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1 – 10 of over 2000
Book part
Publication date: 10 October 2011

Susan Shortland

Purpose –– This chapter examines theories and models that could be used to explain female expatriate participation with a view to identifying the most promising…

Abstract

Purpose –– This chapter examines theories and models that could be used to explain female expatriate participation with a view to identifying the most promising theoretical lenses for future research. It takes as its basis, issues, evidence and explanations from both ‘women in management’ and ‘women expatriates’ literature to identify four main theoretical domains: family issues, assignee characteristics, host and home country norms, and institutional factors. Key theories and models within each of these four domains are highlighted and discussed and their potential contribution to understanding and explaining female expatriation evaluated.

Methodology/approach –– A Delphi study and advanced library database search were used to generate data for conceptual analysis.

Findings –– The most promising explanations of women's low expatriate participation are identified as being linked to occupational gender stereotyping and sex roles in employment, women's reduced social capital and patriarchal attitudes towards their identity and homemaker roles. These are reinforced by institutional isomorphic behaviour through which organisations mimic each other's human resource practices.

Research limitations/implications –– The research drew upon English language sources only in data collection and analysis.

Practical implications –– Scrutiny of organisational policies and practices applied to expatriate assignments is required to increase gender diversity in expatriation.

Social implications –– Further research using theoretical underpinning is required both to understand gender diversity within corporate international mobility and to prevent women's current low representation from continuing in future.

Originality/value of chapter –– There is little evidence to date of an accepted theoretical framework to test hypotheses relating to women's low expatriate participation. This chapter addresses this gap, identifying potentially helpful theoretical lenses for future female expatriate research.

Details

The Role of Expatriates in MNCs Knowledge Mobilization
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-113-8

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 December 2014

Xavier Salamin and Doris Hanappi

Research on female expatriates has been substantially growing over the last decades and particularly in more recent years. Complementing previous thematic analyses of the…

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Abstract

Purpose

Research on female expatriates has been substantially growing over the last decades and particularly in more recent years. Complementing previous thematic analyses of the literature, the purpose of this paper is to apply textual statistics and correspondence analysis to reveal the existing semantic structure of the field of research on female expatriates.

Design/methodology/approach

Using correspondence analysis, the authors explored textual data from the abstracts of 151 identified journal articles published in English since 1975. The authors obtained a graphical representation showing the various developmental stages of research on female expatriates.

Findings

The authors found that research follows a home-host country orientation and advances from an organizational focus toward individual-level studies. The authors identified various directions for future research and especially a strong need for more multilevel approaches to study men’s and women’s expatriate experiences and trajectories in various contexts.

Research limitations/implications

Only articles with abstracts entered the analysis, which in turn was dependent on the content and quality of these abstracts. This limitation has been addressed by thoroughly reading each article considered.

Originality/value

This review adopts an original method in research on (female) expatriates and more broadly management research. It enabled the authors to map out the development of key research themes over time. Based on this analysis, gaps in current research could be identified and clear directions for future research were formulated.

Details

Journal of Global Mobility, vol. 2 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-8799

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 January 2004

Katharina Hartl

Women are under‐represented in the ranks of expatriate managers and research on expatriates, though formally gender‐neutral, has been heavily weighted towards the study of…

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Abstract

Women are under‐represented in the ranks of expatriate managers and research on expatriates, though formally gender‐neutral, has been heavily weighted towards the study of male professionals, thereby reinforcing the image of expatriates as male, middle aged, married with children. What most research has in common is an individualistic, psychological approach to the study of expatriate experience. A focus on (change) processes on individual and organisational level draws our attention towards career theory. This paper presents a theoretical framework that conceptualises expatriate careers as a career transition that triggers individual and social structuration processes. It reviews the key findings of research on Western women managers in Hong Kong and gives insight into the experiences of expatriate women managers in a new socio‐cultural, economic and organisational environment.

Details

Women in Management Review, vol. 19 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0964-9425

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Article
Publication date: 21 June 2011

Susan Shortland

The purpose of this paper is to report on female expatriates' views on the potential importance of a formalised “women's network” launched by management as a diversity…

3656

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report on female expatriates' views on the potential importance of a formalised “women's network” launched by management as a diversity intervention to aid women's career development in an oil, gas and minerals extractive industries firm.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach takes the form of a triangulated research comprising analysis of company policy, interviews with Human Resources staff, a census survey of women expatriates, followed by in‐depth, semi‐structured female expatriate interviews.

Findings

Women value networking to prepare for expatriation and in working and living abroad. Informal networks are also used by more experienced women expatriates to learn of potential vacancies and gain career development on expatriation and repatriation. A formalised women's network is envisaged as being helpful to supplement these links. In a male‐dominated environment, the value of a network for women is appreciated, although concerns are raised that this might further reinforce gender divisions.

Research limitations/implications

Research was limited to a single case study where the intervention had only recently been launched. Further research is needed to evaluate the impact of similar, more established career interventions. Comparative studies are also needed, both within the oil, gas and minerals sector and in other industries.

