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Background and Objectives of the Project:

Coordination of activities is of crucial importance for organisations working with locally distributed units in different countries. Besides bureaucratic controlling, general norm setting or defining selective incentives, the mobility of personnel is an important but cost intensive mechanism of this cross-border coordination. The objective of the current research project is to analyse the patterns of cross-border personnel mobility and possible changes of these patterns as e.g., a possible virtualisation of cross-border coordination and personnel mobility. The analysis will take part by drawing upon a case study design. Profit and Non-Profit Organisations with locations in Germany and Mexico will be compared.
The project is carried out by an interdisciplinary and international research consortium. The participants are German and Mexican researchers in the areas of economics, social sciences as well as comparative educational research.

Central Research Questions:

  • Which patterns of personnel mobility are observable in German- and Mexican-based Non-Profit compared to Profit Organisations?
  • Which factors do influence the patterns of cross-border personnel mobility as well as virtual forms of cross-border coordination of organisations?
  • In how far do these patterns change over time?
  • Of which significance are virtual forms of cross-border coordination?


The design and methodology follow a double approach of hypothesis testing and of generating an explanatory model. Influencing factors of patterns of cross border personnel mobility and possible changes of the same will be evaluated on basis of a comparative case study design. Main axes of comparison are cross-border Profit and Non-Profit Organisations, countries of headquarters and of activities, contingent situation of organisations as well as the institutional embedding of local centers.

The methods concentrate on ego-centred and organisational network analysis, content analysis of documents and structured interviews.

Publications and Participation at Conferences

Maletzky, M.; Pries, L.; Seeliger, M. 2011: Grenzüberschreitend mobile Mitarbeiter als Übersetzer zwischen den Organisationswelten - die Koordination von deutsch-mexikanischer Zusammenarbeit in Profit- und Non-Profit Organisationen. presentation at the workshop: Grenzen der Grenzüberschreitung: Praktiken und Strategien in und von Grenzorganisationen, 21.-22.Oktober 2011, Münster

Maletzky, M.; Pries, L.; Seeliger, M. 2011. Virtualization of Cross Border Labor Mobility - A Chance for Sustainability? presentation at the workshop: Mobil.TUM 2011, April 7th 2011 - April 8th 2011, Munich