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Article
Publication date: 11 December 2018

Christian Linder

It is widely accepted that expatriates have career expectations and motivations for working abroad that differ according to whether their posting is self-initiated or…

Abstract

Purpose

It is widely accepted that expatriates have career expectations and motivations for working abroad that differ according to whether their posting is self-initiated or assigned by their employer. These factors also affect organisational embeddedness in the host country organisation. The purpose of this paper is to analyse job effort and career satisfaction in expatriates working for foreign organisations and investigates how these concepts depend on expatriates’ initial career plans and motivations for working abroad.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from two groups: managers of assigned expatriate workers and self-initiated expatriate workers. The surveys assessed workers’ motivations for going abroad, and differences between the two groups were compared by analysis of variance (ANOVA). A partial least squares (PLS) analysis was used to assess the effect of motivation on job performance.

Findings

There were positive relationships between the degree of organisational embeddedness in institutions abroad and job performance and career satisfaction. Perceptions of embeddedness depended on workers’ mindsets regarding their career ambitions.

Practical implications

This paper shows that self-initiated and assigned expatriates (AEs) require different staffing strategies, since variation in their motivations to go abroad are likely to affect their job effort in host organisations.

Originality/value

By linking expatriate motivation to go abroad with job performance and career satisfaction, contributions are made to the discussion of the differences between self-initiated and AEs.

Details

Employee Relations: The International Journal, vol. 41 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

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Article
Publication date: 12 June 2017

Alfred Presbitero

The purpose of this paper is to provide new insights into religious expatriates’ cultural intelligence, adaptation and the role of motivation. Drawing mainly from the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide new insights into religious expatriates’ cultural intelligence, adaptation and the role of motivation. Drawing mainly from the theory of intelligence (Sternberg, 1999) and theory of self-determination (Deci and Ryan, 2000), the study posits that cultural intelligence of a religious expatriate is positively and significantly related to his or her psychological and sociocultural adaptation. Moreover, the study hypothesizes that intrinsic motivation, as a type of motivation, plays a significant role in moderating the relationship between cultural intelligence and adaptation (both psychological and sociocultural).

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 110 religious expatriates from various religious communities were surveyed. They were asked to rate their cultural intelligence, intrinsic motivation and adaptation (i.e. psychological and sociocultural).

Findings

The results demonstrate that cultural intelligence is positively and significantly related to both psychological and sociocultural adaptation. Furthermore, results show that intrinsic motivation, as a type of motivation, moderates the relationship between cultural intelligence and adaptation (both psychological and sociocultural).

Originality/value

The study contributes to the limited studies on non-corporate expatriation focusing mainly on religious expatriation. In addition, it adds value by generating new insights into the importance not only of cultural intelligence but also of intrinsic motivation in ensuring high levels of psychological and sociocultural adaptation. It further offers a number of practical insights that can be relevant for both corporate and non-corporate expatriates.

Details

Journal of Global Mobility: The Home of Expatriate Management Research, vol. 5 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-8799

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Article
Publication date: 21 June 2013

Abraham J. Oberholster, Ruth Clarke, Mike Bendixen and Barbara Dastoor

The purpose of this exploratory, empirical study is to identify motivations for expatriation among religious and humanitarian (R&H) workers.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this exploratory, empirical study is to identify motivations for expatriation among religious and humanitarian (R&H) workers.

Design/methodology/approach

A sample of 158 active expatriate Christian R&H workers from 25 countries, representing 48 international organizations, completed a survey with 45 reasons for expatriation, derived from literature on corporate expatriation, international volunteering, and international migration. Data analysis includes factor analysis and cluster analysis.

Findings

In total, eight latent motivation factors were found: career development; economics; international experience; escapism; altruism; outsider support; family life; and location. Workers in the not‐for‐profit sector are primarily motivated by altruism, and thus integrate organizational mission with personal purpose in their decision to work abroad. Using cluster analysis, four groups of humanitarian and religious workers in the Christian sub‐sector were identified: Caring Missionary; Focused Worker; Self‐Directed Careerist; and International Family Custodian. Workers from developed versus developing countries exhibit different motivators.

Practical implications

The findings provide insight into differences between developed versus developing country workers and between R&H workers. Recognizing the differences in motivation can assist international human resource managers in the effective recruitment, selection, training and development, career management, and support and encouragement of non‐profit organizations (NPO) expatriates. The authors provide propositions to be tested based on the application of self‐determination theory to expatriate motivation.

