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conducted by Ericsson during the expatriate’s stay complies with the theory of Jassawalla, et al (2004) or not. Table 5.2 Ericsson: During the expatriate’s assignment During the expatriate’s stay Fits with theory Perception of supportwhile on assignmentRelated to issues included in the relocation package such as financial compensation and support to the family Yes Nature and frequency of communicationCommunication and responsibility to maintain the contact between the home office and the expatriate while he or she is abroad Yes Source: Authors 5.1.3 After the expatriate’s return Quality and interaction with sponsors The reason why the manager in the expatriate’s home office is the person that has the most contact with the expatriate is to create or sustain a long-term relationship with the expatriate. According to Ericsson a long-term relationship is important as it contributes to employee development and that the manager can ensure that the employee has sufficient knowledge and competences, especially in new product areas. However, this person can probably not be called a sponsor as Jassawalla, et al (2004) claim that a 48
sponsor should be personally vested and have a personal stake in the success or failure of the expatriate. The manager in the expatriate’s home office at Ericsson does probably not have a strong personal interest in the success of the expatriate. However, the manager in the expatriate’s home office is frequently communicating with the expatriate as well as, to some extent providing information. Apart from this, the manager in the home office is together with the HR department and the expatriate responsible for finding a suitable position for the expatriate in the home organization and as international assignments are viewed as something positive the expatriate’s manager in the home office is also responsible for trying to ensure that the skills gained overseas are taken into consideration. This complies with what Jassawalla, et al (2004) mention as a sponsor’s duties as the authors state that a mentor should be responsible for finding a suitable position for the repatriate in the home organization and to ensure that the expatriate’s skills and competences gained overseas are used. However, the expatriate’s manager in the home office in Ericsson also has other duties like frequently communicating with the expatriate and to provide information that Jassawalla, et al (2004) believe are more related to a mentor’s duties. Moreover, one issue that not is totally in line with the theory of Jassawalla, et al (2004) is that the authors claim that the sponsor should ensure that the repatriate’s skills are utilized. However, the manager in the expatriate’s home office cannot ensure this, as the position received is dependent on the vacant positions at the time. Nevertheless, overall the manager in the home office has the duties of a sponsor.