PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to examine how decisions to undertake organisationally assigned expatriation are influenced by employers’ international assignment (IA) compensation and benefits policies, seen through the lens of female expatriate breadwinners working in the male-dominated oil and gas exploration and production industry.Design/methodology/approachA triangulated qualitative research approach draws upon: policy analysis in two oil and gas firms; interviews with two IAs Managers in Human Resources; and in-depth interviews with 26 female expatriates with experience of a variety of assignment types.FindingsThe paper identifies premiums that uplift salary, housing quality, access to healthcare, travel and leave arrangements, dual careers and children’s education as women’s main deal makers.Research limitations/implicationsLongitudinal studies and comparisons of men’s and women’s views on policy aspects that support assignment acceptance and cause assignment rejection are needed across a range of industries.Practical implicationsHousing quality is a key factor in women’s assignment acceptance. Good communication prior to expatriation can help build confidence in healthcare provision. Employers should consider how travel and leave policy can be implemented flexibly. Assistance with seeking work visas for partners and coordinating dual career couples’ assignments can facilitate female expatriation.Originality/valueThis paper provides new knowledge on how the content of organisations’ international compensation and benefits policies influences female expatriate breadwinners’ assignment acceptance set within the theoretical framework of compensating differentials. It proposes a model to depict financial and non-financial deal makers to women’s assignment acceptance.
Personnel Review – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 3, 2018
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