GLOMO: Global Mobility of employees
The GLOMO project deals with the mobility of employees within the Europe and the impact of this mobility on the careers of highly qualified personnel. This project aims to create and set up an innovative European doctoral training network. It brings together 8 partners:
- University of Bamberg (Germany)
- Copenhagen Business School
- Cranfield University (UK)
- Institute for Employment Research (Germany)
- University of Vaasa (FI)
- University of Amsterdam
- TBS Education
- Airbus Group SAS.
The project is coordinated by the University of Bamberg in Germany and offers a specialized training program to 15 doctorate students in Europe, with TBS supervising two doctorate students. The duration of the project is from January 2018 to December 2021. GLOMO is funded by the Horizon 2020 program of the European Commission.
Challenges, results and impact of the GLOMO project
Interview with Cordula BARZANTNY
Cordula BARZANTNY – Researcher at the TBS Work, Health and Employment Lab
– What are the challenges for the research that is conducted in the framework of this project?
The “GLOMO” project (Global Mobility of Employees) is an international research collaboration, which focuses on the global mobility of employees in EU countries. The European GLOMO consortium is building an ambitious and unique network of junior and senior experts in the field of global employee mobility for qualified employees to address growing labor, skill and talent shortages.
This joint research and training program is carried out within a multidisciplinary and inter-sectoral network in the field of social sciences such as management, economics, political science, psychology, linguistics, etc. In order for Europe to be ready to face the increase in migratory flows, the objectives of the GLOMO program are as follows:
- systematically generate knowledge about the phenomenon of mobility and its implications
- offer training to enable researchers at the start of their careers to better understand the complex multidisciplinary phenomenon of mobility
- determine the relevant implications for individual, organizational, national and European stakeholders, including an “International Employer” audit tool.
– What are the main results of this research so far?
We’re proud to have gathered three years of intensive knowledge on global mobility and its impact on careers and society, while simultaneously training fifteen doctoral students in inter- and multidisciplinary research and honing their practical skills. To date, doctoral students have assembled a state of the art of global mobility research and compiled systematic literature reviews, which have resulted in the presentation of articles at conferences and journals. Of course, the pandemic due to Covid-19 has affected the physical mobility of network members. However, the work continues via online collaborations.
– What is the impact of the research for partner companies and organizations?
The partner organizations across 7 countries benefit from the fully EU-funded ESRs who are also seconded to the different partner firms and organisations in order to collect data and corroborate research findings. The different firms involved are as follows: Airbus Group, Siemens Gamesa, Philips, Atrain, Wärtsilä Finland OY, with institutions such as Enterprise Estonia, International Community Platform, RES Forum, German Federal Employment Agency (Brussels), Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (Germany). This mirrors mobility of employees, not only as the theoretical and thematic focus of the action, but it is also “lived Europe” through the secondments of the ESRs who can take part in the partners’ daily business and offer the newest knowledge and perspectives at various mobility (micro-, meso and macro-) levels.
– How does the funding support the research?
The GLOMO project has received nearly 4 million euros funding from the European Union’s H2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 765355 for the project duration 2018-2021. Most of this amount supports the full living and travel allowances of the ESRs who benefit from a 3-years full-time research appointment in order to carry out each of the 15 interconnected research project missions.
Interview with the 2 GLOMO PhD students
Acil ABDUL HADI – Doctoral Student supervised by Akram AL ARISS, Head of the Work, Employment and Health Lab at TBS
– What is the subject of your thesis? What are your motivations to participate in this project?
Choosing a doctoral research topic that concerns you personally is crucial as it keeps you motivated on this long journey. I was looking for a research topic on human resource management at the intersection of management sciences and migration studies. This is where global employee mobility proved to be a perfect fit. Two personal observations sparked my interest in this topic. On the one hand, I’ve worked for six years at L’Oréal in one of its subsidiaries, where I was able to see how international experience becomes an essential step in career development. On the other hand, I am a Lebanese (and French) citizen, and as a result, I have seen a large number of Lebanese nationals take the initiative to move and work abroad, engage in self-managed expatriation trips and then return to their country of origin with very good training.
– What are the goals of your thesis? What results have you obtained so far?
With globalisation, the international circulation of people’s talents is becoming more important and international assignments are developing in different forms. New types of expatriates such as self-managed expatriates and “local-plus” expatriates do not fit neatly into traditional conceptions of corporate expatriation, as the way in which new types of expatriates are attracted, trained, remunerated, and retained differs considerably from the approaches used in the past. For example, self-managed expatriates are characterized by the fact that they take control of their careers outside the boundaries of the organisation, thus abandoning company intervention and relative security in favor of autonomy and flexibility. As for “local-plus” expatriates, they are paid according to local salary scales, in addition to benefits at the discretion of the employer.
Although the expatriation process evolves in different forms, it is nonetheless an enriching and evolving experience for employees and is strongly encouraged by companies wishing to develop tomorrow’s world leaders. Consequently, it is legitimate to question the way in which the career capital of expatriates evolves during international assignments. Career capital is made up of three types of knowledge:
- know-how (professional skills and expertise directly necessary for the exercise of the profession)
- know-who (social capital and relational network that can promote career development)
- know-why (values such as confidence, a sense of purpose in career choices and commitment to the world of work).
I plan to compare the accumulation and use of career capital of self-managed expatriates, “local-plus” expatriates and traditional expatriates, collecting data from employees and HR managers to cover individual and organisational perspectives. The results of the literature review that led to my research questions were presented at the EURAM (European Academy of Management) conference in December 2020. For more information: https://youtu.be/mkAMgDAKl7E
Giovanna MILANI – Doctoral Student at the Global Mobility Department of the Airbus Group, and supervised by Cordula BARZANTNY and Alain KLARSFELD, researchers at the Work, Health and Employment Lab at TBS
– What is the subject of your thesis?
I am currently studying remuneration and rewards for corporate expatriates. My PhD is of an industrial type, which means that I work in a multinational company, with daily access to data and on a research topic that will have managerial implications for the company.
Within an organization, corporate expatriates constitute a specific group. They are sent abroad mainly when it is not possible to find locally all the specific skills required for the task. This is a significant investment for the company, i.e. according to certain criteria, the average costs of a corporate expatriate can double compared to an ordinary employee. An assignment abroad normally lasts between six months and five years and is defined by policy.
These policies focus my attention. The objective of my thesis is to analyse what are the different procedures for managing expatriate compensation in European countries. My work also focuses on ways to harmonise these practices in order to improve mobility. Another objective is to determine what the current obstacles to this movement are, in the hope of being able to propose creative solutions to overcome them.
– What are your motivations to choose this subject?
My motivation for this topic comes from the fact that I am an expatriate myself. I have had to face the challenges of expatriation and I can identify with people in the same situation.
– What results has your research yielded so far?
So far, my research has shown that expatriate compensation should not only focus on the financial aspect, but also on non-monetary rewards. An assignment has a huge impact on the expatriate’s family and companies should also pay attention to this. Failure to adjust can often mean the failure of a mission.
Benoît PIVIN, Head of the Global Mobility Department – Airbus Group
“The aeronautical sector is facing, for the first time in its recent history, a massive disruption affecting direct mobility of any kind. In Airbus, mobility is by essence our business and the GLOMO project, in this changing time, will support our transformation by bringing us new angles of reflexion, expertise, a high-level vision inspired and supported by the Glomo community. Definitely a plus in these challenging times”.
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