Liaising with Malaysians: Expatriate experiences with the liaison role

Marian van Bakel, Torben Andersen

Research output: Contribution to conference without publisher/journalPaperResearchpeer-review


The present paper focuses on the Host Country National Liaison (HCNL) role. Through an exploratory study, including eleven interviews with both company-sent and self-initiated expatriates in Malaysia, experiences with the HCNL role model are mapped. All five role components: cultural interpreter, communication manager, information resource broker, talent manager, and internal change agent were recognized. The role is not tied to a single individual, to a particular host country national employee or manager. A variety of actors deliver different role components - some were even undertaken by fellow expatriates. Our paper has various contributions. First, it is the first empirical examination of the HCNL-role, what its components are and how the corresponding behavioral functions work. Second, it further develops the HCNL-model by discussing several challenges to the model that emerge from practice. Third, it offers a deeper examination of the working relations between Western expatriates and Malaysian host country nationals.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event3rd Global Conference on International Human Resource Management - St Johns University, New York, United States
Duration: 18. May 201720. May 2017
Conference number: 3


Conference3rd Global Conference on International Human Resource Management
LocationSt Johns University
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew York
Internet address


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