The present study was designed to investigate the factors that prompt ex-host country nationals (EHCNs) to return to their country of origin, specifically, India. In order to identify specific factors that guide the decision to return, we examined several categories of reasons why members of the Indian diaspora who have lived/worked abroad may choose to return to India.
Using a sample of 98 executives from Southern India, this exploratory study sheds light on the emerging phenomenon of “brain circulation” advanced by Saxenian (2005) where highly qualified professionals (human talent, in short) ply between their country of origin (COO) and country of residency (COR). The authors investigate (i) their overall impression of their COO, (ii) the reasons they believe their company transferred them to India in the event of company-sponsored relocations, (iii) the impediments they face in performing their jobs in their COO, and (iv) their level of satisfaction with various aspects of their assignment, whether company-sponsored or self-initiated assignments.
The findings of this study indicate that EHCNs were driven by several unique factors in their decision to return to their COO, including (i) quality of life, (ii) better career opportunities, (iii) remuneration and (iv) family reasons.
The findings of this study should help scholars develop theoretical models that can help explain the factors that determine the decision-making process of EHCNs related to returning to their COO. Furthermore, while our study was conducted in India, the factors guiding the decisions of the EHCNs are clearly universal, such as quality of life and opportunities for self.
Overall, the EHCNs in our sample were happy with their decision to return to live and work in India, thus suggesting that it would not be very problematic for the Indian government to attract them to return home to satisfy the growing demand for human talent associated with inward and outward foreign direct investment to/from India.
Given the Indian government's continuing efforts to attract qualified EHCNs to return to India and contribute to the growth of the economy, our study offers specific insights into what motivates individuals to return to their COO.
Varma, A. and Tung, R. (2020), "Lure of country of origin: an exploratory study of ex-host country nationals in India", Personnel Review, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/PR-10-2019-0578Download as .RIS
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