IHRM issues for international assignments


Type Research Project

Duration Nov. 1, 2005 - Oct. 31, 2008

  • Personnel Management AE (Former organization)

Tags

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  • Mayerhofer, Helene (Former researcher) Project Head
 

Abstract (German)

The global spread of the operations of both public and private sector organizations has resulted in an increased demand for short term travel to meet the need for personal network building, negotiation and decision making, immediate skill access and skill transfer, and of course, control. Whereas even thirty years ago, expatriate assignments, which involved relocation of the employee and their family for an extended period of time were the most common way of fulfilling these needs a number of factors have changed this situation. These include air transport networks with more frequent and better connections; better electronic communication while travelers are away; and travelers who themselves are often more experienced in dealing with the demands of cross-cultural communications.
Our research on these travelers, whom we have called flexpatriates to distinguish them from expatriates, indicates that these staff are subject to a complex range of personal, family and work demands that has received little attention in the HR literature and by HR departments. Not only do they provide flexibility to organizations in managing their international operations but on their return there is usually no recognition of the physical, emotional and intellectual demands of that travel, or the outstanding demands facing them from family, friends and work colleagues when they return. Our data suggests that men and women are subject to different pressures.
This research project will expand upon these issues, discuss their impact and some of the steps which can be taken by organizations to assist these staff and to maintain their productivity.


Abstract (English)

The global spread of the operations of both public and private sector organizations has resulted in an increased demand for short term travel to meet the need for personal network building, negotiation and decision making, immediate skill access and skill transfer, and of course, control. Whereas even thirty years ago, expatriate assignments, which involved relocation of the employee and their family for an extended period of time were the most common way of fulfilling these needs a number of factors have changed this situation. These include air transport networks with more frequent and better connections; better electronic communication while travelers are away; and travelers who themselves are often more experienced in dealing with the demands of cross-cultural communications.
Our research on these travelers, whom we have called flexpatriates to distinguish them from expatriates, indicates that these staff are subject to a complex range of personal, family and work demands that has received little attention in the HR literature and by HR departments. Not only do they provide flexibility to organizations in managing their international operations but on their return there is usually no recognition of the physical, emotional and intellectual demands of that travel, or the outstanding demands facing them from family, friends and work colleagues when they return. Our data suggests that men and women are subject to different pressures.
This research project will expand upon these issues, discuss their impact and some of the steps which can be taken by organizations to assist these staff and to maintain their productivity.

Partners

Publications

Chapter in edited volume

2006 Mayerhofer, Helene, Hartmann, Linley, Herbert, Anne. 2006. 'Neue' Formen internationalen Personaleinsatzes und deren geschlechtsspezifische Implikationen. In Betriebswirtschaftslehre und Frauen- und Geschlechterforschung. Teil 2: Empirische Ergebnisse zur Standortbestimmung, Hrsg. Bendl, Regine, 211-235. Frankfurt, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien: Peter Lang Europäischer Verlag der Wissenschaften. (Details)

Contribution to conference proceedings

2006 Mayerhofer, Helene, Beisheim, Margret, Hartmann, Linley. 2006. Flexpatriate International Work Assignments - New Demands on Individuals and Families . In Social Actors, Work Organization and New Technologies in the 21st Century, IIRA 14th World Congress, September 2006, Hrsg. IIRA, Universidad de Lima, 1-14. Lima, Peru: Fondo Editorial. (Details)

Paper presented at an academic conference or symposium

2006 Mayerhofer, Helene, Beisheim, Margret, Hartmann, Linley. 2006. Flexpatriate International Work Assignments - New demands on individuals and families. IIRA 14th World Congress: Social Actors, Work Organization and New Technologies in the 21st Century, Lima, Peru, 11.09-14.09.2006. (Details)

Classification

  • 5307 Business and management economics (Details)

Expertise

  • IHRM
  • International assignments
  • Personal
  • Worklife balance