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Article
Publication date: 29 April 2021

Barbara Myers, Kaye Thorn and Noeleen Doherty

Research into self-initiated expatriation (SIE) has increased exponentially, although the focus of these investigations has been on professional workers, and little has been…

Abstract

Purpose

Research into self-initiated expatriation (SIE) has increased exponentially, although the focus of these investigations has been on professional workers, and little has been gender specific. The purpose of this research therefore is to explore the career and personal motivations for SIE through the novel lens of older women. In this exploratory study, SIE and socio-emotional selectivity motivation theories (SSTs) are used, in addition to the Kaleidoscope Career Model (KCM), to understand the reasons these women have taken this path.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper employs a qualitative methodology, drawing on in-depth life story interviews with 21 women aged 50 or more who had taken a SIE. A five-step narrative process using a story-telling approach was the method of analysis.

Findings

The findings show important contradictions to the extant literature. Career dissatisfaction and escape are key motivations for these women. Further, contrary to SST, these women were seeking novelty–new places and new experiences. These women were also seeking authenticity as suggested by KCM, but also challenge was to the fore–not in the career domain, but in the personal domain. Their motivations for SIE extend beyond the current evidence base and understanding of the phenomena.

Originality/value

The contributions include new insights into the motivational drivers for SIE for these older women and the importance of timing as facilitators of SIE. The SIE nomenclature is broadened through the inclusion of older women and beyond professional spheres. An initial framework of a more integrated model is developed from this exploratory study and presented as a basis for beginning to understand the phenomenon of older women undertaking SIE.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 51 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 May 2023

Barbara Myers and Kaye Thorn

Despite burgeoning self-initiated expatriation (SIE) research, little attention has been given to the personal development that occurs as a result of the SIE. The authors address…

Abstract

Purpose

Despite burgeoning self-initiated expatriation (SIE) research, little attention has been given to the personal development that occurs as a result of the SIE. The authors address this gap, exploring how the SIE undertaken by older women contributes to their longer-term life-path goals. As personal development has barely featured in the SIE literature, the authors must draw from a range of other global mobility experiences as a base for identifying the personal development of the older women.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper employs narrative inquiry methodology, drawing on in-depth life story interviews with 21 women aged 50 or more, both professional and non-professional, who had taken a SIE. A five-step narrative process using a story-telling approach was the method of analysis.

Findings

The findings indicate that the existing focus on SIE and the work context in the literature needs to become more holistic to incorporate personal change experienced through the SIE. For these older women, the construct of “career” was increasingly irrelevant. Rather, participants were enacting a “coreer” – a life path of individual interest and passion that reflected their authentic selves. The SIE presented an opportunity to re-focus these women's lives and to place themselves and their values at the core of their existence.

Originality/value

The contributions highlight the need for a broader focus of career – one that moves outside the work sphere and encompasses life transitions and the enactment of more authentic “ways of being”. The authors identify a range of personal development factors which lead to this change, proposing the term “coreer” as one that might shift the focus and become the basis for career research in the future. Further, through the inclusion of a group of older women who were not exclusively professionals, the authors respond to calls to expand the focus of SIE studies.

Details

Journal of Global Mobility: The Home of Expatriate Management Research, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-8799

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 27 December 2021

Julia Richardson, Deborah Anne O'Neil and Kaye Thorn

In this paper, the authors investigate and celebrate the contributions that qualitative research has made to Career Development International (CDI) and careers scholarship over…

Abstract

Purpose

In this paper, the authors investigate and celebrate the contributions that qualitative research has made to Career Development International (CDI) and careers scholarship over the past 25 years. The authors highlight the positive impact of understanding the “lived/emic experiences” of individual career actors using qualitative research designs and identify areas for future research.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors employ multiple approaches in their investigation. The authors’ enquiry is part conceptual, part critical analysis and part bibliometric visualisation of qualitative papers published in CDI.

Findings

The authors identify the underlying ontological and epistemological assumptions of qualitative research, and the key tenets and contributions of qualitative research published in CDI. Their bibliometric analysis shows the interrelatedness and frequency of topics addressed by qualitative research and published in CDI, revealing areas for further research. While identifying some of the key criteria for rigor in qualitative research, the authors also engage with emerging calls to avoid rigid templates in how qualitative research is designed and implemented. In this regard, authors echo calls for “methodological bricolage” as an approach to qualitative research in the study of careers.

Originality/value

This is the first bibliographic and visual analysis of qualitative research published in a single journal. The authors offer this investigation as a way of looking back and as an invitation looking forward, encouraging further qualitative research in anticipation of future theoretical developments in career scholarship.

