An accelerated rate of globalisation in the last few decades has meant many businesses are expanding on an international scale and are therefore sending more and more expatriates on assignments abroad. Due to this increase, human resources has had a more integral role to play in operations. This literature review will examine the international human resource function of preparing expatriates for expatriation, known as cross-cultural training (CCT). The literature contains various similar themes associated with CCT including but not limited to; the effectiveness of CCT, CCT and expatriate failure, previous international experience and CCT, CCT programs and program design, and family and spousal issues relating to CCT. These themes will be examined and compared in the following review. They were chosen as they have a strong relevance and presence in CCT. Current gaps in the research will also be discussed with recommendations for future research.
Cross-cultural training (CCT) can be defined as the training processes used to effectively enhance inter-cultural education of cultural knowledge and skills to successfully assist an expatriate’s transition to the host country’s culture via the development of cognitive, affective, and behavioral competencies (Littrell et al., 2006; Celaya & Swift, 2006). Some of the relevant literature discusses different ways in which CCT can be used in domestic settings (learning about multicultural workplaces for example) and international settings. However as this course has an international focus; this literature review will only focus on preparing expatriates for international assignments. The term ‘expatriate’ has many definitions in the available literature, however this review will refer to an expatriate as a parent country national (PCN) and third country national (TCN) employee who has been transferred to a foreign subsidiary of their multinational corporation, generally for a...