Originality/value

This exploratory, empirical study of Christian R&H workers extends the organizational and country context and builds on motivation for expatriation research to include this sub‐sector of workers from both developed and developing countries operating in global organizations. The findings provide new insights into motivation for expatriation and lead to propositions for future research.

Details

Journal of Global Mobility: The Home of Expatriate Management Research, vol. 1 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-8799

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Article
Publication date: 9 March 2015

Gabriela Glassock and Anthony Fee

The purpose of this paper is to explore the features of the decision-making processes used by self-initiated expatriates (SIEs) when considering an international…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the features of the decision-making processes used by self-initiated expatriates (SIEs) when considering an international assignment. It does this by examining expatriates’ decision processes through the lens of prominent theories of consumer decision making.

Design/methodology/approach

An abductive, exploratory research design was employed, based on in-depth qualitative case studies of nine SIEs.

Findings

In general, the expatriates in the study tended to deploy high-involvement decision-making processes. Rational decision models drawing on multiple high-quality information sources were common, especially for expatriates with career-oriented motivations and no prior experience in the target country. Three types of expatriates are distilled: “career building” (high involvement, career oriented, compensatory decision model), “risk minimizing” (high/medium involvement, non-compensatory decision model), and “emotionally driven” (low involvement, affective decision model).

Originality/value

While research into expatriatesmotivations is plentiful, this is the first study to examine the decision-making processes that define the way in which these motivations are enacted. Its originality stems from combining two previously unrelated strands of research (consumer decision making and expatriation). The resulting tentative typology of decision-making approaches provides a platform for organisations seeking to better target talent recruitment, and for researchers seeking to further examine the decision processes of SIEs.

Details

Journal of Global Mobility, vol. 3 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-8799

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Article
Publication date: 24 August 2010

Kevin Schoepp and Ingo Forstenlechner

The purpose of this paper is to add to knowledge on the environment of self‐initiated expatriates and the importance of family in determining expatriate retention. It…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to add to knowledge on the environment of self‐initiated expatriates and the importance of family in determining expatriate retention. It seeks to explore the role of family in an environment vastly different to that of previous research, one where expatriates are outnumbering citizens four to one. Further, the paper aims to explore familial adjustment differences that emerge amongst the different demographic segments within this expatriate majority environment.

Design/methodology/approach

The analysis is based on survey data obtained from 364 self‐initiated expatriates. Beyond a thorough demographic analysis providing additional background, data to test hypotheses were analyzed using SPSS and, where suitable, independent samples t‐test or one‐way ANOVA.

Findings

Evidence was found of what can be described as an environment easing expatriate adjustment as well as questioning the impact of many of the problems previously identified in literature on expatriates. Findings show an environment where some of the stressors associated with living abroad have been mitigated and family has more or less become a motivation to stay rather than to leave. In addition, the demographic analysis of expatriate faculty adds to knowledge about the globalization of higher education.

Practical implications

Definitions of what constitutes a hardship posting for expatriates may need to be revisited, taking into account national demographic characteristics. Current thinking on the expatriate family should also consider different settings where family may actually be a motivation to remain.

Originality/value

This paper provides a new perspective, as previous literature suggested family to be almost exclusively a reason for expatriate difficulties. Further, little focus has been made on countries where expatriates represent a large share or the majority of the population such as in several of the Arabian Gulf countries.

Details

Team Performance Management: An International Journal, vol. 16 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-7592

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Article
Publication date: 1 November 2002

Yongsun Paik, Barbara Segaud and Christy Malinowski

Despite the growing recognition of its impact on successful expatriate management, repatriation continues to be a source of frustration to many human resources managers…

Abstract

Despite the growing recognition of its impact on successful expatriate management, repatriation continues to be a source of frustration to many human resources managers and the expatriates themselves. This study is designed to investigate underlying reasons for the failure of repatriation by comparing and contrasting the views of human resource managers and those of expatriates. Based on in‐depth interviews and mail surveys conducted in the USA, Scandinavia and the UK, this study concludes that discrepancy between the two parties in terms of motivations and expectations adversely influences the outcome of repatriation, often resulting in high attrition rates upon reentry to the home country. The paper also discusses similarities and differences between the US and Scandinavian respondents.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 23 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

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Article
Publication date: 15 January 2018

Susan Shortland

This case study is designed as a teaching exercise and this paper aims to highlight the key issues for organisations’ expatriating women within masculine industry sectors…

Abstract

Purpose

This case study is designed as a teaching exercise and this paper aims to highlight the key issues for organisations’ expatriating women within masculine industry sectors and/or into challenging international environments.