Practical implications

Employers developing formal networking interventions could benefit from understanding the views of potential users, particularly in respect of the potential limitations of such networks in promoting career development and through the adoption of a gendered approach.

Originality/value

There are relatively few data available on formalised employer actions to set up and run networks specifically for women as career development interventions. This case study provides an insight into how these might be received by – and their potential impact on – female expatriates.

Details

Career Development International, vol. 16 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1362-0436

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 June 2015

Xavier Salamin and Eric Davoine

Reasons for women’s underrepresentation in international assignments include stereotypical assumptions within organizations about their ability to adjust abroad and more…

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Abstract

Purpose

Reasons for women’s underrepresentation in international assignments include stereotypical assumptions within organizations about their ability to adjust abroad and more broadly a lack of trust from the corporate headquarters. Female expatriates’ adjustment may strongly vary depending on the host country and on host-country nationals’ attitudes toward them. Yet up until today, very few studies have examined female expatriate adjustment in a single and non-Asian host country. The purpose of this paper is to address this gap by comparing the cross-cultural adjustment of male and female expatriates in Switzerland.

Design/methodology/approach

This study replicates Selmer and Leung’s (2003a) study design in order to compare adjustment of male and female expatriates working in multinational companies in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. Based on 152 valid questionnaires collected, the authors performed a multivariate analysis of covariance and further analyses of covariance to compare male and female expatriate adjustment.

Findings

The authors find that female expatriates have significantly higher interaction and work adjustment levels than their male counterparts, while no significant differences between men and women were observed in terms of general adjustment. These findings in a European context are consistent with those of Selmer and Leung in an Asian context.

Originality/value

Very few studies to date have examined the adjustment of female expatriates in a western host-country context, despite the fact that host-country cultural norms might strongly influence women’s experiences. The research brings new empirical evidence about cross-cultural adjustment of female and male expatriates in a western location. Contrary to persistent stereotypical assumptions, results emphasize again that women are able to adjust better or at least as well as their male counterparts.

Details

Journal of Global Mobility, vol. 3 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-8799

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 May 2008

Kate Hutchings, Erica French and Tim Hatcher

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between gender and the individual and social aspects of expatriate work, emphasising how issues external to…

2426

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between gender and the individual and social aspects of expatriate work, emphasising how issues external to the organisation impact on the experience of female expatriates.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 102 male respondents and 44 female respondents were surveyed in order to test the perceived organisational support, career satisfaction, and expatriate social support.

Findings

Significant gender‐related differences were identified in all three areas with notable contradiction in the perception and practice of how multinational corporations (MNCs) manage their expatriates. While earlier research suggested that organisations perceived their treatment of female expatriates to be equivalent to that of men, the results indicate that female international managers do not perceive equal treatment on international assignments.

Research limitations/implications

Although based on a smaller sample than other international studies, the gender breakdown was sufficient for moderated regression testing.

Practical implications

As the expatriate social support construct is largely exploratory in nature, future research could examine the effect of perceived expatriate social support on other related workplace behaviours, both domestically and internationally, including work‐life balance and diversity management.

Originality/value

While other studies have provided a rich descriptive picture of the gendered nature of expatriation, little research has attempted to quantify the reasons behind the phenomenon. This paper addresses this gap in the literature through exploration of the issues, which impact upon the experience of female expatriates in foreign MNCs in China.

Details

Equal Opportunities International, vol. 27 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0261-0159

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 July 2020

Susan Shortland and Stephen J. Perkins

The purpose of this paper is to examine how female expatriates interpret the effectiveness of practical implementation of equality/diversity policies, trusting this to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how female expatriates interpret the effectiveness of practical implementation of equality/diversity policies, trusting this to support their expatriate careers.

Design/methodology/approach

A cross-sectional, qualitative research approach draws upon in-depth semi-structured interviews with 14 human resources equality/diversity policy implementers and 26 current female expatriates in two oil and gas firms.

Findings

Early-career stage female expatriates believe that equality/diversity policy implementation will support their international careers. At the most senior levels, women expatriates highlight unequal treatment breaching their trust in delivery of equality/diversity principles to support their expatriate career progression.

Research limitations/implications

Longitudinal research is needed to assess how early-career women expatriates' willingness to trust in organisational equality/diversity principles alters as their careers progress, and the effects of any changing trust relations on their contributions to organisational strategic objectives. Larger senior female expatriate samples are needed to research links between trust relations and turnover.

Practical implications

Organisations must weigh up benefits from using transparent expatriate selection processes versus less formal mechanisms, if informal processes are not to undermine espoused equality interventions. Unconscious bias training should form part of wide-ranging programmes to tackle discrimination. Senior managerial action with embedded accountability is needed.

Originality/value

Exploring the rhetoric and reality of equality/diversity policy implementation on women comprising a minority expatriate group, this research demonstrates women expatriates' early-career trust in gender equality falls away as they first recognise and then accept diminishing female expatriate senior grade representation and the implications for their expatriate careers. Should turnover result, this could detrimentally affect organisational expatriate gender diversity objectives.

