Lament of the ignored expatriate: an examination of organisational and social network support for female expatriates in China

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Title Lament of the ignored expatriate: an examination of organisational and social network support for female expatriates in China
Author Hutchings, Kate; French, Erica; Hatcher, Tim
Journal Name Equal Opportunities International
Year Published 2008
Place of publication London
Publisher Emerald
Abstract Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between gender and the individual and social aspects of expatriate work, emphasising how issues external to the organisation impact on the experience of female expatriates. Design/methodology/approach – In total, 102 male respondents and 44 female respondents were surveyed in order to test the perceived organisational support, career satisfaction, and expatriate social support. Findings – Significant gender-related differences were identified in all three areas with notable contradiction in the perception and practice of how multinational corporations (MNCs) manage their expatriates. While earlier research suggested that organisations perceived their treatment of female expatriates to be equivalent to that of men, the results indicate that female international managers do not perceive equal treatment on international assignments. Research limitations/implications – Although based on a smaller sample than other international studies, the gender breakdown was sufficient for moderated regression testing. Practical implications – As the expatriate social support construct is largely exploratory in nature, future research could examine the effect of perceived expatriate social support on other related workplace behaviours, both domestically and internationally, including work-life balance and diversity management. Originality/value – While other studies have provided a rich descriptive picture of the gendered nature of expatriation, little research has attempted to quantify the reasons behind the phenomenon. This paper addresses this gap in the literature through exploration of the issues, which impact upon the experience of female expatriates in foreign MNCs in China.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Alternative URI
Volume 27
Issue Number 4
Page from 372
Page to 391
ISSN 0261-0159
Date Accessioned 2010-10-21
Language en_AU
Research Centre Centre for Work, Organisation and Wellbeing
Faculty Griffith Business School
Subject Human Resources Management
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1x

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