Repatriation in Swedish companies. Perceptions, underlying factors and improvements

University essay from Göteborgs universitet/Företagsekonomiska institutionen

Abstract: Companies today are becoming increasingly globalized with operations in different locationsacross the world. This international increase has led to changes in the companies’ humanresource management due to a larger workforce operating abroad. Moving employeesbetween countries can impose a number of work-related and personal difficulties, especially when moving employees back home since people generally are less prepared for this transfer, compared to when going abroad. Handling the employees’ return, the repatriation process, in a poor manner could lead to undesirable outcomes such as employee turnover, which in turn could harm the company. Making sure that employees are satisfied upon return is therefore highly important and an area in need of further research and improvement.This thesis has investigated the repatriation process in several Swedish companies to examine whether these companies have the same difficulties regarding repatriation as companies in previous studies from other countries, as well as if the underlying factors affecting the outcome are the same. What consequences arise depending on how a company handles these factors have also been examined. The study was performed by interviewing five different companies with one company representative, and one or two repatriates, from each.The result of our investigation showed that Swedish repatriates tend to be content with their repatriation processes, even though the companies do not provide all the suggested aspects from previous literature. All investigated factors were found to be significant for successful repatriation but some of them, namely Job arrangements, Use of knowledge attained abroad and Development, were the most important ones. A conclusion was made that despite being content with the process, there is room for improvement in all the studied companies to make the repatriation process more flourishing. We have taken these issues into consideration and constructed a normative model that we believe could help companies, regardless of size and country of origin, towards successful repatriation.

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