Title: Flexpatriates: issues and challenges for short-term assignments in the United Arab Emirates

Authors: Rizwan Tahir

Addresses: Department of Business and Management, RIT Dubai, Dubai, UAE

Abstract: Flexpatriates are sent by their companies to different countries around the globe to execute short-term and important assignments and then immediately return home after completing their project. However, in international human resource management (IHRM) research, attention has mainly been focused on traditional expatriates. Even though alternative arrangements for global mobility, such as flexpatriation, have recently become increasingly popular among multinational corporations (MNCs), this trend seems to have been neglected in previous studies. The present study endeavours to examine the issues and challenges encountered by Western flexpatriates during short-term assignments in the UAE. The results suggest that, with minimal interventions by the human resource (HR) departments, these flexpatriate executives have been proactive while working in the UAE in self-managing their personal and family issues, work-life balance, career issues, and cultural challenges. Finally, the present study provides some suggestions for HR managers in effectively managing flexpatriates and also provides an agenda for future research in this emerging field.

Keywords: UAE; flexpatriation; international assignments; career issues; family issues; work-life balance; WLB; cultural challenges.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMP.2021.10037097

International Journal of Management Practice, 2021 Vol.14 No.3, pp.283 - 305

Received: 03 Dec 2019
Accepted: 26 Aug 2020

Published online: 18 May 2021 *

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