Details

Journal of Global Mobility: The Home of Expatriate Management Research, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-8799

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 May 2020

Susan Shortland and Christine Porter

The purpose of this study is to examine what job-related training interventions female expatriates seek and can access in order to build necessary knowledge and skills to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine what job-related training interventions female expatriates seek and can access in order to build necessary knowledge and skills to progress into further career-enhancing expatriate positions.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses a cross-sectional qualitative research approach, drawing upon semi-structured interviews in respect of organisational training practice with 26 current female expatriates and nine human resource, international assignments and training managers in two oil and gas exploration firms.

Findings

Budgets, time and travel restrictions and competitive business pressures constrain on-the-job training provision for expatriates. Assignees require specific knowledge and skills ahead of appointment to subsequent expatriate positions. HR personnel believe training provides appropriate knowledge and capability development, supporting women expatriates' career ambitions. Women assignees view training available within their current roles as insufficient or irrelevant to building human capital for future expatriate posts.

Research limitations/implications

Longitudinal research across a wider spectrum of industries is needed to help understand the effects of training interventions on women's access to future career-enhancing expatriation and senior management/leadership positions.

Practical implications

Organisations should ensure relevant technical skills training, clear responsibility for training provision, transparent and fair training allocation, positive communication regarding human capital outcomes and an inclusive culture that promotes expatriate gender diversity.

Originality/value

Set within the framework of human capital theory, this study identifies the challenges that female expatriates experience when seeking relevant job-related training to further their expatriate careers. It identifies clear mismatches between the views of HR and female assignees in relation to the value of job-related training offered and women's access to it.

Details

Journal of Global Mobility: The Home of Expatriate Management Research, vol. 8 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-8799

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 June 2016

Susan Shortland and Stephen J. Perkins

Drawing upon compensating differentials, equity theory, and the psychological contract, women’s voices illustrate how organisational policy dissemination, implementation…

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Abstract

Purpose

Drawing upon compensating differentials, equity theory, and the psychological contract, women’s voices illustrate how organisational policy dissemination, implementation and change can lead to unintended assignee dissatisfaction with reward. Implications arise for organisational justice which can affect women’s future expatriation decisions. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative case study methodology was employed. Reward policies for long-term international assignments (IAs) were analysed. In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted confidentially with 21 female long-term assignees selected using stratified sampling, and with two managers responsible for international reward policy design/implementation.

Findings

Policy transparency is required. Women perceive inequity when allowances based on grade are distorted by family status. Women in dual career/co-working couples expect reward to reflect their expatriate status. Reward inequity is reported linked to specific home/host country transfers. Policy change reducing housing and children’s education are major causes of reward dissatisfaction.

Research limitations/implications

This case study research was cross-sectional and set within one industry. It addressed reward outcomes only for long-term IAs from the perspectives of women who had accepted expatriation in two oil and gas firms.

Practical implications

Reward policy should be transparent. Practitioners might consider the inter-relationship between policy elements depending on grade and accompanied status, location pairings, and the effects of policy content delivery to dual career/co-working couples.

Originality/value

This paper advances the field of IA reward by examining compensating differentials, equity and the psychological contract and takes these forward via implications for organisational justice. It identifies reward elements that support women’s expatriation and address their low share of expatriate roles, thereby fostering gender diversity. Future research themes are presented.

Details

Journal of Global Mobility, vol. 4 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-8799

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 January 2018

Susan Shortland

This case study is designed as a teaching exercise and this paper aims to highlight the key issues for organisations’ expatriating women within masculine industry sectors…

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Abstract

Purpose

This case study is designed as a teaching exercise and this paper aims to highlight the key issues for organisations’ expatriating women within masculine industry sectors and/or into challenging international environments.

Design/methodology/approach

This case study draws together key published findings relating to women’s expatriation in the oil and gas exploration and production sector. It demonstrates a triangulated research design, drawing upon organisational policy from two oil and gas firms, semi-structured interviews with 14 human resource professionals and 26 female expatriates, as well as from 71 female assignees’ questionnaire responses.

Findings

Career and financial drivers underpin women’s motivations for accepting organisationally assigned expatriation. Women expatriates engage in satisficing and career compromise. The main challenges women face in masculine industries include access to expatriate roles because of limited female networks, family concerns, managing working time and work-life balance and coping with loneliness.

Research limitations/implications

The oil and gas case findings are based on a cross-sectional research design. The majority of female expatriates undertook long-term assignments; limited numbers engaged in flexpatriation.

Practical implications

While organisational policy supporting expatriation does not usually address gendered expatriate concerns specifically, inclusion of interventions that are identified by women as helpful to their expatriate participation can assist in increasing expatriate gender diversity.

Originality/value

This oil and gas research case brings together and presents a summary of the motivations, problems and challenges faced by women in male-dominated expatriate environments, together with relevant theoretical approaches and organisational interventions to help us understand and increase expatriate gender diversity.

Details

Gender in Management: An International Journal, vol. 33 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2413

Keywords

1 – 10 of over 2000