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Expatriation and careers in global organisations: How can we understand expatriate employees' experience of international assignment in the context of globalisation?
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2013 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

A common practice in multi-national enterprises is to staff important managerial roles in overseas operations with personnel from the company’s country of origin: expatriate managers. Homecoming expatriates often experience that the competence they have acquired abroad is not recognized when returning home. The purpose of this thesis is to explore how expatriates experience that international assignments affect their careers. The theoretical framework used includes sociological theories from neo-Marxist theory, Bourdieuan career theory and expectancy theory.

This thesis uses qualitative methodology and a phenomenological approach to investigate the purpose and the research questions. The empirical part of the thesis has been conducted in two phases where five international mobility managers have been interviewed in the first phase. In the second phase interviews where held at a multi-national Swedish headquartered company where five interviews were conducted.

The results indicate that there is a discrepancy between how company representatives (managers) and employees consider international assignments and expatriation in relation to employee careers. There seems to be a lack of clear understanding of the impact of expatriation on employee careers and also of the career value of an international assignment for an employee.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 38 p.
Keyword [en]
International Assignments, Expatriation, International careers, Career wobble
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-94128OAI: diva2:651819
Available from: 2013-09-27 Created: 2013-09-27 Last updated: 2013-09-27Bibliographically approved

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