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 17: Expatriate academics: an era of higher education internationalization

Jan Selmer, Jodie-Lee Trembath and Jakob Lauring


Expatriate academics make up a rapidly growing professional group that is driven by the emergence of an international academic labor market, international staff mobility, and growing numbers of international students. Hence, academics often relocate for job reasons. A reason for that is that they can be characterized by having a high non-organization-specific capital, which makes them particularly mobile in the international labour market. Most research of expatriates has up to now focused on business expatriates. Recently, however, a number of studies of expatriate academics have been published. Such studies are needed since there is evidence that universities are investing a great amount of resources in hiring and retaining international academic staff. It can be argued that the increasing numbers of expatriate academics could make human resource management in universities more problematic, as they present growing challenges for academic institutions since expatriate academics may in some aspects function differently from their local counterparts and also from other types of expatriates. Therefore, it is important to acquire knowledge of this under-researched professional group – not the least since this group contributes highly to the productivity of the university sector. Besides definitions of expatriate academics and their detailed descriptions, this chapter also features their work engagement, adjustment, work-related outcomes and reasons to relocate, as well as a research agenda on future research on expatriate academics.

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