International assignment reward policies: the importance of compensation and benefits to women’s expatriate participation

Shortland, Susan (2018) International assignment reward policies: the importance of compensation and benefits to women’s expatriate participation. In: Routledge Companion to Reward Management. Routledge, London. ISBN 9781138294264

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Since the first studies on expatriate gender diversity were conducted, men have comprised the majority of expatriates (Altman and Shortland, 2008). Although around one-quarter of expatriate roles are held by women today (Brookfield, 2016), the male-dominated picture of expatriate gender diversity looks set to continue. Gender diversity in expatriation is regarded as an asset to business given women’s success in their international assignments (Shortland, 2016) and, as such, various studies have explored why women’s expatriation remains low in comparison to men’s. Issues identified as having some bearing include: women’s choices and family constraints; organisational decision-making (for example in selection, and in relation to their human and social capital); societal cultural explanations; and institutional effects, such as gendered labour market structures (Shortland, 2014). Yet, currently there is little published research on the effects of international reward and how this might affect the gendered nature of expatriation (Shortland and Perkins, 2016). This chapter therefore sets out to address this issue. It examines which elements of international assignment reward policy and practice have the strongest influence on women’s acceptance of international assignments, and of different lengths and patterns of expatriation.
Reflecting its exploratory nature, this research employs a case study design (Eisenhardt, 1989; Yin, 2009). It is set in the oil and gas exploration and production sector. This industry is selected because it uses large and increasing numbers of expatriates (Air Inc., 2016, 2017), is known for its relatively attractive provision of expatriate compensation and benefits (IDS, 2002), and yet has low expatriate gender diversity (ORC Worldwide, 2007). This study sets out to identify the main reward policy items that women regard as critical preconditions to assignment acceptance and to outline recommendations to employers where policy and practice improvements might make a difference to increasing expatriate gender diversity across a range of assignment types. In this way it contributes both to our knowledge of expatriate reward and to our understanding of women’s expatriate representation. The study sets out to address the following research question:
to what extent and how do the elements of international assignment reward policy support women’s expatriation in different assignment lengths and patterns?

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge/CRC Press in Routledge Companion to Reward Management on 21/11/2018, available online:
Subjects: Business and finance > Business and management
Business and finance
Depositing User: Susan Shortland
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2017 13:55
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 07:08


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