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Open Access
Article
Publication date: 29 September 2021

Kaisu Kanstrén and Vesa Suutari

The purpose of this qualitative study is to examine the effects of expatriation on the development of career capital among the partners of expatriates.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this qualitative study is to examine the effects of expatriation on the development of career capital among the partners of expatriates.

Design/methodology/approach

The study draws on in-depth interviews with 30 Finnish partners of expatriates.

Findings

The results reflect the various learning experiences reported by partners of expatriates that developed their career capital during expatriation. The learning experiences related to the experience of living abroad itself and to the specific activities undertaken when abroad. The extent to which partners developed knowing-why, knowing-how and knowing-whom career capital was found to partly reflect their situation abroad as stay-at-home partners or as employees in less-demanding or more-demanding jobs. Though the experiences were developmental for all partners as have been reported among expatriates, the authors also identified several aspects in which partners' experiences differed from the typical developmental experiences of expatriates.

Practical implications

The results also highlight the influence of initiative, an active role and career self-management skills in partners' career capital development.

Originality/value

This paper advances the understanding of how expatriation affects expatriate partners' career capital, a topic that has not previously been studied in-depth.

Details

Career Development International, vol. 26 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1362-0436

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 August 2021

Chris Brewster, Vesa Suutari and Marie-France Waxin

This paper aims: to undertake a systematic literature review on SIEs, examining twenty years of literature published between 2000 and 2020, focusing on the most-cited…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims: to undertake a systematic literature review on SIEs, examining twenty years of literature published between 2000 and 2020, focusing on the most-cited empirical work in the field; to analyse the topics covered by these studies; and to propose a research agenda.

Design/methodology/approach

We conducted a systematic literature review, identifying the 20 most-cited empirical articles through citation analysis during the period and, because citations accrue over time, the six most-cited empirical articles of the last three years. We then used content analysis to examine the main themes they address and identify the research gaps.

Findings

The most common themes addressed in the SIE literature are: analysis of the types and distinctions of SIEs, motivation to undertake self-initiated expatriation, SIEs' adjustment to the new country, and SIEs' careers and outcomes.

Originality/value

This paper provides a first opportunity to look back at 20 years of research into a relatively new topic, highlighting the main research themes and knowledge gaps, and setting directions for future research. The paper expands knowledge on SIEs, assisting SIE scholars and IHRM practitioners to develop a global, critical understanding of SIEs' issues, and hopefully energising future research in this field.

Article
Publication date: 7 October 2019

Liisa Mäkelä, Hilpi Kangas and Vesa Suutari

The purpose of this paper is to focus on satisfaction with an expatriate job and how such satisfaction is linked to leadership. Specifically, this research examines how…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to focus on satisfaction with an expatriate job and how such satisfaction is linked to leadership. Specifically, this research examines how two different kinds of distances – physical distance and functional distance – between an expatriate and his/her supervisor are related to satisfaction with the expatriate job.

Design/methodology/approach

The study was conducted among 290 Finnish expatriates. Moderated hierarchical regression analysis was conducted in order to test the research hypothesis.

Findings

The results show that low functional distance with a supervisor is related to greater satisfaction with the expatriate job. The physical distance is not directly connected to expatriate job satisfaction, but the common effect of the two types of distance shows that among those whose functional distance is low, working in the same country with the leader is linked to greater expatriate satisfaction than recorded among those who were physically distant. Interestingly, expatriates with high functional distance are more satisfied with the expatriate job if they work in a different country to their supervisor.

Originality/value

This study makes a contribution in three areas; first, it addresses the understudied phenomena of international work-specific job satisfaction, specifically satisfaction with an expatriate job. Second, it provides new knowledge on the outcomes of leader distance in the context of expatriation, a work situation that is inherently related to changes in physical location and to organizational relationships. Third, it contributes to leadership literature and highlights the importance of the conditions and the context in which leadership occurs.

Details

Journal of Global Mobility: The Home of Expatriate Management Research, vol. 7 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-8799

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 23 September 2013

Vesa Suutari, Chris Brewster, Kimmo Riusala and Salla Syrjäkari

This paper extends the increasing debates about the role of international experience through mechanisms other than standard expatriation packages, in particular through…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper extends the increasing debates about the role of international experience through mechanisms other than standard expatriation packages, in particular through the use of short-term assignments. It explores the different forms of short-term assignments (project work, commuter assignments, virtual international working and development assignments) and the different sets of positive and negative implications these can have for the company and the individuals concerned. The integration-differentiation debate is reflected here as elsewhere in IHRM, with the company moving towards greater centralization and control of its use of these assignments.

Design/methodology/approach

Since the research is exploratory, we adopted a qualitative approach to get a more in-depth understanding on the realities the corporations and the assignees are facing. The study was implemented through a single case study setting in which the data were collected by interviewing (n=20) line managers, human resource management (HRM) staff and assignees themselves. In addition corporate documentation and other materials were reviewed.

Findings

The present case study provides evidence about the characteristics of short-term assignments as well as the on the management of such assignments. The paper identifies various benefits and challenges involved in the use of short-term assignments both from the perspectives of the company and assignees. Furthermore, the findings support the view that a recent increase in the popularity of short-term assignments has not been matched by the development of HRM policies for such assignments.

