subordinate. On the other manus, because of their tenuous designation with the host state, they may seek to implement and implement inappropriate programmes or even stop up piquing the local employees, clients and providers.

3. Exiles who see themselves as ‘dual citizens ‘ are those who have high commitment to both parent company and the local subordinate. They feel a duty to seek to function the involvements of both administrations. One of the advantages of such exiles is that they can set good and rapidly to the local civilization and environment. At the same clip they are antiphonal to directives from the HQ. However, they require serious idea and committedness from the company. They are besides a rare strain and may be rather attractive to other houses who might head-hunt them.

4. Exiles who see themselves as ‘free agents ‘ are those who have a low degree of committedness to the parent house and the subordinate in which they work. These free agents are chiefly committed to their ain calling and move from one house to another and from one state to another. ( See besides the subdivision on free-lance exiles below. ) MNCs tend to see such free agents with a grade of ambivalency. On the one manus, these exiles are comparatively less expensive than those sent from place. And in add-on they have already demonstrated that they can win in planetary scenes and have specialised accomplishments that may be missing in the MNC ‘s internal managerial or executive ranks.

On the other manus, free-agent exiles frequently leave with small notice, and replacing them is normally dearly-won. Besides, free agents sometimes serve their ain short-run calling aims which may or may non be in the long-run involvement of the local operation or the parent company.

Another issue to be taken into consideration is gender in exile. Harmonizing to Caliguiri and Cascio ( 1998 ) , besides understanding the cultural differences, adult females should be cognizant of the differences in gender every bit good. In male-dominated society adult females expatriates may confront cultural differences, which could impact their public presentation in international assignments. In order for these exiles to get the better of the challenges they encounter, Fish and Wood ( 1996 ) stated that understanding the differences in cross-cultural scenes and using it within the function of an exile and the organisational construction, may help in better accommodations for the exiles and derive better credence by the local employees. With mention to a survey done by Tung ( 1998 ) towards 409 exiles on assignments to 51 states around the universe, bulk of the exiles took six to twelve months to experience comfy life in a new cultural scene. Aycan ( 1997 ) emphasized that there are three facets of accommodations, viz. psychological, socio-cultural and work accommodations. An option to which these exiles can fix themselves with these accommodations is through cross-culture preparation ( CCT ) . Caliguiri ( 2000 ) add that the end of CCT is to minimise “ cultural daze ” when on foreign deployment and heighten the directors ‘ cross cultural experience. In footings of behaviour, the ultimate aim is to better the functional accomplishments of directors on overseas ‘ assignments. CCT is of import in order to better functional accomplishments and to minimise cultural daze among exiles during their international assignments. Richardson and McKenna ( 2002 ) further confirm that support in the signifier of CCT is of import for abroad assignment otherwise the exile directors would repatriate prematurely.

This survey is based on cross-cultural direction theory by Bartol and Martin ( 1998 ) .

It is a procedure in which the direction takes into history cultural differences and ability to accommodate to the different civilizations. Culture of a society helps to develop the outlook of the people in the society. Culture guides the head and influences the ways people perceive affairs, act politically, do and prioritise determinations, manage their lives and fundamentally on ways they think. One should non divide self-awareness and cultural consciousness. One has to travel beyond the significance of civilization itself in order to hold a better consciousness of how civilization influences our personal lives.


This survey applied a phenomenological qualitative survey due to the fact that it attempts to research the experiences in footings of challenges and accommodations of exiles in the context of cross-cultural scene. Harmonizing to Merriam ( 1998 ) the focal point of phenomenological survey is upon the “ kernel or construction of an experience ( phenomenon ) . Therefore, it will necessitate the research worker to construe the experiences that the sources brush. However, personal prejudices or beliefs should be put aside while making this type of research, so that it will non interfere with the seeing the construction of the phenomenon. Berg ( 1998 ) further supports that qualitative survey enables a research worker to portion in the apprehensions and perceptual experiences of other persons and to research how they construction and give significance to their day-to-day lives. It requires the research worker to construe the experiences, which the sources brush.

General model

Seek to corroborate hypotheses about


Instruments use more stiff manner

of arousing and categorising

responses to inquiries

Use extremely structured methods

such as questionnaires, studies,

and structured observation

Seek to research phenomena

Instruments use more flexible,

iterative manner of eliciting and

categorising responses to inquiries

Use semi-structured methods such

as in-depth interviews, focal point

groups, and participant observation

Analytic aims

To quantify fluctuation

To foretell causal relationships

To depict features of a


To depict fluctuation

To depict and explicate relationships

To depict single experiences

To depict group norms.

Question format



Data format

Numerical ( obtained by delegating

numerical values to responses )

Numerical ( obtained by delegating

numerical values to responses )

Flexibility in survey design

Study design is stable from

get downing to stop

Participant responses do non

influence or find how and

which inquiries research workers ask


Study design is capable to

statistical premises and


Some facets of the survey are

flexible ( for illustration, the add-on,

exclusion, or diction of peculiar

interview inquiries )

Participant responses affect how

and which inquiries research workers

ask next

Study design is iterative, that is,

informations aggregation and research

inquiries are adjusted harmonizing

to what is learned

( w-3 )

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