Faculté des sciences économiques et sociales

The challenge of dual career expatriate management in a specific host national environment: An exploratory study of expatriate and spouse adjustment in Switzerland based MNCs

Ravasi, Claudio ; Salamin, Xavier ; Davoine, Eric

(Working Papers SES ; 447)

The number of expatriates from global firms has been continuously increasing over the past decades as multinational companies still view expatriation as an important tool for sharing and transferring knowledge, controlling subsidiaries and developing workforce competencies. Expatriate management is still a costly and complex task for multinational companies. Adjustment, which has been defined as... Plus

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    Summary
    The number of expatriates from global firms has been continuously increasing over the past decades as multinational companies still view expatriation as an important tool for sharing and transferring knowledge, controlling subsidiaries and developing workforce competencies. Expatriate management is still a costly and complex task for multinational companies. Adjustment, which has been defined as an individual's degree of comfort, familiarity and ease with several aspects of a new cultural environment, is considered to play a central role in expatriation success. In a context characterized by the rise of dual career couples, the increasing number of female expatriates and the growing awareness concerning work life balance, private life issues are increasingly important for multinational companies. On the basis of 126 expatriate couples' questionnaires, this paper compares adjustment of male and female expatriates working in multinational companies in a specific host country environment: the Geneva Lake region in Switzerland where many MNCs have settled their European headquarters. Furthermore, our paper investigates the impact of two variables - gender and employment status - on adjustment of expatriate spouses.