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New approaches on repatriation research: Studying the relevance of individual and contextual factors

Naiara Arnaez (Mondragón University, Mondragón, Spain)
Amaia Arizkuren (University of Deusto, San Sebastián, Spain)
Marta Muñiz (Comillas Pontifical University, Madrid, Spain)
María Eugenia Sánchez (Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena, Cartagena, Spain)

Management Research

ISSN: 1536-5433

Article publication date: 17 November 2014




The purpose of this paper is to analyze repatriation as an active actor on his/her return and not just as a passive receiver of organizational human resource management practices. Traditionally, literature has been focused on investigating the impact of organizational practices and support on repatriation, but new studies suggest that this approach is insufficient. According to these studies, individual and contextual influences are also important on repatriation and new studies are needed to measure its impact.


This article is the base of future studies to analyze the impact of both approaches at once.


The paper departs from recent literature in the field, to develop a series of research propositions.

Research limitations/implications

The implications of this study include to contribute to the knowledge and future research on the expatriation process, studying the adaptation, performance, etc. of the expatriate during the international mission and particularly the last part of the process, repatriation, which has not received so much attention.

Practical implications

This paper highlights that mismanagement of repatriation could lead to turnover of these valuable professionals or to a non-satisfactory reinstatement or even to inefficiency. On the other hand, the perception that repatriation is not well managed and that it does not lead to an advance for the employee could discourage future expatriates to accept international missions, which could even slow down the international progress of the company.


The integration of the traditional and the emerging perspectives of repatriation process.



Arnaez, N., Arizkuren, A., Muñiz, M. and Sánchez, M.E. (2014), "New approaches on repatriation research: Studying the relevance of individual and contextual factors", Management Research, Vol. 12 No. 3, pp. 326-344.



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