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Home away from home: community embeddedness and expatriate retention cognitions

Dilek G. Yunlu (Department of Management, College of Business and Management, Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago, Illinois, USA)
Hong Ren (Lubar School of Business, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA)
Katherine Mohler Fodchuk (Department of Research, Advanced Learning Partnerships, Inc., Carrboro, North Carolina, USA)
Margaret Shaffer (Price College of Business, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma, USA)

Journal of Global Mobility

ISSN: 2049-8799

Article publication date: 15 May 2018

Issue publication date: 31 May 2018




The purpose of this paper is to propose a model that examines the influences of expatriate community relationship building behaviors on community embeddedness and community embeddedness on expatriate retention cognitions. The authors further investigate the moderating role of organizational identification.


Survey data from 127 expatriates in the USA were collected and analyzed. The authors used multiple (moderator) hierarchical regression analyses to test the hypotheses. In addition, simple slopes analyses were conducted to further understand the interaction effects.


The results demonstrate that community relationship building behaviors positively influence expatriate community embeddedness, and the latter is associated with stronger retention cognitions. In addition, the paper finds that, for individuals who have lower levels of organizational identification, community embeddedness is particularly important.

Research limitations/implications

This study is based on cross-sectional and self-report data, which limits the ability to draw definitive conclusions about causality. Thus, more multi-source and longitudinal data from different expatriate populations would increase the validity and the generalizability of findings. The theory and empirical evidence indicate the importance of community embeddedness, particularly when organizational identification is low, for expatriates’ retention cognitions.

Practical implications

This study examines the important role of community relationship building behaviors on community embeddedness, and the role of community embeddedness in expatriates’ intention to stay.


This paper integrates the unique view of personal resources associated with different social contexts (i.e. community and organizational contexts) in expatriate studies.



Yunlu, D.G., Ren, H., Mohler Fodchuk, K. and Shaffer, M. (2018), "Home away from home: community embeddedness and expatriate retention cognitions", Journal of Global Mobility, Vol. 6 No. 2, pp. 194-208.



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