Expatriate management in the nonprofit, humanitarian sector : the case of NORCAP
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Effective humanitarian aid is dependent on the expertise and experience of humanitarian staff, and it is therefore vital to understand how international humanitarian workers are managed. Most research on expatriate management is in the for-profit sector, but the nonprofit sector is increasingly put on the research agenda. This thesis aims to increase the understanding of expatriate management in the nonprofit sector by looking to a Norwegian humanitarian nonprofit organization; NORCAP. The study draws on research from international human resource management (IHRM) and International Relations, and sheds light on how the international environment of the nonprofit sector influences human resource management. The thesis is conducted as a case study with a holistic and qualitative approach. As such, it is designed to capture the interrelationship between the phenomenon of research, expatriate management, and its context, NORCAP. The study concludes that NORCAP deployments can be characterized as a mix of different types of international assignments. At the same time, their unique context requires them to be handled differently from other expatriate assignments. Secondly, this study argues that short contracts, dual employers and loose employment relationships might lead to the construction of transactional psychological contracts, but that relational contracts might develop over time. This influences the dynamics of expatriate management in NORCAP. Finally, this thesis argues that the flexible, transparent and cooperative way of performing expatriate management in NORCAP could contribute to strengthen humanitarian operations. An important contribution of this study is thus increased understanding of the importance of IHRM for the continued influence of humanitarian organizations in the international arena.