In the spotlight: Svetlana Khapova

Horizon 2020 ITN grantee on global mobility of employees

Svetlana KhapovaIn November 2017, Svetlana Khapova, professor of Careers and Organisation Studies, together with an international consortium of leading European universities and business partners, received a €4 million Horizon 2020 Innovative Training Network (ITN) grant for an international research project titled ‘Global mobility of employees’ (GLOMO).

As coordinator of SBE’s part of the GLOMO project, Svetlana Khapova discusses the background of this prestigious grant. ‘Today, moving internationally often means accepting a job below your qualification level. That is undesirable. Understanding how various individual, organisational and national factors influence international employment mobility is the goal of our EU-funded GLOMO project.’

‘Central to our project is the ambition of the European Union (EU) to increase labour mobility, both coming into and within Europe’, she adds. ‘Despite having a favourable legal framework for mobility, the EU is still far from attaining its employment mobility goals. One of the reasons underlying this problem is the challenges associated with a person getting their first job outside of their home country. Furthermore, if a candidate finds a job abroad, it is usually below the candidate’s knowledge and qualification level. Conducting a fair assessment of candidates on the international job market remains a big challenge for many employers.’

‘Today, moving internationally often means accepting a job below your qualification level.’

The project is a collaboration between SBE and seven other European partner institutions: Bamberg University (Germany), Copenhagen Business School (Denmark), Cranfield University (UK), the Institute for Employment Research (Germany), Toulouse Business School (France), Vaasa University (Finland), and Airbus SAS (France). ‘We aim to address these and many other topics related to international employment mobility. Together with 15 Early Stage Researchers (PhD candidates), we will develop knowledge about mobility and its implications, namely success factors, effects and added value. Second, we will train a new generation of scholars and equip them with theoretical and methodological tools to study global mobility in the future. Finally, we will generate knowledge that will help policy makers and business institutions to create a better future for European expatriates.’

Within the consortium, SBE will address two research topics: 1) the motivation behind employees’ global mobility and 2) a cross-cultural perspective on the function and value of expatriates’ social capital. Currently, SBE is recruiting the Early Stage Researchers who will begin working on these topics in September 2018.

Khapova considers the grant as an important recognition of the work of career researchers at the School of Business and Economics. Next to Svetlana Khapova, the SBE team consists of Jos Akkermans and Evgenia Lysova (supervisors), and Niki Konijn, who will be in charge of organising doctoral training for the Early Stage Researchers.

Svetlana N. Khapova is professor of Careers and Organisation Studies and Scientific Director of the Amsterdam Business Research Institute (ABRI) at VU Amsterdam. She is chair of the VU School of Management and visiting professor at ESMT, the European School of Management and Technology, Berlin. She is former division chair of the Careers Division of the Academy of Management. Her research concerns contemporary issues in work and careers. Khapova is founding director of ABRI and has developed all of its doctoral education programmes related to management and organisation studies. She has received numerous awards for her work, including the Leadership Award from the Academy of Management, as well as best paper and best reviewer awards from Emerald.