New Horizons in Management series
Edited by Alexander-Stamatios G. Antoniou and Cary L. Cooper
Chapter 31: The Impact of Short Business Travels on the Individual, the Family and the Organization
Mina Westman Rapid growth, globalization and economic forces have eroded national borders, facilitating the transfer of goods and services from one country to another. In this global economy, short business trips have become common.1 Managers’ presence in the setting of organizations other than their own not only serves to initiate or enhance relationships with customers and suppliers, but also increases the visibility of their organization. Organizations see the economic beneﬁts of travel, among them establishing new contracts and retaining existing customers. However some researchers believe that, in addition to ﬁnancial costs, business travel incurs potential human costs such as deterioration in wellbeing and performance of the traveling employees and their organization. Whereas the literature on expatriates is very rich and thorough, there is very sparse research on short business travels and on their impact on the traveler, the family and the organization. Most researchers on business travel regard such trips as a source of stress to the travelers (for example, DeFrank et al., 2000; Dimberg et al., 2002) and their families (Espino et al., 2002; Dimberg et al., 2002). Only one study demonstrated positive eﬀects of business trips (Westman and Etzion, 2002). Business travel seems to be a dual experience, consisting of hassles and uplifts, losses and gains, all aﬀecting travelers’ well being. These contradicting eﬀects suggest that research must also focus on variables that determine the perception of the trip as a negative or a positive experience. The present chapter examines the eﬀects of...
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