Adjustment to Pakistan among Finnish expatriates

2016 IJRSM – Volume 5 Issue 2


Salminen, Hanna*
University of Tampere, Finland (

Mattila, Malla
University of Tampere, Finland (

Jokela, Jutta
Cap Gemini, Finland (


Expatriation has become an insightful context for studying employees’ adjustment to different host organisations and countries, because it contains a vast array of contradictions and tensions. This context has attracted several studies, which have studied different characteristics of the adjustment as well as processual aspects involved in it. The adjustment of self-initiated expatriates working in distant locations which are substantially different from their own – in particular the move from the developed to the developing country with very different cultural characteristics – has, however, gained less interest. To develop the current understanding about western expatriates’ adjustment in this setting further, the study adapts an individual-level perspective to expatriation and uses hermeneutical approach to describe and analyse the adjustment of Finnish expatriates to Pakistan. A qualitative study was carried out; seven Finnish expatriates having expatriation experience from Pakistan were contacted and interviewed, and the qualitative content analysis method was used to analyse and interpret the generated research data. The study shows how young Finnish expatriate proactively seek overseas experiences. They are also largely motivated by altruism. Their personal ambitions to do social good for both the local community and to the host country drive for expatriation. In addition, the studied expatriates actively try to overcome the experienced cultural differences. However, the experienced organisational hierarchies, the expatriates’ freedom of choice, and the gender roles influence their adjustment, both regarding to the host organisation and the country.

Keywords: adjustment; expatriation; distance; security; gender



*Corresponding Author