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Solvay Group International Mobility And Managing Expatriates Case Solution

Solution Id Length Case Author Case Publisher
1231 1047 Words (3 Pages) Boris Groysberg, Nitin Nohria, Kerry Herman Harvard Business School : 409079
This solution includes: A Word File A Word File

Solvay is faced with issues in its expatriate program related to the inconsistency of the policies. The expatriates have different issues that require deviation from standard procedures and policies. These are likely to have increased costs for the company. Furthermore, one other problem is the problem with the calculation of the return on investment of the expatriate. Because of the nature of operations, not all factors can be quantified. Some of the contributions that the expatriates have on the long-term benefits of the company cannot be quantified. The suggestion was to quantify the appraisal process. The suggestion for the problem of inconsistency was to develop policies that take into account frequent deviations and keeping into account the employee interests before allocation.

Following questions are answered in this case study solution

  1. What were the goals of Solvay’s expatriate programs?

  2. How well did Solvay’s HR practices support expatriates?

  3. How should Lorent begin to quantify the costs and benefits of international mobility at Solvay?

Case Analysis for Solvay Group International Mobility And Managing Expatriates Case Solution

1. What were the goals of Solvay’s expatriate programs?

The company wants to develop an expatriate program that has consistent policies to satisfy all individuals who would be sent to the expatriate assignments. This would mean that the policies of the international mobility program as consistent and formalized. This would help the company in minimizing the exceptions. The exceptions are costly for the company because they require a deviation from the standard practices. However, at the same time, the company needs to remain flexible to a certain extent to achieve the strategic aims that the company has. Furthermore, another goal of the expatriate program is transparency. The problem identified was that several employees had joined Solvay because they wanted to gain international experience. However, they were not allocated to a country in which they wanted to join. This made the expatriate process more stressful because of unambiguous situations and being allocated to countries or locations that they were not interested in. The transparent expatriate process would help in making decisions regarding the expatriate procedure. Furthermore, it will help in the implementation of consistent policies for expatriates.

Thirdly, the goal of the expatriate program was to reduce the costs of mobility. In this reduced costs, the company also wants to develop a system of talent management for the company. This would be done in order to develop talent in the organization. This was because the company did not prefer hiring externally. Internal hiring was done most of the times so that the culture of the organization is maintained. They also want the expatriate program to be aligned with the strategic goals of the company so that they are achieved. They want the growth of the company to be successful with the allocation of talented individuals to these markets to develop their operations in them.

2. How well did Solvay’s HR practices support expatriates?

The case shows that the expatriate program in the company is matured. This has led to the company being well-known for its expatriate programs. People joined the company for gaining international experience. The compensation for the expatriates was also an attractive one that attracted the employees to apply for this program. The HR assigned mentors for the expatriates that would help them gain knowledge about the new country. The HR also had an appraisal process that helped the company gauge the performance of the expatriate. However, the HR did not contact the employees personally to assess their potential that was negative for the company.

The HR also gave reimbursement to the employees for the expenses that covered trips to the home country, schooling of the children, and medical costs. This had helped the expatriates in covering the purchasing power parity differences from the home country. Some countries were expensive while others offered products at a low price. The compensation system and the allowances given by the HR was an important function hat supported the expatriates financially.

The weak point of the expatriate process was the adjustment of the individual employee and their family. The adjustment to a country with a different language and culture was difficult for the family.

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