Adjustment of foreign workers’ spouses: the factors influencing satisfaction and adjustment of foreign workers’ spouses in Finland

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dc.contributor Aalto University en
dc.contributor Aalto-yliopisto fi
dc.contributor.advisor Koveshnikov, Alexei
dc.contributor.author Vainikka, Minna
dc.date.accessioned 2017-02-14T08:44:18Z
dc.date.available 2017-02-14T08:44:18Z
dc.date.issued 2016
dc.identifier.uri https://aaltodoc.aalto.fi/handle/123456789/24513
dc.description.abstract This Master’s thesis investigates the factors that influence the cross-cultural adjustment of foreign workers’ spouses in Finland. Since most organizations today operate in a global economy, an increasing number of people move away from their home country to work in another country, and many expatriates are accompanied by a spouse. Adapting to a new living environment can be challenging, and failure to adjust has negative consequences to foreign workers, their families and to the companies they work for. Previous research provides evidence that family has the greatest influence on the adaptation of expatriates in a new environment and that inability of the spouse to adapt is the most common reason for international assignment to fail. The objective of this study is to examine the factors that influence the adjustment and satisfaction of foreign workers’ spouses. Further aim is to complement earlier research by investigating the ways the spouse’s experiences and feelings affect the employee on an international assignment. Both positive and negative impact is considered. Finally, this research aims at identifying the forms of support organizations can provide to improve the adjustment and satisfaction of spouses. This study uses qualitative approach with focus group discussions and semi-structured individual interviews as data collection techniques. For the purpose of this research, 17 expatriate spouses currently living in Finland due to their partner’s job were interviewed either in focus group discussions or individually. In addition, three foreign workers were interviewed either at the same time with their spouse or separately. The families were of different nationalities and had different backgrounds, but all had arrived in Finland within approximately four years. All collected data was coded and analyzed using thematic analysis. The main findings of this study show that personal and relational factors strongly affect the ability to adjust to a new environment. Open attitude and involvement in social activities are key enablers of the spouses’ successful adaptation, whereas difficulties in social life and in establishing friendships have the strongest negative impact on expatriate families’ adjustment. Further, according to this research a happy and well-adapted spouse improves the expatriate’s performance at work and supports the worker in interactional adjustment by facilitating social activities. In addition to family members, organizations can provide essential support in adaptation to a new environment. This study concludes that all forms of organizational support such as assistance in immigration and finding a home are valuable and influence the individual’s perception of how much the organization values them. Particularly a personal destination consultant is a key enabler of successful adaptation and a central contributor to the individual’s perceived feeling of being cared for. The most evident shortcomings of current forms of support are related to career assistance for spouses and help in getting involved in social activities. en
dc.format.extent 118
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.title Adjustment of foreign workers’ spouses: the factors influencing satisfaction and adjustment of foreign workers’ spouses in Finland en
dc.type G2 Pro gradu, diplomityö fi
dc.contributor.school Kauppakorkeakoulu fi
dc.contributor.school School of Business en
dc.contributor.department Johtamisen laitos fi
dc.subject.keyword accompanying spouse en
dc.subject.keyword adjustment en
dc.subject.keyword cross-cultural adjustment en
dc.subject.keyword expatriate en
dc.subject.keyword expatriate family en
dc.subject.keyword relocation en
dc.subject.keyword organizational support en
dc.identifier.urn URN:NBN:fi:aalto-201702142317
dc.type.ontasot Master's thesis en
dc.type.ontasot Maisterin opinnäyte fi
dc.programme Management and International Business (MIB) en
dc.subject.helecon johtaminen fi
dc.subject.helecon kansainväliset yhtiöt fi
dc.subject.helecon työ fi
dc.subject.helecon ulkomailla työskentely fi
dc.subject.helecon perhe fi
dc.subject.helecon tyytyväisyys fi
dc.subject.helecon Suomi fi
dc.ethesisid 14875
dc.location P1 I fi


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