The purpose of this paper is to provide a better understanding of expatriation, both firm-initiated and self-initiated. The authors identified factors influencing the motives of expatriates to locate to the Arabian Gulf, and possible factors that may influence their decision to remain.
Using a qualitative approach, the authors conducted 123 semi-structured interviews with expatriates in the United Arab Emirates, from various backgrounds. These interviews are analyzed based on the thematic analytic approach.
The authors identified four clusters of reasoning for global assignments to the Gulf and the outcomes of the expatriation. Remuneration was the main motivator cited for the move, but an obstacle for returning to the home country. For Westerners, the second most important factor was career opportunities, whereas for expatriates from Muslim countries it was cultural fit.
The findings may be a valuable source of reference for individuals and for policy makers, employers, HR practitioners, and career counselors to provide an understanding of expatriation in emerging economies.
The paper uses evidence from the Gulf to bridge the gap between current knowledge of expatriation and the context of emerging economies.
Baruch, Y. and Forstenlechner, I. (2017), "Global careers in the Arabian Gulf: Understanding motives for self-initiated expatriation of the highly skilled, globally mobile professionals", Career Development International, Vol. 22 No. 1, pp. 3-22. https://doi.org/10.1108/CDI-12-2015-0164
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