The Adventure of Working Abroad: Hero Tales from the Global Frontier

Overview

Every year, hundreds of thousands of Americans and their families accept the challenge of living and working abroad with little idea of the extraordinary experience that awaits them. The Adventure of Working Abroad won't prescribe what to pack or how to find the train station, but it will provide a pragmatic framework for understanding - and mastering - the predictable challenges of each stage in the expatriate journey. Here thirty-five experienced expatriates tell in their own words of the unexpected perils and ...
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Overview

Every year, hundreds of thousands of Americans and their families accept the challenge of living and working abroad with little idea of the extraordinary experience that awaits them. The Adventure of Working Abroad won't prescribe what to pack or how to find the train station, but it will provide a pragmatic framework for understanding - and mastering - the predictable challenges of each stage in the expatriate journey. Here thirty-five experienced expatriates tell in their own words of the unexpected perils and enormous opportunities, the turmoil and triumphs, or life in an exotic new world. Osland uses their personal stories to provide insights and important tips that will help expatriates adjust to diverse cultural norms, face new responsibilities and sudden autonomy, and better equip themselves for the difficulties of repatriation. Osland also explores why U.S. companies are not as proficient as European and Japanese firms at preparing employees to work abroad and, as a result, suffer higher early-return rates. She provides compelling and persuasive remedies that will aid businesses and institutions in preparing their workers before they leave home, supporting them during their assignments abroad, and learning from them upon their return. For to complete the hero's journey is not only to return transformed but also to bring back the gifts of knowledge and experience so vital to success in the global economy.

Hundreds of thousands of Americans flock to overseas assignments each year in this new global economy. Now, a well-versed expatriate provides insight and important tips that will help expatriates make sense of their experience as a whole, better equipping them to cope with their repatriation.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Osland likens the work of expatriates to the myth of the hero's adventure introduced by Joseph Campbell in the 1960s. It's an effective metaphor as Osland, who teaches organizational behavior and has worked many years abroad, recounts interesting anecdotes regarding the tribulations and triumphs of Americans plying their trades in foreign countries. For example, Osland compares Jason's quest for the Golden Fleece to that of the expatriate setting forth on a journey abroad. Some readers may grow weary of the constant Campbellian, biblical, and literary references involving Moses, the Virgin Mary, and Ariadne and Theseus. Yet rather than writing a mundane treatise on how to cope with an overseas assignment, the author has written a thought-provoking, literate narrative that entertains and elucidates while it educates. Recommended for public libraries.-Alan Farber, Northern Illinois Univ.-Dekalb
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780787901080
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/28/1995
  • Series: Jossey-Bass Management Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 244
  • Product dimensions: 6.32 (w) x 9.36 (h) x 0.96 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
The Author
1 From Innocence to Mastery: Expatriate Tales and the Myth of the Hero's Journey 1
2 The Call to Adventure: Accepting the Challenge 17
3 The Belly of the Whale: Stepping into an Unknown World 33
4 The Magical Friend: Discovering a Cultural Mentor 67
5 The Road of Trials: Learning to Live with Paradox 97
6 The Ultimate Boon: Transforming and Enriching Ourselves 135
7 The Return: Making Meaning of the Experience 165
8 Appreciating the Journey: How Companies Can Support and Learn from Expatriate Successes 193
Appendix: Report on the Study of Returned Expatriates 223
References 233
Index 239
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