Details

Career Development International, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1362-0436

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 23 June 2020

David R. Ellis, Kaye Thorn and Christian Yao

While there is a burgeoning literature on self-initiated expatriates (SIEs), the emphasis has been on expatriation not repatriation. The purpose of this paper therefore is to…

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Abstract

Purpose

While there is a burgeoning literature on self-initiated expatriates (SIEs), the emphasis has been on expatriation not repatriation. The purpose of this paper therefore is to explore how repatriating SIEs perceive the experience of repatriation compared with their pre-repatriation expectations. Further, we examine the seminal work of Black et al. (1992) in the light of current day realities.

Design/methodology/approach

This qualitative research draws on interviews with SIE New Zealanders returning home. It is an exploratory longitudinal study, based on interview data collected prior to (n = 32), and after (n = 27) repatriation, comparing expectations and experiences of repatriation.

Findings

Findings show that there is a strong level of congruence between the expectations of the return and their experience of repatriation. This congruence eases the transition and mitigates the impact of reverse culture shock. We revise Black et al.'s framework of repatriation adjustment to more accurately reflect the expectations and experiences of repatriating SIEs, recognising the importance of individual agency and the impact of today's technological advances on repatriation.

Research limitations/implications

The contributions of this paper include clarification of repatriating SIEs. Further, through the revision of the framework, we identify new areas of research that would aid our understanding of repatriating SIEs and lead to the development of a more detailed model. We highlight the interplay between variables showing how these might mitigate the shock of repatriation.

Originality/value

Repatriation is an under-researched phase of the SIE, and this study provides empirical data that contributes to our understanding of the construct. Black et al.'s framework of repatriation adjustment is revised in the context of contemporary SIE, highlighting the holistic nature of self-initiated expatriation and repatriation, viewing the events not as discrete, but as a continuum of time.

Details

Career Development International, vol. 25 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1362-0436

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 21 March 2019

Joanne Mutter and Kaye Thorn

Contemporary global mobility and dual careers are two key features of working life today. Little is known, however, about where they intersect, where one partner travels for their…

Abstract

Purpose

Contemporary global mobility and dual careers are two key features of working life today. Little is known, however, about where they intersect, where one partner travels for their career, while the other partner is left behind, caring for the family and attempting to manage their own career. The purpose of this paper is to explore how the partner’s career is impacted by the traveller’s absence, and the strategies employed to enable their continued career development.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper employs a qualitative methodology, drawing on semi-structured interviews with the partners of international yachtsmen.

Findings

The findings highlight the prioritisation of the traveller’s career, for reasons of finance and their passion for their career. The implications of this could be detrimental to the partner’s career. Personalised, flexible working arrangements are essential in order for the partner to achieve a sustainable career of their own.

Research limitations/implications

The gendered nature of the sample provides an opportunity for further research examining the implications of the female being the traveller and the male the stay at home partner.

Practical implications

The paper examines a range of alternative strategies for maintaining or developing the career when also faced with additional family responsibilities.

Originality/value

This paper gives consideration to the career of the stay at home partner. A new dual-career strategy is identified – the entrepreneurial secondary career strategy, which has the potential to deliver the flexibility required to manage both work and family demands, and allow partners to enact their authentic career.

Details

Journal of Global Mobility: The Home of Expatriate Management Research, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-8799

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 November 2016

Kristina Montgomerie, Margot Edwards and Kaye Thorn

The purpose of this paper is to understand the factors perceived to influence successful online learning in organisations.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand the factors perceived to influence successful online learning in organisations.

Design/methodology/approach

Utilising an exploratory, qualitative approach, 20 participants were involved in semi-structured interviews before, during and after their involvement in an online development programme.

Findings

Key factors perceived to influence participants’ learning, in order of their perceived influence, are online considerations (such as time allocation and discipline), peer support and technical delivery. Organisational culture was also found to have some influence, however further research is required to establish the extent this influence. The compounding or mitigating effect of the interplays of these factors was highlighted.

Research limitations/implications

Although the study is limited by its small sample, it provides a basis for the further exploration of online learning in an organisational context and draws attention to the effect of the interplay of factors affecting learning. Research into the longitudinal influence of online learning in organisations, and particularly research which enables breakdown by learning style may assist in the development of programmes suitable for most participants.

Originality/value

Online learning is becoming a common tool for employee development in the workplace and yet little is known about the factors that influence learning in this environment. This paper offers new insights into that gap through a progressive evaluation of factors facilitating or inhibiting online learning.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 35 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 February 2013

Noeleen Doherty, Julia Richardson and Kaye Thorn

This paper aims to move towards clarification of the self‐initiated expatriate/expatriation construct with the aim of extending and deepening theory development in the field.

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to move towards clarification of the self‐initiated expatriate/expatriation construct with the aim of extending and deepening theory development in the field.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on Suddaby's think piece on construct clarity, this paper applies his proposed four elements; definitional clarity, scope conditions, relationships between constructs and coherence, in order to clarify the SIE construct.

