Expatriate Compensation in Historical Perspective

Reynolds, Calvin
June 1997
Journal of World Business;Summer97, Vol. 32 Issue 2, p118
Academic Journal
In 1970, over 80% of the time of international personnel professionals in United States-based multinationals was spent on the management of expatriate assignments. Over 70% was devoted to expatriate compensation (National Foreign Trade Council, 1970). In 1992, the proportion of time devoted to expatriate compensation and benefits by headquarters international human resources staffs was still a striking 54% (Reynolds, 1992). Today, HR involvement in expatriate compensation remains very high, but ten percent of U.S.-based companies have outsourced the function and another nine percent are considering doing so (Windham International/National Foreign Trade Council, 1996). This article will discuss briefly why expatriate compensation has been such an all consuming subject for international human resources professionals, trace the development of the most common compensation methodologies, assess the current state of the field, and suggest some strategies for the future.


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