Critical Management Studies at Work
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Critical Management Studies at Work

Negotiating Tensions between Theory and Practice

Edited by Julie Wolfram Cox, Tony G. LeTrent-Jones, Maxim Voronov and David Weir

This book is the first of its kind to reflect on what it means to actually perform critical management studies (CMS): how consultants, researchers, teachers and managers negotiate the tensions they experience in their everyday practice.
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Chapter 19: Power, Control and the Protean Career: A Critical Perspective on Multinational Organizations’ Permanent International Assignees

Marian Crowley-Henry and David Weir


Marian Crowley-Henry and David Weir INTRODUCTION Mainstream management literature and research regarding the international career has long focused on the traditional expatriate experience (for example Adler 1986; Boyacigiller 1995; Dowling and Welch 2004; Feldman and Tompson 1993; Mendenhall and Oddou 2000). In this discourse, the tendency has been to outline the benefits and issues to be considered for organizations and individuals embarking on international assignments. In contrast, this chapter focuses on a special group whose positioning in the structures of employment and organization is in some ways exemplary of developing trends in the global labor force. They are the highly educated permanent expatriates1 who remain in the host country indefinitely (that is without a pre-determined organizational option of repatriation to their initial home country). We engage with the mainstream ways of dealing with this group and take a critical approach in exploring their international careers. In fact, we take a critical stance on the notion of ‘career’ itself and question its ubiquitous application. Adopting a loose and critical review of Foucault’s governmentality, technologies of power and domination and technologies of the self, we aim to explore organizational and individual power and control with regard to an individual’s career in an international context, and to propose a practical model for professionals working in areas such as human resource management (HRM), human resource development (HRD) and career management consultancy. 299 300 Critical management studies at work POWER, CONTROL AND CAREER – AN OVERVIEW Our intention in this chapter is to problematize an aspect...

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