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Edited by Yvonne McNulty and Jan Selmer

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Braam Oberholster and Cheryl Doss

The underlying religious purpose of missionary expatriation influences the definition and forms of missionary expatriation. In combination with environmental trends and paradigm shifts, this mission worldview creates a unique and dynamic context for expatriation researchers. This chapter describes various types of missionary expatriation including traditional (frontier, professionally qualified, spouse, community development and humanitarian, tent maker, and business as mission). Research areas in each type of missionary are briefly discussed. A brief summary of missionary expatriate research literature focuses on member care topics including family adjustments, third-culture kids (TCKs), re-entry and adjustment in host country/ies, care support, burnout, persecution, and motivation. Areas for further research and approaches to missionary expatriate research are identified and discussed as well.

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Marian Crowley-Henry and Mary Collins

This chapter describes Millennial expatriates, the youngest expatriate employees in organizations today. Their relevance is pronounced in a recent Deloitte report (2014) which postulates that 75 per cent of the global workforce will be Millennials by 2025. Millennials’ competencies, motivations and expectations differ from previous generations, and this chapter unpacks current research on this group pertaining to international mobility and expatriation. Millennials are eager to learn and have new experiences. They are digital natives, apt at maintaining relationships via social media and VoIP. They have experienced the brunt of the global economic recession, with many Millennials having personally experienced unemployment. For self-initiated Millennial expatriates, an international assignment is both an opportunity to find employment anywhere in the world and a time to garner new experiences. Organizational Millennial expatriates are impressed by the learning and career progressive potential of international assignments, but question their universal relevance given the prevalence of technologies which could substitute international assignments. The objective of this chapter is to familiarize readers with current research on Millennial expatriates and the recognized characteristics of this group. The implications for international human resource management research and practice are outlined. Gaps in the existing research and areas for further research are also shared.

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Kelly L. Fisher

Military personnel are organizationally-assigned expatriates who share certain characteristics with traditional, organizationally-assigned private sector expatriates but who are also distinct in a number of important ways. Military expatriates (MEs) may work in extreme contexts that are dangerous, highly dynamic, and that present multiple stressors. While scholarly studies on the ME are limited, it is generally recognized that military expatriates face professional and personal challenges beyond the typical experience for the private-sector expatriate. The ME must not only be proficient within their occupation, but they are also held to a higher standard of conduct as demanded by their extraordinary mandate by their nation to wage violence. Repatriation from a war zone also has specific challenges for both the serving member and their family: current Department of Defense reports show increased rates of substance abuse, suicide, and domestic violence by the ME while deployed and during repatriation. More broadly, in the US, as a civil-military institution, the military is a reflection of the larger society that reflects an increasing demographic diversity of religion and ethnicity, a growing immigrant population, expanding combat roles for women, and changing social mores on sexual and gender orientation. These issues will present a raft of leadership challenges in training and assigning the ME to an overseas post.

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Phyllis Tharenou

Recently there has been an increase in the number of empirical studies that investigate skilled, long-term international mobility, particularly the most common forms – international assignees/assigned expatriates (AEs), self-initiated expatriates (SIEs) and skilled (im)migrants (SMs). Two issues have become apparent: there appear to be problems with construct clarity; and the expatriate type appears to be linked to a specific research design. A sample of 296 empirical studies of AEs, SIEs and SMs published from 2005 to 2014, broadly within the field of human resource management, was coded to examine the research processes adopted: conceptualization, research design, data collection, and data analysis. Comparative analyses revealed problems in construct clarity for the expatriate types, with AEs and SMs less distinct constructs than SIEs. Systematic differences arose in the research paradigms employed: an exploratory inductive paradigm most often informed studies of SMs, while a more positivist paradigm informed studies of AEs. Research is needed to explain why researchers adopt different paradigms and whether their differences affect the results. Improvements are suggested for the research process and also to help end-users to access research results.

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Ruth McPhail

It is understood that expatriation is a key element of multinational corporations’ (MNCs) strategies for the use of global talent and improving firm performance. What is less clear is how organizations can meet the growing need for talent to expatriate. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) employees are often in more senior positions within management in proportion to their heterosexual counterparts, and therefore a significant number of the top 10 per cent of talent often targeted for international assignments. This chapter provides a useful insight into the current research on this topic and how practitioners can best support LGBTI employees.

