Good news reached us in early February 2015! Our network member Dr. Tassilo Schuster received a 20,000 EUR research grant from the Dr. Theo and Friedl Schoeller Research Center for Business and Society to study the challenges of inpatriates in the Nuernberg Metropolitan Region. The topic of his research project and the aims and scope will be presented here.
Many companies in the Nuernberg Metropolitan Region, such as Siemens, Ina Schaeffler, Adidas, Puma, Leoni, GfK, Playmobil, and Diehl, have become global actors and are now operating on a global scale. The global presence of these companies has increased the number of assignments of foreign employees to the headquarters (inpatriation) as those help to achieve an efficient coordination of foreign subsidiaries and a reciprocal knowledge transfer. Currently, about 10,000 foreign employees are working permanently or temporarily in the Nuernberg Metropolitan Region. However, over the last years it has become increasingly difficult for companies to attract highly qualified foreign employees to work and live here. Two different facts are causing these challenges. First, for the individual inpatriate, relocating to a foreign country goes along with many changes in his/her life, which are usually perceived as very challenging and sometimes overwhelming. One big challenge is leaving the familiar social network behind. This often is accompanied with the loss or at least limitation of social support, which is usually drawn from this network. Moreover, inpatriates have to deal with different cultural values, unexpected behavior, and often language barriers in the host country. Finally, inpatriates are often considered as a source of irritation by the local staff and have a low reputation.
Second, even though the Nuernberg Metropolitan Region is economically important, it is regarded as less attractive compared to other metropolitan areas such as Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Madrid, Amsterdam, Paris, or London. Moreover, there is still a lack of international offerings and international-oriented services, which would help the inpatriates to feel more comfortable in the new environment. Nowadays, attracting highly qualified employees is considered as a crucial factor to maintain a firm’s competitive advantage and to secure its long-term survival.
Aims and Scope
The aim of the research project is to explore the challenges of inpatriates in the Nuernberg Metropolitan Region and they evaluate the working and living condition in this region. Moreover, the research project aims at providing recommendations on how private and public institutions/actors can help to improve the living and working conditions of these employees.