Title

What is really being done? : maximizing the success of women on overseas assignments

Publication Date

1-1-2000

Degree Name

MA in International and Intercultural Management

First Advisor

Barbara Huff

Abstract

The goal of this paper is to examine what Multinational Corporations (MNCs) are doing to maximize the success of the women employees they send on overseas assignments. A framework outlined by Caligiuri and Cascio (1998), referred to as the theoretical model of social support, proposed four factors that affect the cross-cultural adjustment of women expatriates: personality characteristics, family support, company support and host nationals' attitudes. This model was the basis for my research from which an extensive questionnaire was designed and then analyzed. Twenty-two expatriate women, representing a variety of nationalities, ages, and positions within the company, from different MNCs and industries, and located in a number of different host national countries, filled out an online self-assessment questionnaire. This is one of the first studies in this field that has included such a broad sample. Considerable research has been done analyzing why so few women were and still are being sent abroad. Several authors have made recommendations regarding ways MNCs can select, maintain and maximize the success of their women expatriates. This study looked at this past literature and focused on what MNCs are actually doing with this information. The findings indicated that women expatriates were overall quite pleased with the support they were receiving from their MNC; however, several areas were given considerably less attention than others. In particular, a lack of support was given to the respondent's families. This study will hopefully heighten the awareness of MNCs and provide a stepping stone from which more research in this field will be conducted.

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