Findings

The discussion examines the “problem of definition” and its impact on SIE scholarship. The spatial, temporal and value‐laden constraints that must be considered by SIE scholars are expounded, and the links between SIE research and career theory are developed. From this, potential research agendas are proposed.

Research limitations/implications

This is a conceptual piece which, rather than giving precise research data, encourages further thinking in the field.

Originality/value

Although the definitional difficulties of SIEs have been identified in previous literature, this is the first attempt to clarify the boundaries of SIE and its interconnectedness with other related constructs.

Details

Career Development International, vol. 18 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1362-0436

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 February 2013

Noeleen Doherty, Julia Richardson and Kaye Thorn

This special issue seeks to scope the past, present and future study of those individuals who independently journey abroad for work – the self‐initiated expatriate – a topic which…

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Abstract

Purpose

This special issue seeks to scope the past, present and future study of those individuals who independently journey abroad for work – the self‐initiated expatriate – a topic which is now attracting increasing attention among management scholars and practitioners alike.

Design/methodology/approach

This introductory paper takes the form of a brief commentary of the development of the field and a synthesis of the papers in this special edition.

Findings

Beginning in the late 1990s with a slow trickle of papers exploring the experiences of individuals who had initiated their own expatriation, our understanding of self‐initiated expatriates (SIEs) and self‐initiated expatriation (SIE) has developed exponentially. This development has given rise to a growing awareness of this form of mobility as a potentially powerful force in the increasingly varied global labour market. Yet, as this special issue will argue, there is still a range of conceptual, theoretical and empirical challenges in the study of SIEs, not least of which is a lack of clarity in how the term is used and understood. Despite the expansion of the field, it has hitherto focused primarily on the experiences of professional SIEs moving from and between developed countries. The papers in this issue therefore, address the need for both greater conceptual clarity and for greater empirical diversity.

Originality/value

The papers included in this special issue each address fundamental issues in the study of the SIE population and offer perspectives that further our understanding of this group and their experiences.

Details

Career Development International, vol. 18 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1362-0436

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 October 2014

Christian Yao, Kaye Thorn and Noeleen Doherty

The purpose of this paper is to explore the dynamic nature of boundaryless careers of Chinese early career corporate expatriates. It also investigates the demographic and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the dynamic nature of boundaryless careers of Chinese early career corporate expatriates. It also investigates the demographic and contextual factors influencing individual perceived career mobility.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative, semi-structured interviews with 31 Chinese corporate expatriates were conducted and a template analysis approach was used to analyze the data.

Findings

Results suggest that Chinese early career corporate expatriates’ perceptions of boundaries as facilitating or limiting career mobility change over time. Changing boundary properties are found to be linked to the salience of Chinese cultural values, demographics and career/life stages. Based on expatriates’ narratives, this study highlights how these demographic and contextual factors shape domains of career boundarylessness.

Originality/value

Using an under-researched sample of Chinese corporate expatriates, this paper contributes to the conceptualization of boundaryless careers identifying the changing nature of the boundaries that facilitate or restrict mobility over time. The study calls for the use of combined, multi-dimensional approaches incorporating individual agency, organizational and cultural factors to understand individual career development.

Details

Career Development International, vol. 19 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1362-0436

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 February 2013

Akram Al Ariss and Marian Crowley‐Henry

This paper aims to offer a critical review of how self‐initiated expatriation (SIE) is theorized compared to migration in the management literature and to indicate venues for…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to offer a critical review of how self‐initiated expatriation (SIE) is theorized compared to migration in the management literature and to indicate venues for future research on SIE.

Design/methodology/approach

A systematic review has been conducted using the ISI Web of Knowledge database as well as ABI/INFORM in order to include key journals in the management field.

Findings

Despite the importance of present theorizations on SIE, the authors show that the literature presents a narrow focus on the most privileged of self‐initiated expatriates and presents some important knowledge gaps. In order to fill these gaps, the authors propose a research map for future research on SIE. This map includes four key dimensions. These are: diversity‐informed research on SIE; context specific and multilevel understanding of SIE; reflexive approaches to SIE; triangulated methods to studying SIE.

Research limitations/implications

By proposing a research map with theoretical and methodological implications, this paper increases our understanding of SIE. It offers a guide for future research on SIEs.

Practical implications

Research on self‐initiated expatriation needs to be more inclusive and critical in terms of studying the diverse human resources in our contemporary societies.

Originality/value

The paper indicates how research on self‐initiated expatriation can become more developed in terms of its theorizations. Furthermore, it proposes a research map for future studies on SIE that is reflexive, relational, diversity‐informed, and methodologically‐triangulated.

Details

Career Development International, vol. 18 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1362-0436

Keywords

1 – 10 of 47