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Pre-DepartureTraining for Expatriates at Wal-Mart

Canada’sdomestic market is increasingly attractive for the establishment offoreign companies. This is due to the presence of new businessopportunities and availability of cheap labor. Companies such asWal-Mart send their managers on international assignments tocountries such as Canada. These managers or expatriates a key playrole on the utilization of foreign operations for accountability andcontrol for development purposes. Similarly, they are used to provideinternational exposure and utilization of technical skills in orderto meet goals set by various companies (Romeo 2008, p.75).

Expatriatesat some point face challenges and are prone to failure due to thedifficulties in adjusting to the new working environment. Wal-Martincorporates pre-departure and cross-cultural training to tackle theproblem. Pre-departure training entails special attentions on issuessuch as culture and language. Expatriates’ experience is alwaysconsidered being important however many companies tend to neglect itduring their trainings (Hunnings 2008, p.36). Wal-Mart also involvesspouses in the pre-departure training of its expatriates. Accordingto Waxin and Panaccio (2010, p.55), pre-departure training decreasesthe number of assignments that expatriates are likely to incur andenhances competitive advantage present in the global businesssectors.

Expatriateswho are not involved in pre-departure training may face variousexternal factors. For instance, they may have poor overallperformance in terms of a foreign subsidiary. Wal-Mart engages in thepre-departure training of its expatriates to solve these problems.The pre-departure training necessarily helps in addressing downfallsthat may occur due to insufficient technical skills and lowmotivation of the expatriates.

PESTLEAnalysisThereare several approaches that address external factors that influencethe setting of foreign businesses. External factors affectorganizations indirectly and are not easy for their control. PESTrefers to political, economic, social, and technological. Theanalysis helps a business to initiate global environmental analysisin determining factors that may affect setting up of anddisseminating its services. There are steps relevant when analyzing aforeign business’ environment. Companies wishing to set up foreignbusiness use PEST analysis in determining threats and opportunitiesin the market. Such companies brainstorm the changes that may occuraround them, opportunities that may arise, as well as threats presentin the market. PoliticalFactorsAcompany needs to be familiar with the local, state, and nationalelections and further foresee factors that may affect the regionaland governmental policies. Political factors provide a vivid pictureof how the contenders of power may change the business policy. Theyfurther help businesspersons analyze on how the rate of crime andcorruption of the country may affect their business. Politicalfactors such as business regulation laws, taxes, and legislativechanges may also be of great effect to setting foreign business.


Companiesalso analyze the economic factors to determine the appropriate actionto take before setting up any foreign business. For instance, suchcompanies check on how stable the current economy is and on thestatus of exchange rates, whether they are stable or varysignificantly. They analyze the current unemployment rate, levels ofincome that may be disposable and how globalization may affect thebusiness.


Thesocio-cultural factors also determine the appropriate actions that acompany may take when setting up a foreign business. They help acompany address their values, level of literacy, beliefs, education,and religion in analyzing how the factors may affect the business setgoals.


Thecompany also needs to check on the probable technological factorsthat may affect its business. These factors may include internet,research and development, electronic media, social media, and rate oftechnological change. This, in turn, help such a company to set upappropriate goals in order to flourish in the market.


Jones,L, 2011, PEST6-How to Conduct A PEST Analysis,Baron Press: New York.

Romero,E.J, 2008),Effect of Expatriate Training on the Expatriate Effectiveness.`Journalof management research,2, 2, 73-77.

Waxin,M.F. and Panaccio A, 2010,The Cross-cultural training in facilitating expatriate adjustment:It works.` PersonnelReview,34, 1, 51-67