Women's participation in organisationally assigned expatriation: an assignment type effect. By: Shortland, Susan. International Journal of Human Resource Management. Mar2021, Vol. 32 Issue 5, p1113-1138. 26p.

This article examines women’s participation in long-term, short-term, rotational and commuter organisationally assigned expatriation. It explores the effects of assignment length, pattern and accompanied/unaccompanied status on career contribution and home/family life outcomes. This triangulated research draws upon e-mail correspondence with 71 current female expatriates to learn about assignment types undertaken and future assignment intentions; and in-depth, semi-structured interviews with 26 of these assignees, and 14 human resource professionals in two case study oil and gas firms. This research is set within the theoretical frame of rational choice which suggests that couples engage cooperatively in their division of labour to maximise lifetime earnings, with women prioritising home and family over career prospects. The research finds that long-term assignments enable women to maximise or achieve high levels of both career and family outcomes. Alternative ‘flexpatriate’ assignments provide lower quality career potential and familial relationships, leading to career and/or family compromise/sacrifice. A model is presented to explain women’s assignment preferences in meeting career and family life objectives, extending rational choice theory into the expatriate context. The increasing use of flexpatriation may inhibit expatriate gender diversity.