Provision and adequacy of corporate support to male expatriate spouses an exploratory study

Jan Selmer*, Alicia S M LEUNG

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Male expatriate spouses represent a surprisingly under-researched area, especially given the crucial importance of spousal support to ensure successful expatriate assignments and the increasing trends of both dual-career couples and female business expatriates. To somewhat alleviate this deficiency, 46 Western female business expatriates assigned to Hong Kong responded to a mail survey. Almost half of them were married and accompanied by their husbands. The tentative results of this highly exploratory study seem to indicate that, although moderated somewhat by respondents' perceived adequacy of the extent of corporate support, companies generally failed to support male expatriate spouses. Unfortunately, this main finding does not contradict results of what little previous research there is on the subject. This can be regarded as an early warning sign to international firms trying to globalize, since there is no reason to believe that the escalating trend of women assigned abroad will not continue, given the rising demand for business expatriates. Internationalizing firms need to introduce more corporate support for male expatriate spouses, before reluctance to act in this respect may block their global expansion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-21
Number of pages13
JournalPersonnel Review
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2003

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

User-Defined Keywords

  • Corporate policy
  • Expatriates
  • Hong Kong
  • Men
  • Spouses


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