Kauppatieteellinen tiedekunta, 2017
Johtaminen ja organisaatiot
Master's Degree Programme in International Business
The aim of this study is to examine the challenges that Finnish female expatriates face when working in the Middle East. A further aim is to provide ideas for multinational companies regarding how to develop their expatriate program and support female expatriates in dealing with these challenges and being successful in their assignments.
Two research questions were defined as follows: i) What are the main challenges that Finnish female expatriates face during their assignment in the Middle East? and ii) How can the company help expatriates deal with these challenges? The theoretical section of the thesis covers existing research on female expatriates, their main challenges and the Arab and Finnish culture.
In this qualitative study six Finnish female expatriates working in four Middle Eastern countries were interviewed. The interviews concentrate focused on challenges during expatriation. The biggest challenges for Finnish expatriates were learning ways of communication that were previously unaccustomed to using, hierarchy, different working culture and in some situations, the role of female gender.
The aim of this thesis was to shed light on the challenges related culture, values, habits and working culture that Western women working in the Middle East may be faced with during their assignment. This is important in order to facilitate adjustment of expatriate and her potential family, which in turn has been found to enable expatriate assignment success.
Female Expatriates, Middle East, Cultural Differences, International Assignments, International Human Resource Management