Research Handbook of Expatriates
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Research Handbook of Expatriates

Edited by Yvonne McNulty and Jan Selmer

The Research Handbook of Expatriates is a comprehensive and carefully designed collection of contributions that provides a nuanced discussion of expatriates and important insights into emerging areas of research. The first of its kind, the Research Handbook includes detailed examinations of the various types of business expatriates including LGBT, self-initiated expatriates, female assignees, and inpatriates, as well as expatriates in diverse communities such as education, military, missionary, sports and ‘Aidland’. Other themes include expatriate performance, adjustment, expatriates to and from developing countries, global talent management, and expatriates’ safety and security. With solid theoretical foundations and essays from the most distinguished academics in the field, the Research Handbook is a ground-breaking must-read for scholars and consultants in the field of expatriation, international management, global HR and business administration.
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Chapter 3: Expatriates: a thematic research history

Jan Selmer


From a historic perspective, examining 55 years of research, from the 1960s to the 2010s, supplemented by an initial overview of essential academic books on expatriates, 1497 research articles are identified and categorized into 27 major themes and 22 minor themes. Some of the latter are classified as ‘hot’, that is, those that in the future could become major themes. Investigating the scholars behind the quickly growing volume of research on expatriates, it is shown that a few individuals have dominated this development, due to the development of research themes and specific personal circumstances. It is argued that academic research on expatriates has a great future since the long-term trend of the annual average per decade of published academic research articles is increasing at a rapid rate and this is also the trend for the annual average of research articles on expatriates per decade of the major themes. However, the future may not look like the history, as it seldom does, since the main impact may come from new trends in global mobility, international work and changing conditions for such endeavours.

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