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Expat pay and compensation: fair or not fair?

David Desplaces (Department of Management and Entrepreneurship, College of Charleston, Charleston, South Carolina, USA)
Steven W. Congden (Department of Management, Marketing, and Entrepreneurship, Barney School of Business, University of Hartford, West Hartford, Connecticut, USA)

The CASE Journal

ISSN: 1544-9106

Publication date: 6 March 2017



The manager of engineering at Palm Oasis Engineering in Dubai expressed dissatisfaction with his compensation. The uncertainty of his continued participation at a key position came at a critical time for the company. This case provides an event for the analysis of HRM issues of a small company in a nontraditional, international context. Real and perceptual issues surrounding expatriate employee compensation, including wages and benefits relative to home country, cost indices, inflation, and currency fluctuations, are analyzed. Motivation and negotiation strategy are also examined.

Research methodology

This case has been disguised to protect the anonymity of the company and key individuals. The industry, name of the company, and names of personnel have been changed. The authors were granted access to key personnel at the company during a limited time frame.

Relevant courses and levels

This case is designed for upper level, undergraduate international management, international human resource management, and human resource management courses. The case is designed as a mid-semester decision-based case that allows students to apply concepts on motivation, human resource management, and negotiation.



This case was discussed at the CASE association 2014 annual meeting, May 9, 2014.

Disclaimer. This case is written solely for educational purposes and is not intended to represent successful or unsuccessful managerial decision making. The author/s may have disguised names; financial and other recognizable information to protect confidentiality.


Desplaces, D. and Congden, S.W. (2017), "Expat pay and compensation: fair or not fair?", The CASE Journal, Vol. 13 No. 2, pp. 168-186.



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