Research limitations/implications

As a single case study, limitations in the generalizability of the findings should be kept in mind. More large-scale research evidence is needed around different forms of international assignments beyond standard expatriation in order to fully capture the realities faced by international HRM specialists

Practical implications

The paper identifies many challenges but also benefits of using short-term assignments. The paper reports in-depth findings on HR development needs that organizations face when expanding the use of such assignments.

Social implications

The paper identifies many challenges but also benefits of using short-term assignments. The paper reports in-depth findings on HR development needs that organizations face when expanding the use of such assignments.

Originality/value

Empirical research on short-term assignments is still very limited. In that way the paper provides much needed in-depth evidence on why such assignments are used, what challenges are involved in the use of such assignments and what kinds of HR-development needs are involved.

Article
Publication date: 1 February 2005

Chris Brewster and Vesa Suutari

This paper introduces this special issue.

12198

Abstract

Purpose

This paper introduces this special issue.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper examines some of the key themes in global human resource management.

Findings

By reviewing, briefly, the existing literature in these areas, the paper outlines a limited but crucial research agenda and sets the papers in this special issue in context.

Originality/value

This paper presents some new empirically‐based work on human resource development.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 34 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 May 2011

Liisa Mäkelä, Marja Känsälä and Vesa Suutari

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

4796

Abstract

Purpose

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

Design/methodology/approach

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

Findings

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.

Originality/value

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.

Details

Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, vol. 18 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-7606

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 February 2013

Akram Al Ariss, Iris Koall, Mustafa Özbilgin and Vesa Suutari

The purpose of this editorial is to present an overview of the papers in this special issue.

1128

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this editorial is to present an overview of the papers in this special issue.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on papers in this special issue.

Findings

There is a multi‐disciplinarily approach of the papers in this issue in connecting fields of management, sociology, migration, and psychology, among others, in the area of international mobility.

Originality/value

The guest editors continue their commitment, in this special issue, to expanding the field of study of migration and the careers of migrants from theoretical and methodological perspectives.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 32 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 February 2012

Akram Al Ariss, Iris Koall, Mustafa Özbilgin and Vesa Suutari

The careers of skilled migrant workers is an under‐theorised field of research. This paper proposes a theoretical and methodological expansion of studies of careers of…

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Abstract

Purpose

The careers of skilled migrant workers is an under‐theorised field of research. This paper proposes a theoretical and methodological expansion of studies of careers of skilled migrants.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper offers a critical review of the literature on careers of skilled migrants from a multilevel approach including individual, organizational, and contextual levels.

Findings

The review leads to two key theoretical and methodological expansions: first, it demonstrates that migrant careers need to be understood as a relational construct that is at the interplay of individual and institutions and as a multi‐layer and multi‐faceted phenomenon. This approach requires the authors to explore careers in temporal and spatial contexts. The second expansion made requires the adoption of relational methodologies, as well as more reflexive methods which encourages researchers to recognize a wider range of vested interests when framing their research questions and designing their studies.

Originality/value

This paper has two key values: first, it questions the central assumptions in the management and organizational literature regarding the topic of international mobility; second, it offers a theoretical and a methodological model for future research on this topic.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 31 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 May 2003

Vesa Suutari

The need for developing a cadre of global managers who are capable of working in international key positions wherever the needs of companies require it, has been widely…

5261

Abstract

The need for developing a cadre of global managers who are capable of working in international key positions wherever the needs of companies require it, has been widely stressed. Typically, the literature on international careers still deals with international assignments as “once‐in‐a‐lifetime” experiences and thus as a continuum from selecting the right candidates to repatriating them back to the home country. Less attention has been devoted to so‐called global managers who are committed to international careers for a longer term. In the present study, career orientations, career tracks, career commitment and life‐style implications of global managers are analysed. The results indicate that the majority of managers were originally interested in an international career. In their career they typically vary between positions abroad and in the home country instead of moving from one international assignment to another. Typically they consider the positive implications to override the negative implications of such a career with respect to both themselves and their families. As a result, they are often firmly committed to working in international environments in the future.

Details

Journal of Managerial Psychology, vol. 18 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-3946

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 November 2001

Vesa Suutari and David Burch

Due to the globalisation of business, international assignments are becoming more typical career steps in managerial careers than before. On the other hand, expatriation…

6626

Abstract

Due to the globalisation of business, international assignments are becoming more typical career steps in managerial careers than before. On the other hand, expatriation has been found to include several problems including high costs, adjustment challenges, inefficiency, and premature returns. As an outcome, the need for adequate preparation and training of expatriates has been stressed. Here the focus has been on pre‐departure issues while on‐site support and training provided by host units has clearly been covered less. In the present study it is analysed what kind of on‐site support and training host units provide to expatriates and what kind of support the expatriates see as necessary. In order to understand the situation expatriates are facing when arriving at their host units, their adjustment difficulties and pre‐departure training are also covered. The results indicate that training and support provided by host units is a more common form of expatriate training than pre‐departure training. Thus, existing research may exaggerate the lack of expatriate training when focusing only on pre‐departure training.

Details

Career Development International, vol. 6 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1362-0436

Keywords

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