International mobility and international careers. A multi-level framework for organizational resilience

Franca Cantoni, Luca Giustiniano

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Globalization forces multinational companies (MNCs) to be overexposed to social and economic shifts and jolts ingrained in the environments they deal with. As a consequence they are asked to develop a capacity for resilience (Mallak, 1997, 1998; Vogus and Sutcliffe, 2007) as they need to be able to anticipate, respond, adapt to, and/or rapidly recover from negative events or crisis that may occur. This paper tries to respond to the general call for a higher level of investigation in the field of careers’ studies (e.g. Arthur, 2008; Jones & Dunn, 2007) by proposing an interdisciplinary attempt (e.g. Khapova & Arthur, 2011; Lawrence, 2011) to read the international mobility policies of MNCs as a mean for developing organizational resilience. In fact, the HR system of a MNC (International Human Resource Management – IHRM) is a suitable context (e.g. Mayrhofer, Meyer & Steyer, 2007) for multi-level analysis, since it is designed at the macro-headquarter level (HR philosophy, strategy, guidelines), executed at a meso-subsidiary level (HR local policy and practice), and enacted at a micro-individual level. Within this framework we posit that HR expatriates play a crucial role in translating the general HR policy for resilience at local level by enacting the local responsiveness (Bartlett & Ghoshal, 1992). Considering the multi-level nature of both careers and resilience, and the suitability of the MNCs’ HR system for multi-level analysis, this paper tries to fill the gap of a joint theoretical language allowing communication between various discourses and perspectives (De Cieri, Cox, Fenwick, 2007; Gunz & Mayrhofer, 2011). Accordingly, it proposes a new conceptual framework for organizational resilience that passes through the role of IHRM and the design of career paths.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEGOS Proceedings
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventEGOS, European Group for Organizational Studies - Athens, Greece
Duration: 2 Jul 20154 Jul 2015


ConferenceEGOS, European Group for Organizational Studies
CityAthens, Greece


  • international career
  • international mobility
  • organizational resilience


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