Thanks James — my main takeaway from this post is that employees (both local and foreign, in both for-profit and non-profit organisations) should be paid what they are worth, in their local context. Which I agree.
But in this age of globalisation, local employees often see foreign expats working beside them in the same office, sometimes doing similar work. One is paid less and in local currency, the other is paid more and in USD/GBP because “the standard of living in the US/UK is higher”. Not many local staff can appreciate this jarring “reality” that “my colleague is paid more because she has always been highly paid in her home country before coming into my country, therefore I am paid lower despite doing very similar work.” As much as this makes sense if you’re overseeing global operations as the CEO, on a local, personal level this defies the notion of fairness, leading to discontentment and dissatisfaction. No wonder some people revolt… Perhaps building local capacity instead of relying on foreign expats is the way to go? (easier said than done, I know) (I am also acutely aware that geographic mobility is a valuable form of professional development)