La élite móvil en empresas transnacionales : trayectorias laborales de mánager argentinos expatriados


Luci, Florencia
Zangaro, Marcela




221 p.


Atribución-NoComercial-SinDerivadas 2.0 Genérica (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)




The growing of the Foreign Direct Investment together with the prevailing globalization, demands us not only to study the internationalization of capital, but also that of human resources.

The objective of the present doctoral dissertation in social sciences, is the study of international secondments in transnational corporations in Argentina. In order to do this, we take as subjects of our study a group of thirty managers from different generations that at least experienced a year in an international assignment.

This entire process was carried in a three-year period, setting the foundations and the structure of this dissertation, the field work, analysis, and writing that led us to the findings. Utilizing a qualitative methodology, we study the professional and life trajectories to thereafter study the expatriations life cycle. This is, the decision making, the residence and return along with the results of these experiences.

We have proposed a series of objectives that explain and interpret the development of the expatriate’s trajectories, experiences and the adapting abilities and strategies once returned. Through observation, the narratives of the subjects studied, provided new keys that required modifications of certain work patterns that were not originally foreseen.

The dissertation has been structured as follows. In the first chapter we integrate the platform in which we establish our framework. This is the formal framework in which any academic dissertation is based upon.

In the second chapter, we begin utilizing our theoretical framework, defining the study subjects that work in transnational corporations. We will also deepen other variables the subjects own with two main characteristics (being a manager and expatriate), while designated as trusted employees (differentiation, perceptions, age group, types of expatriation).

During the third chapter, we researched the beginning of their life story, where primary and secondary socialization was present. By doing this, we study the correlations that will show relevant empirical evidence that will relate the findings with the beginning of their work trajectories.

In the fourth chapter –which was core to our research–, we began to unveil the core stages of their professional trajectories in transnational corporations. Throughout this chapter, we centre the interpretation of their trajectories through the analysed interviews, focusing on the outreach, naturalness and resistance of the migratory process of international secondments.

To complete this chapter, we wanted to engage with the repetition of the process. This is, to understand the sacrifice and will of these managers towards a second expatriation experience.

Following with the argument of our study, knowingly that human decisions are not only based on the rational choice, we proposed to study the world of emotions and perceptions of the expatriated managers. How these are defined by the own subjects, approaches us to their symbolic universes and their experiences from a sensitive side. The decision making related to these processes, entail emotional facets that are unknown from only examining pure theories.

These same subjects teach us that phenomenology is part of the expatriations, which is multifaceted and lacking mechanics.

The end of the expatriation cycle will not close if we do not approach the return to origin in this phenomenon. In chapter six, we dedicate it to the study of this last phase and the readjustment of the expatriate to their place of origin. Returning does not mean for any international migrant resuming their lives in their country of origin. As Odysseus, when he returned to Ithaca, his land was unfamiliar to him.

Coming back poses a new readjustment, in which reality, fantasy and expectations should be blended at some point to make the situation bearable to the returnee. Constant comparisons raise a logic of two worlds. Understanding and interpreting the findings, will help us to apprehend the necessary readjustment processes of these returned managers, to erode the frustration stage of the in-between.

And finally, in chapter seven, we are proposing a series of conclusions to which we have arrived to, through our findings. In these, we outlined and responded to our research questions noting any other representative key, found in our studied phenomenon. Thus, we conclude our contribution, hoping that it will help others in the construction of future research.

Table Of Contents


1. Introducción al estudio de las trayectorias laborales de una élite móvil
1.1 Los mánager internacionales como problema de estudio. La apuesta a una trayectoria deslocalizada
1.2 Los objetivos del estudio: entre la obligatoriedad, los resultados, los aprendizajes y la readaptación en las expatriaciones
1.3 Los supuestos de los que partimos para el estudio de las expatriaciones
1.4 Las trayectorias laborales de los expatriados. La evolución de un fenómeno reciente
1.5 Aspectos metodológicos para el estudio de mánager expatriados

2. ¿Quiénes conforman la élite managerial expatriada?
2.1 Los mánager, asalariados de confianza. ¿Por qué se diferencian del resto de los asalariados?
2.2 La percepción de los mánager entrevistados acerca de las organizaciones por las que son expatriados
2.3 La participación actual de varias generaciones en las expatriaciones
2.4 Intensidades y propensiones de los mánager para realizar expatriaciones

3. Evidencias biográficas para la comprensión de las trayectorias de los mánager
3.1 Origen y núcleo familiar
3.2 La educación de la élite managerial en la Argentina
3.3 Los comienzos de las trayectorias laborales

4. Trayectorias laborales en compañías transnacionales
4.1 ¿Cómo son las trayectorias profesionales de los expatriados? La búsqueda de una trayectoria internacional
4.2 Desafíos en la movilidad internacional. La naturalidad o la resistencia en una carrera laboral global
4.3 La repetición del proceso. Entre la voluntad y el sacrificio de ser nómade

5. Motivaciones y percepciones de los mánager para expatriarse
5.1 Autopercepción. ¿Qué significa ser mánager y expatriado?
5.2 Mánager globales: frente a la racionalidad y sensibilidad del proceso de expatriación

6. El impacto del retorno
6.1 El retorno de los mánager. Entre la realidad y la expectativa
6.2 Las mismas viejas costumbres en un contexto diferente, ¿una nueva readaptación?

7. Conclusiones

Referencias bibliográficas
Anexo I Perfil de casos de mánager de empresas transnacionales
Anexo II Guía de preguntas utilizadas en las entrevistas

Título obtenido

Doctor de la Universidad de Buenos Aires en Ciencias Sociales

Institución otorgante

Universidad de Buenos Aires. Facultad de Ciencias Sociales

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