Expatriates, an Untapped Source of Valuable Knowledge?: A study of how MNCs exploit knowledge from Swedish expatriates
Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Due to increased globalization, MNCs are increasingly relocating employees on international assignments. During their international assignments, expatriates gain a vast amount of knowledge that can be valuable to the firm. This valuable source of knowledge often remains untapped however and MNCs do often not exploit and harvest knowledge from expatriates. Given this problem we have investigated what the process of knowledge transfer looks like and how MNCs exploit knowledge from Swedish expatriates. We also wanted to find out how factors such as knowledge characteristics, corporate culture, debriefing, and post-assignment position effected this process. By conducting qualitative interviews with former expatriates, we could conclude that formal programs or structured mechanisms to harvest knowledge from expatriates were not very common, the corporate culture had a fairly big impact on expatriates’ well-being, and debriefing sessions varied depending on the size of the company, position of the expatriate as well as the number of expatriates a MNC had. Furthermore, we were able to conclude that the MNCs we investigated utilized knowledge from expatriates by giving them suitable post-assignment positions. Given the tacit nature of expatriates’ knowledge, we recommend managers to assign more time for socialization between coworkers.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 39 p.
Knowledge transfer, expatriates, international assignments, repatriation
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-155703OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-155703DiVA: diva2:427687
UppsokSocial and Behavioural Science, Law
Kang, Olivia, Doktorand