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G Ü N T E R K . S TA H L , C H E I H W E E C H U A ,
PA U L A C A L I G I U R I , J E A N - L U C C E R D I N , A N D

International assignments have become an important part of managers’

careers and are considered one of the most effective leadership develop-
ment tools. Yet, studies consistently show that companies fail to integrate
international assignments with long-term career development and suc-
cession planning and that a substantial percentage of expatriates leave
the company upon completion of the international assignment. A total of
1,779 international assignees participated in a study that examined the
factors associated with expatriate turnover intentions. The results indi-
cate the importance of differentiating between two types of international
assignments—developmental (or learning-driven) and functional (or de-
mand-driven)—to understand expatriates’ turnover intentions. While we
found turnover intentions to vary depending on whether assignments
are developmental or functional, the three sets of predictors of turn-
over intentions are similar. They are (1) lower satisfaction with company
support, (2) higher repatriation concerns, and (3) lower career advance-
ment opportunities within the company (relative to opportunities avail-
able outside the company). We discuss the implications for research and
practice. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Keywords: Careers, international assignments, expatriates, turnover intentions

Correspondence to: Günter K. Stahl, INSEAD, Boulevard de Constance, 77309 Fontainebleau Cedex, France,
Phone: +33 (0)1 60 72 41 77, Fax: +33 (0)1 60 72 40 49, E-mail: guenter.stahl@insead.edu

Human Resource Management, Spring 2009, Vol. 48, No. 1, Pp. 91– 111
© 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Published online in Wiley InterScience (www.interscience.wiley.com).
DOI: 10.1002/hrm.20268

s companies are moving toward students from top schools in North America

A globally integrated operations

while simultaneously experienc-
ing pressure to adapt and make
decisions at local levels (e.g.,
Bartlett & Ghoshal, 1992; Palmisano, 2006),
the need to develop a culturally sophisticated
workforce and globally savvy business lead-
and Europe (see Adler, 2002, pp. 340–350)
found that this group of future managers
showed strong interest in pursuing the global
aspects of their careers. More than four out of
five wanted an international assignment at
some point during their career, most of them
because they saw it as an opportunity for
ers has become pressing. The extensive lit- personal growth experiences. Although this
erature on leadership development suggests study was conducted in the mid-1980s, the
a number of practices and activi- main findings are consistent with the results
ties that companies can utilize to of more recent surveys on what drives high-
Research shows develop global business acumen potential employees (e.g., Chambers, Foulon,
that an international and intercultural competence. In- Handfield-Jones, Hankin, & Michaels, 1998;
ternational mobility—in the form Gerdes, 2006).
assignment can be a of international job rotations, International assignments have thus be-
multinational team assignments, come an integral part of individuals’ careers
double-edged sword or long-term international assign- and, for most companies, an indispensable
ments—has been advocated as tool for attracting, developing, and retain-
for the individual
one of the most effective among ing talent. Yet, research shows that an inter-
and the organization. those practices (Evans, Pucik, & national assignment can be a double-edged
Barsoux, 2002; McCall & Hol- sword for the individual and the organiza-
Problems reported lenbeck, 2002; Stroh & Caligiuri, tion. Problems reported in the expatriation
1998). In a recent study of tal- literature include expatriate adjustment
in the expatriation
ent management best practices, problems, underperformance, career derail-
literature include human resource executives of 35 ment, and high costs to the company due
leading multinational companies to failed expatriation and repatriation (e.g.,
expatriate (MNCs) rated “job rotations and Black et al., 1999; Caligiuri, 1997; Kraimer &
challenging assignments” (includ- Wayne, 2004; Tung, 1998).
ing international assignments) as One problem that is particularly acute
problems, the most effective talent devel- from a talent development perspective and
opment tool (Stahl et al., 2007). has received increased research attention in
underperformance, In fact, some senior executives recent years is the high turnover rate among
believe that international assign- repatriated international assignees (e.g.,
career derailment, ments are the “most powerful Lazarova & Cerdin, 2007; Yan, Zhu, & Hall,
and high costs to experience in shaping the perspec- 2002). This article discusses turnover inten-
tive and capabilities of effective tions from the perspective of international as-
the company due to global leaders” (Black, Gregersen, signees while they are still on the assignment
Mendenhall, & Stroh, 1999, to better understand the process by which
failed expatriation p. 2), since they provide manag- expatriates become vulnerable to turnover
ers with an opportunity to im- upon repatriation. We first review the extant
and repatriation.
prove their general management literature on expatriate careers to identify
skills, acquire a global mind-set, factors that make retention of international
and build a worldwide network assignees challenging. We then introduce a
of contacts—all of which are key assets in typology of international assignments and
today’s globally integrated organizations. develop hypotheses regarding how devel-
Using international assignments as a opmental assignees—the group that is most
training and career development tool is not important to retain in light of the looming
only critical for developing talent, but also talent shortage (Chambers et al., 1998; Stahl
for attracting and retaining high-potential et al., 2007)—may differ from functional as-
employees. A study of more than 1,000 MBA signees in terms of their satisfaction with

