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Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence

Publication Details

Crowley-Henry, M and Weir, D (forthcoming 2008) Control and the Protean Career: A Critical Perspective from the Multinational’s International Assignees, in Voronov, M,Wolfram Cox, J, LeTrent-Jones, T and Weir, D (eds), Critical Management Studies at Work: Multidisciplinary Approaches to Negotiating Tensions between Theory and Practice (forthcoming), Cheltenham, Edgar Elgar Publishing Ltd.


Mainstream management literature and research regarding the international career has long focused on the traditional expatriate experience. 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 expatriates 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.