Utilize este identificador para referenciar este registo: http://hdl.handle.net/10400.9/890
Título: From expatriates’ information needs to information management in the expatriation cycle
Autor: Pinheiro, Mónica
Barrulas, Maria Joaquina
Palavras-chave: Expatriates
Information Needs
Information Management
Case Study
Finance Sector
Data: Out-2006
Citação: André, Mónica; Barrulas, Maria Joaquina. From expatriates’ information needs to information management in the expatriation cycle. In: SCiT2006 - I International Conference on Multidisciplinary Information Sciences and Technologies, Mérida, October 25-26, 2006, p.434-438
Resumo: Globalization has intensified the flow of companies’ top executives across borders. New information needs arise and are added to several other challenges faced by these executives when they move to a foreign country. Cultural differences of the host countries, and lack of local language skills preventing expatriates making sense of the social context and physical environment surrounding them, are among those challenges. This paper reports findings of a study aimed at identifying and understanding the role of information in top executives’ mobility process, during expatriation cycle. The study was carried out between 2003 and 2004, and covered half of the existing expatriates working for a Portuguese economic group of the financial sector, in three different country operations. The case study was the methodological approach chosen. To understand the information needs of expatriates, three embedded cases were considered, illustrating the economic group as a whole. The embedded cases corresponded to business operations in three different countries that had begun operating at different times (1997, 2000, and 2003). The choice of the countries accounted for: variety and diversity of the business operations abroad, their political importance and different stages of expatriates in the expatriation cycle. Several data collection methods were used, including indepth interviews with expatriates in their working environments, observations in the field, analysis of internal publications, as well as analysis of the newspapers and other online specialized journals covering most of the references made to the economic group, under study. The study identified two critical moments concerning expatriates information needs. These corresponded to the informational space transitions faced when they moved from the home country to the host country and then back again. The first critical moment occurs when arriving at host country. The transition to a new cultural environment and the acculturation process that takes place, and also deficient local language skills, accounted for the main problems they faced. Without the appropriate mental grids, the environment becomes a meaningless information space. The lack of preparation of expatriates and absence of supporting information for the expatriates’ assignment, accounted for this problem. The second critical moment occurred when they faced the return to their home country business operations. The information gap they faced concerning home operations during the assignment, accounted for the main problems faced by returning expatriates. This information gap concerned changes in the organization while they where abroad. It was mainly due to lack of formal channels maintaining awareness of home country operations across expatriates. Further founding’s accounted for loss of organizational memory of expatriates’ contributions and knowledge while abroad. Based on collected data a typology of expatriates’ information needs was produced. A model incorporating expatriates’ information in the organizational information system, throughout the duration of the assignment, was designed. This model builds up the Antal model that considers the expatriates’ gains for the organizations, and the need for strategic information for the life of organizations, in order to facilitate the move from expatriate mobility to information mobility in the organizational context, helping to preserve the organizational memory needed to understand the underlying environment in which organizations extend their operations.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10400.9/890
ISBN: CD-ROM: 84-611-3106-1
Aparece nas colecções:INETI - Comunicações em actas de encontros científicos internacionais

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