What can an organization do to mitigate the single point of failure of the expatriate?

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This becomes a larger issue that strikes at how an organization approaches the issue of blame.  In organizations that have a healthy culture, the failure of the expatriate or any employee is broadened into a larger discussion.  The question is moved from "Why did you do wrong," to "What could we have done better?"  Organizations that have a healthy culture embedded within them would understand that the expatriate faces a unique set of challenges that has to be appropriated into the larger configuration.  In a corporate culture that seeks to improve without demonizing, the failure of the expatriate would already be mitigated in seeking to develop an internal culture of lasting success where individual failures, expatriates or not, are teachable moments in which areas of improvement can be discovered. 

Accordingly, the organization that places blame at the foot of the expatriate is representative of one that does not embed a healthy culture.  It seeks to demonize as opposed to understand.  Today's demonizing of the expatriate will be the demonizing of another employee tomorrow and the cycle of blame continues.  

Organizations can conduct their own litmus test as to how healthy their workplace is in the understanding of how blame is assigned to expatriates or other workers.  If the organization is committed to cultivating a workplace where employees feel valued and respected enough to demonstrate loyalty to it, the failures of one specific individual, expatriate or not, will be absorbed into the larger schematic and not singularly demonized.