Research participants speak about FELOs

Foreign Executives:

I was the only Westerner; there were three-and-a-half thousand people and I was the only Westerner around the place. I was the only Western director [..] of any bank, the only Westerner. (FELO#25)

I’m the only non-Malaysian in this organisation, the only non-Malaysian! In the whole [deleted] group. [..] I think most foreigners are in JVs [joint ventures], partnerships and the like, where they run business on behalf of the foreign partner. [..] So I’m a bit unique, I suppose, somewhat. (FELO#4)

Even within my group [of companies] I’m still special after all those years [..] — in a group that has 10,000 employees. (FELO#10)

What you get to feel and see probably, inside there . . . the experience working as a foreigner inside a domestic company compared to working as an expatriate working in an expatriate company is like night and day. (FELO#17)

Local Executives:

There’s just only one [FELO], and one-thousand over workers! (LOCAL13)

You don’t see a lot. And if you’re talking about local ‘private limited’ companies, there’s hardly a single foreigner (LOCAL#23)

No, I think he’s here because . . . well, money is important, yeah {interviewee says this in a dismissive way}. But he’s here to make his mark. (LOCAL#1)

I think a lot of foreign country [executives] are now realising that Asia is an opportunity place, you know, for you to settle, to get in and make bigger things happen. (LOCAL#4)

With that kind of mindset, and that kind of knowledge, and that kind of drive, and that kind of, erm, passion — and . . .  he’s not doing it for money. He’s doing it because he thoroughly loves it. (LOCAL#7)

To understand the context in which these comments are made, please refer to the typologies and other academic publications about the FELO phenomenon, or contact FELOresearch.

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