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Improving post-assignment behavioral outcomes of expatriates: A Sri Lankan perspective

Padmini Jayasekara (Department of Human Resource Management, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Gangodawila, Sri Lanka)
Yoshi Takahashi (Graduate School for International Development and Cooperation, Hiroshima University, Higashihiroshima, Japan)

Journal of Global Mobility

ISSN: 2049-8799

Article publication date: 2 December 2014

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between pre-departure human resource management practices (HRMPs) and post-assignment behavioral outcomes (PABOs) among Sri Lankan expatriates.

Design/methodology/approach

The study focuses on three research questions, namely, first, whether individual HRMPs reinforce desirable PABO consequences, second, whether this relationship would be strengthened when HRMPs are bundled together, and third, whether the purpose of an expatriate’s international assignment would affect the strength of the relationship between HRMPs and PABOs. A questionnaire method was employed to survey Sri Lankan repatriates, and 155 responses were analyzed using a hierarchical regression analysis.

Findings

The authors found that two HRMP types, namely, preparation and selection, significantly influenced job commitment, organizational commitment, and retention, both individually and when bundled. Practices such as recruitment, training, performance evaluation, and compensation, bundled with others, improved job and organizational commitment but not retention. Further, the specific task assigned to the expatriate affected the interaction between the HRMPs and their PABOs except retention.

Practical implications

As bundled HRMPs influence job and organizational commitment, organizations should attempt to combine several HRMPs. However, there may be a need to customize HRMPs to improving retention and address the development-driven purpose of assignments.

Originality/value

This study is amongst the first in the Sri Lankan context to emphasize the necessity of proactively managing expatriates’ PABOs before they relocate, using system and contingency approaches.

Keywords

Citation

Jayasekara, P. and Takahashi, Y. (2014), "Improving post-assignment behavioral outcomes of expatriates: A Sri Lankan perspective", Journal of Global Mobility, Vol. 2 No. 3, pp. 298-316. https://doi.org/10.1108/JGM-01-2014-0002

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited