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Good research topics – greenfield or acquisition?
How does one come up with a good research topic? To use terminology from market entry strategy, one may generate it oneself or one can get it from somebody else. I once knew an academic researcher who, at least for a while, specialized in using theoretical work published by somebody else and empirically testing the proposed hypotheses and then publishing the results, often in highly reputable journals. This may be regarded as the acquisition approach. In my own academic career, I have mostly preferred the greenfield alternative. During more than two decades, I have been an expatriate (academic) favoring the approach to “dig where I stand.” Although not always researching academics, my simple reasoning is that if a topic makes sense to me as an expatriate, maybe this is also the case for others. To make use of one’s own personal experience in generating and selecting good research topics has served me well, even if my non-expatriate colleagues may not be able to do just that. But it is remarkable how many scholars within the research area of global mobility and expatriate management have had such a personal expatriate experience.
JGM is the only academic journal to consistently and exclusively focus on global mobility and expatriate management and the journal is managed by experts for experts. The Editorial Advisory Board of JGM reads as a Who’s Who in our area and the editorial team, reviewers and authors are all specialists. The academic community has also recognized this competitive advantage. Despite being only in its sixth year, JGM went straight into the No. 2 level of the Chartered Association for Business Schools (UK) Academic Journal Guide 2018. Even before this, JGM was indexed in Scopus and ESCI. The journal is also ranked by the Australian ABDC List as a B journal and ranked by the Nordic countries and Brazil.
To highlight topics of special interest and to stimulate future research, JGM also publishes special issues. The two most recent ones focused on important but often neglected areas. The first was, “Beyond corporate expatriation: examining neglected non-corporate communities,” edited by Yvonne McNulty, Charles Vance and Kelly Fisher. The second special issue was, “Dangerous moves and risky international assignments,” edited by Luisa Helena Pinto, Benjamin Bader and Tassilo Schuster. Two special issues are scheduled for next year: “The dark side of global mobility,” edited by Benjamin Bader, Tassilo Schuster, Anna Katharina Bader and Margaret Shaffer and “Low status expatriates” (paper submission deadline March 1, 2019) edited by Chris Brewster, Washika Haak-Saheem and Jakob Lauring.
To stay connected with JGM, please visit us on social media: the JGM LinkedIn Group, the JGM Twitter account (@JanSelmer_JGM) and the JGM Facebook Group (please contact Yvonne firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to join the latter).
All kinds of rigorous research methods are welcome at JGM, but we also publish thorough theoretical developments and focused literature reviews. We would also like to feature research at various levels of analysis – individual, team, organizational or even regional or national. We are interested in research from a variety of academic domains, as well as cross-disciplinary studies.
Recently, replication studies have become a much-discussed topic. JGM welcomes such investigations that build on and provide useful extensions of prior findings. We believe that, as important that it is for science to break new ground, previous discoveries must be examined again to reaffirm or disconfirm their existence. Replication studies can be of various forms, where previous results are investigated with the same or different methodologies and settings as well as providing extensions of primary research.
In this issue
The first article, authored by Agnieszka Kierner, reports results from a qualitative study employing hope theory to explain the psychological process underlying dual-career couple family units, during the full cycle of international relocation. Based on in-depth interviews, the study finds 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. Hence, multinational corporations could ideally employ also the expatriate spouse. In the second paper, Saba Colakoglu, Dilek G. Yunlu and Gamze Arman uncover career-related issues that high-skilled female immigrants face and their strategies for rebuilding their careers upon migration. Content analysis of in-depth interviews with female Turkish immigrants to the USA revealed five primary theoretical themes: non-linear career entry, career-orientation, strong commitment and will to succeed, socialization patterns at work, and support network. Integrating these findings with theories on adult learning, an experiential learning model of career reconstruction among high-skilled immigrants is developed. The third paper, by Paulette Siekierski, Manolita Correia Lima, Felipe Mendes Borini and Morais Pereira, conducts a literature review in order to understand the relationship between international academic mobility and innovation and its impact on the countries of origin, country of destination and the countries of origin and destination simultaneously. Five variables related to innovation are identified with a positive, negative or null impact on the countries. The results highlight the evidence that the different dimensions of innovation have a differentiated impact on the countries of origin and destination and in both at the same time. These findings are beneficial for governments and industry in both origin and destination countries. The main impact to countries of origin is the increase of highly qualified human capital. The benefits for the countries of destination concern patent filing, working conditions and an attractive research environment. The fourth article is authored by Kieran M. Conroy, Anthony McDonnell and Katrin Holzleitner, who explore training and support for short-term international assignees. Drawing on in-depth exploratory qualitative interviews with German assignees, the study provides evidence on what is received and identifies what kind of training and support is preferred. Due to time constraints, the significance of informal support is especially emphasized. The paper is one of the first empirical investigations to consider the specific forms of training and support relevant to short-term international assignees. The final contribution to this issue is written by Olivier Wurtz and also deals with a little researched topic: stress as an antecedent of substance use during expatriation and related effects on expatriates’ work adjustment. Based on two studies, 1 of 205 expatriates and 1 of 96 expatriate–supervisor dyads, findings suggest that stress at a medium to high-level increases substance use among male but not female expatriates. Additionally, expatriates with substantial prior international experience were more prone to react to stress by resorting to substance use. Evidence is also provided that substance use to aid coping harms professional adjustment.
Whether based on greenfield or acquisition strategies, JGM has the competitive advantage as a specialist academic research journal managed by experts for experts to provide the best possible support for manuscripts within our area. The JGM Editorial Advisory Board, the editorial team and the best specialist reviewers all contribute to establishing JGM as the leading outlet for academic research on global mobility and expatriate management.