Enhancing cross-cultural adjustment : a case study of international researcher's spouses in Finland
DisciplineIntercultural Communication (maisteriohjelma)Master's Degree Programme in Intercultural Communication
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This thesis explores the perceived organizational support of the Hidden Gems programme in enhancing cross-cultural adjustment and employability of international researchers’ spouses experiencing career interruption in Finland. One third of Tampere University researchers are of foreign background and 40 percent of today’s researchers relocate with their spouse or partner. Previous research provides evidence that the spouses of international researchers and other university employees have, on average, higher qualification levels than other immigrant groups. Despite their qualifications, they may have to stay home for years before finding employment. Improving spousal adjustment and employment in the host country has the potential to reduce the risk of premature return of the international researchers and their spouses. Hidden Gems is a new programme offered for the Tampere University researchers’ spouses to promote the utilization of immigrant professionals’ expertise and human capital to meet the needs of industry and business, so that the participants find employment that corresponds to their qualifications and ensures them fair compensation. The objective of this study is to explore the effectiveness of the Hidden Gems project by examining the participants’ experiences and perceptions regarding the support they received. This study uses quantitative and qualitative approach with survey questionnaire, semi-structure individual interviews and social mapping as data collection instruments. A sample of 17 expatriate spouses from a broad range of nationalities, were surveyed and interviewed. The analysis indicates that the Hidden Gems support leads to an increase in spouses’ satisfaction, spousal adjustment as well as employability into Finland. However, the findings suggest that the organizational spousal support will not have the same outcome if the participants do not use simultaneously proactive tactics, such as seeking for information, relationship building and positive framing. ...
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