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The influence of personality on individuals' expatriation willingness in the context of safe and dangerous environments

Ebru Ipek (Department of Management, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California, USA)
Philipp Paulus (Department of Business Administration, Trier University, Trier, Germany)

Journal of Global Mobility

ISSN: 2049-8799

Article publication date: 25 March 2021

Issue publication date: 10 May 2021




The purpose of this paper is to examine the extent to which a destination's security level affects the relationship between personality traits and individuals' expatriation willingness.


The authors apply an experimental vignette methodology using a 2 × 1 between subjects-design with two destinations characterized by different security levels (dangerous vs. safe) among 278 participants (students and employees). Partial least squares multigroup analysis (PLS-MGA) was employed to test the hypotheses.


The findings indicate that different personality variables appear to impact individuals' expatriation willingness depending on the security level of a destination: emotionality and conscientiousness predicted expatriation willingness to dangerous environments, whereas openness to experience predicted expatriation willingness to safe environments. The personality traits of honesty–humility, extraversion and agreeableness were not found to influence expatriation willingness in either scenario.

Practical implications

The study discusses a set of practical recommendations for the selection and the management of eligible individuals who are willing to expatriate to dangerous locations.


The study is among the first to examine the influence of personality on expatriation willingness in safe and dangerous environments at the same time. It advances prior research by providing a more nuanced understanding of the context-specific effects of personality on expatriation willingness.



The authors would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments.


Ipek, E. and Paulus, P. (2021), "The influence of personality on individuals' expatriation willingness in the context of safe and dangerous environments", Journal of Global Mobility, Vol. 9 No. 2, pp. 264-288.



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