International immobility trend: male and female attitudes towards international assignments.

Charlotta Niemistö, Pernilla Gripenberg, Carla Alapeteri

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Multinationals have a shortage of qualified people to send abroad. Dual-career problems and other family reasons as barriers for international mobility are distinguished as an international trend. Also in Finland, the willingness to take on an international assignment has decreased within the last 15 years. On the other hand, both in Finland and internationally, women are still heavily underrepresented in international assignments.

The purpose of this paper is to analyze and compare both preferences for international assignments of males and females and the reasons for turning down an offer of an international assignment. The focus is in a specific Finnish sample in light of how the career expectations have changed in the potentially gender egalitarian Finland. Data for the study was collected from two studies on attitudes towards international assignments among Finnish business graduates; the first study done in 1994 and the second, as a duplicate, in 2008. The analysis includes statistical tests within as well as between the samples.
An interesting result from this study is that a shift from individual career centeredness towards family centeredness was detected. Paradoxically, this research show that while gender equality seems to be increasing between spouses, it seems to be decreasing in who is being offered international assignments. The results give valuable insights in how the trend of immobility has occurred and how the gender balance and gendered values are developing in society. The contribution of this paper is twofold, as the results are relevant both on a theoretical and a MNC-operational level.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of EURAM ( Expatriate Management: New Trends, New Challenges and New Prospects), Rome, Italy, 19-22 May, 2010
Publication date2010
Publication statusPublished - 2010
MoE publication typeA4 Article in conference proceedings
EventUnknown host publication - , International
Duration: 01.01.1800 → …


  • KOTA2010


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