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Expat assignments can be incredibly useful, if done correctly. However, 10-20 percent of expat assignments fail due to various difficulties \u2014 adjustment, preparedness, family issues, etc. There are many ways to mitigate this failure rate, include training and development, proper preparation, support throughout the assignment \u2014 the one this thesis evaluates is proper selection measures for choosing an expat going abroad. Selecting the right candidate is the first step in the battle and if this is done correctly, it increases the likelihood that the expat assignment will be successful. Here we evaluate three selection measures: job performance, resiliency, and employee readiness. Included are interview questions with raters, as well as comments from current/past expats and managers of expats. If the three characteristics are well assessed for, a better selection for an expat can be made, thus increasing the probability of a successful assignment.
Leadership, as a field of study, has suffered under the dialectic between an ephemerality which keeps the true nature of leadership difficult to quantify and an ardent desire to have leadership fully understood so that societal institutions may improve. It is the primary focus of this research to view leadership as the collection of skills that an individual develops over time which allows them to demonstrate leadership ability regardless of their actual position within an organization. Through a review of the leadership skills literature, a potentially unifying framework for understanding and measuring leadership skills was extrapolated: Mumford, Campion, and Morgeson’s Leadership Skills STRATAPLEX (2007). In order to determine the ability of the framework to serve as a unified model between the divergent characteristics of the public and private sectors, a limited replication study was performed on a targeted sample of Human Resources (HR) leaders in the public and private sectors. The study consisted of a twenty-three-question survey which captured the HR leaders’ years of experience, sector type (sector of employment), and their self-rated measurement of the twenty-one leadership skills needed to perform in their position. Through the limited replication study, it was found that there existed no statistically significant difference between the sector type and any of the twenty-one leadership skills within this replication study. Although it should be noted that some of the leadership skills did approach statistical significance, a more robust replication of the STRATAPLEX for the explicit purpose of determining a relationship between sector type and the twenty-one leadership skills would prove useful in determining the veracity of these results. The results of this study serve to doubly inform leadership researchers of the possibility of creating a unified leadership skills framework as well as demonstrating to organizational leaders the value in producing leadership training which models this framework as its foundation for all leadership positions.
Many companies recognize the need of soft skill improvement and utilize leadership development programs. As the program states, the company uses the curriculum to focus on developing and cultivating leadership skills for their employees. While perfecting the aptitudes, it is vital that these curriculums focus primarily on developing soft skills rather than hard skills. Not stating that hard skills are not significant; just that leaders require to apply soft skills abundantly in their day to day duties. Within this thesis, the discussion is on the gap of soft skills and why the need to improve and narrow the breach is imperative in today's workforce. About 67% of HR managers will hire a candidate with strong soft skills, even if their hard skills are lacking; since HR managers value and recognize the proficiency gap of soft skills in the workforce today. Because of the necessity for soft skills, it is vital for employers to identify how to assess for soft skills. In order to do so, the companies should focus on the competencies that are required for the needed position. For the competencies that are utilized in leadership positions, soft skills are emphasized and assesses for more. Salt River Project is utilized, in the thesis, as a company example on assessing competencies that are desired when hiring for leadership positions, varying from a supervisor level position to a director level position. Due to the findings stated in the thesis, soft skills are weighed heavily and are recognized as required skills for most leadership positions. Therefore, soft skills are paramount in leadership development programs.