The purpose of this paper is to employ hope theory to explain the psychological process underlying the dual-career couple (DCC) family unit, during the full cycle of international relocation.
This qualitative study is based on in-depth interviews with 28 international dual-careerists. Hope theory is used to describe the evolution of their goals, pathways and agency thinking before, during, and after expatriation.
The study reveals that dual-career partners initially build goals, pathways, and agency to support family relocation to facilitate the expatriate’s career goals, but later the absence of self-career realization means hope can diminish and the partner’s career comes to drive the goals set for repatriation. Future assignments would be considered only if both partners can arrange relevant employment for themselves.
Companies should develop DCC support practices such as designing shorter assignments, ensuring that partners have work visas and support job seeking. Ideally, multinational corporations would employ the spouse in the DCC.
The study is one of the first to explore the evolution of the goals of DCCs during the entire expatriation process.
Emerald Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited