Employees’ readiness to relocate abroad plays a crucial role for the success or failure of expatriate assignments. Hence, companies should consider employees’ international relocation mobility readiness (IRMR) when selecting candidates for international postings. However, past research has conceptualized and measured IRMR heterogeneously, hampering the interpretation and comparability of IRMR research results. Hence, the purpose of this paper is to provide a new conceptualization of IRMR and to give recommendations for its measurement.
Based on the business, psychological and sociological literature, this paper reviews and categorizes how IRMR has been conceptualized and measured. To structure the findings, a directed content analysis was applied. The sample comprises 88 journal articles.
The results reveal that studies seldom provide a conceptualization of IRMR. While the authors often find a misfit between the studies’ explicit conceptualization and the actual measurement of IRMR, most scales actually measure willingness (i.e. usually a predictor of risky and spontaneous behavior).
Based on the results and the Rubicon model of action phases (Heckhausen and Gollwitzer, 1987), the authors recommend future research to conceptualize IRMR as a dynamic multidimensional construct, covering the different phases of an individual’s decision to relocate internationally. Future, IRMR measurements should also cover the complexity of IRMR, e.g. regarding specific location characteristics.
Companies should consider the whole decision-making process regarding IRMR to apply specific measures at the best possible time.
This paper investigates IRMR scales according to their scientific validity and hence provides the basic ground for future scale development studies.
Weisheit, J. (2018), "Should I stay or should I go? A systematic literature review about the conceptualization and measurement of international relocation mobility readiness", Journal of Global Mobility, Vol. 6 No. 2, pp. 129-157. https://doi.org/10.1108/JGM-01-2018-0003
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