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Female Expatriates in Gendered Organizations: A qualitative study on women in industrial organizations
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Business Administration. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Business Administration. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Background Today's organizations are facing an increasing need of competent global managers. International experience is thus often a requirement in order to reach positions within top management. Expatriate assignments, whereby an employee relocates to work in another country for a longer period of time is a common way to gain international competence. However, the typical expatriate has traditionally been a man and still today, women are underrepresented in international management. Pressure from society on gender equality challenges organizations to increase their number of female expatriates. In order to explain the low share of female expatriates, prior research has foremost focused on the woman as an individual in the expatriation process rather than the organization's impact. Therefore we see a need of investigating how the organization and its underlying gendered substructures affect female expatriates.

Purpose The purpose of the study is to investigate how gendered substructures in an organization influence the prospects of female expatriates.

Methodology The study is based on a qualitative approach and builds upon interviews and focus groups conducted in two Swedish MNCs. A deductive approach has been used, whereby gendered organizational theory creates the framework of this study.

Conclusion The result from our study shows that gendered substructures influence the prospects for women to take on expatriate assignments. This can be seen in the vertical segregation within organizations, the lack of role models and a higher pressure on women in managerial positions.

Contribution This study is important since it stresses the organization's role on women's prospects for expatriate assignments. Furthermore it highlights the complexity of gender equality work in organizations and gives its contributions to further research within the field. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 83 p.
Keyword [en]
Gendered Organizations, Female Expatriates
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-130164ISRN: LIU-IEI-FIL-A--16/02263--SEOAI: diva2:948559
Subject / course
Master Thesis in International Business and Economics Programme (Business Administration)
Available from: 2016-08-31 Created: 2016-07-12 Last updated: 2016-08-31Bibliographically approved

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