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School of Business | Department of Management Studies | International Business | 2016
Thesis number: 14629
Perceived attractiveness of foreign subsidiaries of early internationalizing firms: A person-environment fit approach
Author: Liekkilä, Elisa
Title: Perceived attractiveness of foreign subsidiaries of early internationalizing firms: A person-environment fit approach
Year: 2016  Language: eng
Department: Department of Management Studies
Academic subject: International Business
Index terms: kansainväliset yhtiöt; international companies; kansainvälistyminen; internationalization; rekrytointi; recruiting; ulkomailla työskentely; working abroad; urakehitys; career development; työ; work
Pages: 92
Key terms: early internationalizing firms; attraction; fit; boundaryless career; career anchors; international staffing; foreign subsidiaries
Objective of the study

The objective of the study was to find out who are the employees attracted to work in the foreign subsidiaries of early internationalizing firms (EIFs) and why the attraction exists. The more theo-retical objective was to contribute to literature on EIFs and international staffing, whereas the more practical objective was to provide EIFs information about their most attractive features.

Theoretical framework

The theoretical framework of this Thesis is based on the notion that employees are attracted to certain jobs in certain organizations when they perceive different types of fit between themselves and the organizational environment. Thus, person-environment fit is one of the key theories of the Thesis. The person side of the fit in this Thesis is established through career anchors, a concept that captures the internal career decision-making in the age of boundaryless careers. The envi-ronment side is established through looking at the different types of fit (job, organization, group, supervisor) relevant for this study and the related organizational attributes. International staffing literature provides insights for both sides of the fit.


The research conducted in this Thesis is interview-based case study research on a Finnish EIF op-erating in an emerging industry with foreign subsidiaries in three countries in two continents.

Findings and conclusions

The employees were young professionally and internationally experienced non-parent-country nationals whose most common dominating career anchor was technical-functional competence. However, the industry being emerging might distort the career anchors findings particularly con-cerning technical-functional competence and general managerial competence anchors. No one was anchored in security/stability. Particularly person-job, person-organization and person-group fit seemed to exist. The findings of this Thesis provide evidence for the foreign subsidiaries of EIFs being a unique company context that differs from not only other entrepreneurial firms but also other foreign subsidiaries. Particularly the characteristics of the job performed in foreign subsidi-aries of EIFs seems to be what attracts the employees the most and they wish their knowledge and skills compliment rather than supplement those already existing in the EIF.
Master's theses are stored at Learning Centre in Otaniemi.