Crisis events are on the rise globally – major natural disasters now affect over 140 million people worldwide each year and deaths from terrorism have increased five-fold since 2000. While these situations can occur anywhere, they take on magnified priority and challenge for expatriate staff. Expatriates may be an organization’s most valuable human assets. They can operate a long way from head office and in locations that are relatively unfamiliar, making monitoring and supporting their well-being complicated. Language, cultural and geographic distances can combine to make discerning and verifying threats more difficult than in familiar domestic contexts. Incidents of kidnapping, evacuation, injury and the murder of expatriates and their families are on the rise and reflect a new ‘reality’ for global organizations. This chapter reviews research into the safety and security issues associated with expatriation and the management of expatriates. It focuses on research into the ways in which MNEs ensure the well-being of their expatriate staff when a crisis unfolds. I clarify definitions relevant to this topic. I then summarise the current research base. Finally, a number of future research directions are canvassed. To exemplify some of the core practices evident in the literature, the chapter includes several illustrative case studies. These come from a suite of recent empirical studies of MNCs with which the author has been involved.
This chapter addresses a group of expatriates often overlooked by business and management researchers, but who comprise a large and growing proportion of the globally mobile workforce. These are expatriates working in humanitarian aid and development cooperation (international aid and development, or IAD). As this chapter makes clear, the sector is far from homogenous and defies easy categorization. Notwithstanding this, the umbrella term ‘Aidland’ of the chapter’s title is a metaphorical construct coined by a social anthropologist to describe the virtual, cultural and geographic spaces that exist in the provision of aid and development; for expatriates, this is often a third cultural space separate from their home and host cultures, with established vernacular, mores, artefacts and discourses that are distinct and often a source of shared identity to its inhabitants. The chapter contains five sections. First, I demystify some of the bewildering terminology, concepts and actors that populate the sector. Following this, the operating context of Aidland is canvassed, focusing on features that make the expatriate experience distinctive. Next, an overview of the research base that has examined expatriates in this sector is presented and discussed. It combines literature from within aid and development with literature from the business and management sphere. This is followed by a discussion of future research possibilities, and concluding thoughts.