Design/methodology/approach

This case study draws together key published findings relating to women’s expatriation in the oil and gas exploration and production sector. It demonstrates a triangulated research design, drawing upon organisational policy from two oil and gas firms, semi-structured interviews with 14 human resource professionals and 26 female expatriates, as well as from 71 female assignees’ questionnaire responses.

Findings

Career and financial drivers underpin women’s motivations for accepting organisationally assigned expatriation. Women expatriates engage in satisficing and career compromise. The main challenges women face in masculine industries include access to expatriate roles because of limited female networks, family concerns, managing working time and work-life balance and coping with loneliness.

Research limitations/implications

The oil and gas case findings are based on a cross-sectional research design. The majority of female expatriates undertook long-term assignments; limited numbers engaged in flexpatriation.

Practical implications

While organisational policy supporting expatriation does not usually address gendered expatriate concerns specifically, inclusion of interventions that are identified by women as helpful to their expatriate participation can assist in increasing expatriate gender diversity.

Originality/value

This oil and gas research case brings together and presents a summary of the motivations, problems and challenges faced by women in male-dominated expatriate environments, together with relevant theoretical approaches and organisational interventions to help us understand and increase expatriate gender diversity.

Details

Gender in Management: An International Journal, vol. 33 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2413

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 1996

Alan Fish

Evaluates the findings from a study designed to identify factors that motivate Australian managers to accept expatriate appointments in the East‐Asian business region…

Abstract

Evaluates the findings from a study designed to identify factors that motivate Australian managers to accept expatriate appointments in the East‐Asian business region. These findings derive from 20 Australian business enterprises which have a physical presence in the East Asian business region. Results point to the need for a reassessment of existing Australian business practices in offering overseas business appointments to management staff. While extrinsic issues such as monetary satisfaction are important to the decision to seek and accept an overseas appointment, of more critical importance is how the overseas appointment, advances a person’s international career; and the opportunities the overseas appointment presents for professional development generally. A further consideration is the type and extent of information received by prospective international staff from those who have “gone before”. Overall, confirms the need for less attention to money and perquisites as inducements to accept overseas appointments. Suggests that more attention needs to be directed at the satisfaction of more intrinsic development and career advancement opportunities.

Details

Career Development International, vol. 1 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1362-0436

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Article
Publication date: 13 June 2016

Jodie-Lee Trembath

The purpose of this paper is to provide clarity around the notion of the expatriate academic (EA), a construct that is increasingly essential to theories of expatriate

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide clarity around the notion of the expatriate academic (EA), a construct that is increasingly essential to theories of expatriate management and higher education management. A review of the literature on academic mobility showed that terms such as “international academic” and “foreign faculty” provide highly variable definitions and results, while those papers that self-consciously used the term “EA” were more likely to provide consistency across definition and findings. This allowed for analysis of the characteristics of this unique group.

Design/methodology/approach

This study appropriates a meta-narrative approach to literature review, analysing 23 papers about EAs to develop a more comprehensive conceptualisation of this term and to identify key-related themes.

Findings

By reviewing 23 papers identifying with the term, a carefully constructed definition of the EA is provided, distinguishing EAs from other types of internationally mobile academic and demonstrating characteristics that EAs display in their professional lives. Recommendations are made to researchers, universities and EAs themselves for how these findings may affect the EA employment cycle. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Originality/value

This is the first paper to aggregate the results of literature on EAs, putting forward a clear definition and description to aid future research and clarify the research stream.

Details

Journal of Global Mobility, vol. 4 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-8799

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Article
Publication date: 2 August 2018

Heidi Wechtler

The purpose of this paper is to examine the motives of female childless self-initiated expatriates (SIEs) in deciding to work abroad, so far under-researched.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the motives of female childless self-initiated expatriates (SIEs) in deciding to work abroad, so far under-researched.

Design/methodology/approach

The study departs from prior research in using a new methodological approach, i.e. the analysis of online diaries (blogs) to explore the motives of a specific population to relocate.

Findings

The emergent model of motivations is based upon four main dimensions that emerged from the socially constructed experience of these single childless female SIEs: escape as main motivation, confrontation to reality, identity reconstruction and purpose of expatriation.

Originality/value

The findings reveal new elements of motivations to move abroad such as the complete absence of the notion of career from the blog posts, replaced, however, by a feminist and existentialist reflection.

Details

Career Development International, vol. 23 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1362-0436

Keywords

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