The roles of expatriates' spouses among dual career couples

Liisa Mäkelä (Department of Management, University of Vaasa, Vaasa, Finland)
Marja Känsälä (Turku School of Economics, University of Turku, Turku, Finland)
Vesa Suutari (Faculty of Business Studies, University of Vaasa, Vaasa, Finland)

Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal

ISSN: 1352-7606

Publication date: 3 May 2011



The purpose of this paper is to identify how dual career expatriates view their spouses' roles during international assignments.


In total, 39 interviews were carried out with expatriates who had a working spouse. The interview data were content analysed using replication logic.


The authors' findings indicate that the importance of spousal support increases among dual career couples during international assignments. Expatriates report their spouses as having supporting, flexible, determining, instrumental, restricting and equal partner spousal roles.


This study provides in‐depth understanding about multiple spousal roles during international assignments among dual career couples and contributes to the previous literature by showing how spousal roles appear in the international context, and by identifying two new spousal roles.



Mäkelä, L., Känsälä, M. and Suutari, V. (2011), "The roles of expatriates' spouses among dual career couples", Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, Vol. 18 No. 2, pp. 185-197.

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