Edited by Yvonne McNulty and Jan Selmer
Chapter 11: Inpatriates: a review, synthesis and outlook of two decades of research
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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