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Edited by Kate Hutchings and Snejina Michailova
Chapter 3: Female frequent flyers: How women travelling internationally handle their work/life balance
For the last couple of decades, international business frequent flyers have gained utmost importance and replaced traditional long-term assignments as a predominant practice when staffing positions in foreign countries and doing business internationally (Harris et al., 2005; Demel, 2010). New forms of cooperation, such as sub-contracting, international joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, but also international projects, have contributed to this development and required an increased number of trips to international locations, resulting in travel pressure (Mayerhofer et al., 2004; DeFrank et al., 2000; Schuler et al., 2004). Changes in the expatriation environment - such as persistent cost pressure, lower mobility on the side of potential expatriates and an increasing number of so-called "dual-career couples" (DCC) - have initiated and pushed a shift from the traditional long-term expatriate assignment to alternative forms such as short-term or virtual assignments and international business travelling (Collings and Scullion, 2006). Among the most popular forms are international business frequent flyers, which are also synonymously referred to amongst researchers and practitioners as frequent flyers, international business travellers, road warriors or flexpatriates. While frequent flyers appreciate the thrill of working in a foreign, unknown environment and enjoy the change from their ordinary work (Welch and Worm, 2006) they also suffer from travelling long hours and across country borders, a backlog of work upon return (Ivancevich et al., 2003) and being separated from family or spouse (Frase, 2007; Gustafson, 2006).
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