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Yvonne McNulty and Jan Selmer

This is the first book to bring together expert researchers in the field of expatriate studies. The need for such a book is timely. The world is becoming smaller with the international movement of individuals – as expatriates, business travellers, highly skilled workers and migrants – at an all time high. Expatriation is being increasingly researched and taught in business schools as part of broader and more general international human resource management (IHRM) and global business courses. Expatriates are increasing in their number and profile, with many different types, and many issues and challenges they must overcome. This Research Handbook of Expatriates brings together the work of some of the world’s leading and up-and-coming scholars to present a solid overview of the field of expatriate studies to date, as well as to inform and excite future academic scholars and practitioners to the possibilities of conducting, collaborating on or utilizing research arising from expatriate studies. In this introductory chapter, we illustrate that expatriation as a teaching and research subject has existed for over 60 years. Although it is often assumed that the birth of expatriate studies occurred in the 1980s with publications by Rosalie Tung and J. Stewart Black, or perhaps a little earlier in the 1970s with studies by Anders Edstrom and Jay Galbraith, a review of extant literature shows that a substantial body of expatriate research existed well before this time. We provide an overview of expatriate studies from 1952 to 1979 highlighting that, while much of this early literature (and most especially pre-1970) was lacking in theoretical grounding and with only a few empirical studies published, it nonetheless provided an initial foundation upon which subsequent research and interest in expatriate studies would come to be based. We similarly highlight research by a core group of early scholars whose names would become synonymous with research about expatriates. Although long forgotten today, we owe a debt of gratitude to Cecil Howard, John Ivancevich, Yoram Ziera, Anant Negandhi, and Edwin Miller (among others) for pioneering early expatriate studies.

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Liisa Mäkelä, Kati Saarenpää and Yvonne McNulty

Internationalization has dramatically increased in business life in the past few decades and therefore demand for highly skilled workers who are internationally mobile and able to perform their challenging jobs effectively has increased. Working internationally can be organized in several different ways, but in this particular chapter we will focus on three types of international employees; flexpatriates, international commuters, and short-term assignees. We provide literature review concerning all these three different types of international employees and empirical evidence focusing on flexpatriates and commuters. Both similarities and differences were found as well as positive and negative outcomes. As practical implications we suggest that in order to avoid negative impacts on both physical and psychological health and negative implications for the private life of non-traditional types of international assignees, HR practices and travel policies should offer organizational support and take account of an assignee’s individual needs and family situation. It is important to understand that international work within organizations is not a stable and uniform phenomenon, and organizations should create policies and practices acknowledging the specific features related to, for instance, flexpatriates, international commuters and short-term assignees. Poorly designed and implemented HR practices can expose organizations to the loss of critical knowledge.

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Miriam Moeller and B. Sebastian Reiche

The practicality of only relying on using expatriate managers within multinational corporations (MNCs) is becoming debatable with regard to their ability to manage the escalating demands in the global marketplace. Taken from subsidiaries or other countries, inpatriates are assigned to operate in MNC headquarter locations over varying timeframes. Inpatriates can deliver a diversity in management perspectives that is often less visible within the manner in which expatriates operate and this diversity can help to develop and perpetuate the highly sought after global mindset in MNCs. Inpatriates have received limited exposure in extant literature, and it is our aim to present a synopsis and clarification of the research relating to these professionals. This chapter first defines inpatriates and distinguishes characteristics of an inpatriate from those possessed by an expatriate. Second, we highlight the rationale for understanding inpatriates in the context of MNCs. Third, we provide an overview of the limited set of theoretical underpinnings linked to inpatriates on international assignments. Fourth, we address the implications of utilizing inpatriates on theoretical and practical grounds, ending with a detailed future research agenda. The chapter serves to explore and leverage the utility of inpatriates in MNCs.

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David G. Collings and Michael Isichei

Over the past decade global talent management (GTM) has emerged as a key theme in the field of international human resource management (IHRM). A key element of the global talent strategies of many multinational enterprises has been the international mobility of employees, illustrating the central role of expatriation in GTM. However, little is known about the relationship between GTM and global mobility, particularly the implications of GTM for individual expatriates. Much of the literature that has considered the relationship between GTM and global mobility has taken an organizational perspective, foregrounding organizational objectives while relegating individual assignee perspectives to the background. Unlike much of the literature on the topic, this chapter will consider what GTM means for individual expatriates. Using the expat cycle – which considers the pre-assignment, assignment, and post assignment stages of an international assignment, the chapter considers how global talent systems impact the decisions individuals make around global mobility, their experiences while on assignment, and the career implications of global mobility in light of global talent systems.