Case Study: AstraZeneca’s Expatriate Management Practices

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AstraZeneca's Expatriate Management Practices

AstraZeneca is one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. In the year 2008, the company reported revenue of US $31.6 (Deresky, 2017). According to the case study, AstraZeneca is placed as the fifth largest company globally. This implies that the company is well established and operating at a profit. Although it is headquartered in London, United Kingdom, and Sodertalje, Sweden, it has a global presence. In the year 2009, 350 of its employees worked on international assignments in over 140 different nations (Deresky, 2017). For this reason, expatriate programs are crucial for AstraZeneca. This paper critically analyzes the AstraZeneca's expatriate management practices.

AstraZeneca's Strategies for Managing Expatriates

An expatriate is an employee who works and resides in a foreign country. In managing the expats, AstraZeneca employs various strategies to ensure that the employees settle in their new places of work and remain productive. The company makes the decision of sending employees abroad based on a concrete business rationale to ensure that the expatriate program is successful. AstraZeneca makes sure that the international assignment's cost is in accordance with the company's policy and the objectives of the mission are consistent with the business needs and employee career development goals (Deresky, 2017). In this way, the organization only ventures into significant international assignments.

The Role of the International Assignment Manager

Another vital aspect of AstraZeneca's expatriate program is the presence of the International Assignment manager (AI). This manager works with expats before they are deployed and during their stay in their new destinations. They provide employees with appropriate skills such as cultural differences, language classes, and the rules and laws that apply to different nations (Deresky, 2017). These workshops prepare the workers to settle in new places. The workers are also connected with expats who have been deployed in their new destinations. This motivates the new expats in the international missions. The company also enables a healthy balance between work and life by allowing the employees to manage their time. AstraZeneca acknowledges the difference in time zones and takes that into consideration. However, due to economic constraints, the company shifted to short-term missions and reduced the relocation packages that could have impacted the employees' performance. The expats could also report misleading information as they would be afraid of opening up when they consider the company's investments.

Strategies to Mitigate Expatriates' Anxieties

An organization may employ the following strategies to mitigate expats' anxieties at home and work. Firstly, the company should prepare employees by training and educating them on their mission and destination country (Herod, 2012). This information allows them to settle well in new environments. Secondly, the workers should be allowed enough time to prepare. In this way, people would make adequate arrangements with their families before leaving. Thirdly, organizations should provide an expatriate package that suits individuals well and fairly compensates them. Also, expats should be allowed flexibility so they can balance their work and life appropriately. Lastly, companies should provide support to the expats while they are on a mission. These will ensure the workers are productive.

Focusing on Appropriate Missions for Growth

A company should venture only on the appropriate missions, which are in line with its goals to maximize the benefits of the expatriate programs despite the economic recessions. In so doing, a firm will focus its economic energy on international assignments that lead to the growth of the organization (Herod, 2012). Also, the expats deployed should be selected well only to include the most suitable candidates who will bring more returns. I think an organization that paid careful attention in the expat's selection would boost its success in international assignments.


Deresky, H. (2017). International management: Managing across borders and cultures. Pearson           Education India.

Herod, R. (2012). Expatriate Compensation Strategies: Applying Alternative Approaches.    Society for Human Resource Management.

October 30, 2023



Corporations Management

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