How Swedish MNCs select their expatriates: three case studies

University essay from Luleå/Business Administration and Social Sciences

Abstract: International human resource management is an important component of MNCs’
global strategies and due to the complexity of managing international
operations it is important to have the right people at the right place and
at the right time. The purpose of this study is to gain a better
understanding of how Swedish MNCs select their expatriate managers. With a
qualitative and descriptive approach three case studies were conducted,
looking at three Swedish MNCs by using in-depth telephone interviews. When
looking at the motives for sending managers abroad as expatriates it was
found that Swedish MNCs generally have the objective to develop the
organizations abroad and implement informal control. Furthermore, it is
common among Swedish MNCs to invest in expatriates if they believe that it
can provide future advantages. Considering the expatriate selection process
it was found that an informal expatriate selection generally is applied,
where clearly defined characteristics of the selection process are hard to
find. Finally, when looking at criteria for expatriate selection it was
found that Swedish MNCs believe that the technical ability and the
expatriate candidates’ previous experience are important criteria for
expatriate selection.