Human Resource Management DOI: 10.1002/hrm

Repatriation Concerns, Satisfaction With Company Support, and Perceived Career Advancement Opportunities 93

company support, repatriation concerns, 25 percent of repatriated employees leave

perceived career advancement opportunities their firm within a year after return (Black,
within and outside their company, and their Gregersen, & Mendenhall, 1992; O’Boyle,
turnover intentions. We tested our hypoth- 1989). Some companies have reported losing
eses using a sample of 1,779 international as- as many as half of their repatriates through
signees from North American, European, and voluntary turnover within three years after
Asian companies located around the world. repatriation (Black et al., 1999). For exam-
ple, Baruch, Steele, and Quantrill (2002), in
Theoretical Background and a case study of a U.K.-based financial services
firm, found that some 50 percent
of repatriated employees left the
company within a few years af- Although top
International Assignments:
ter return, most of them because
A Double-Edged Sword the company did not utilize their
managers often

Although top managers often claim that newly acquired skills. Other stud- claim that global
global mobility and international experience ies found that 74 percent of repat-
are highly valued assets and a prerequisite riates did not expect to be working mobility and
for promotion into senior management, the for the same company within one
career implications for employees returning year after returning to their home
from an international assignment are often country, 42 percent had seriously experience are
disappointing. Research suggests that many considered leaving the company,
companies lack effective expatriate manage- and 26 percent had been actively highly valued assets
ment and repatriation practices and usually searching for alternative employ-
and a prerequisite
fail to integrate international assignments ment (Black et al., 1992). Those
with long-term career development and suc- who stay often become frustrated for promotion into
cession planning (Black et al., 1999; Caligiuri because they have to deal with
& Lazarova, 2001; Riusala & Suutari, 2000; “xenophobic responses” from senior management,
Stahl & Cerdin, 2004). Due to poor career colleagues or supervisors or sim-
ply because there are limited op- the career
planning, repatriates are often placed in a
holding pattern and assigned jobs that are portunities for using their newly implications for
available without regard to the individual’s acquired knowledge and skills
abilities and preferences (Harvey & Nov- (Adler, 2002). employees returning
icevic, 2006). Not surprisingly, the majority If companies consistently mis-
of repatriates report dissatisfaction with the manage international assignees from an international
repatriation process. Studies of the repa- and fail to integrate international
assignment are
triation experience of international assignees assignments into long-term ca-
show that repatriates often feel that their reer paths, as the above evidence often disappointing.
international assignment had a negative ca- suggests, then why do employees
reer impact, that their reentry positions have continue to pursue international
less authority and are less satisfying than the careers? To explain this paradox,
positions they held abroad, and that their researchers have suggested that employees
home organizations do not value their in- may accept an international assignment
ternational experience (Adler, 2002; Bolino, because they see it as a chance to gain the
2007; Hammer, Hart, & Rogan, 1998; Stroh, additional skills and experience needed to
Gregersen, & Black, 1998). increase their marketability to other pro-
As a result of traumatic repatriation experi- spective employers (Stahl, Miller, & Tung,
ences or limited career advancement opportu- 2002; Tung, 1998). This is in line with new
nities, a substantial percentage of expatriates career perspectives, such as Schein’s (1996)
leave the company upon completion of the concept of the “internal” or “protean” (Hall,
international assignment. Past research on 1996), “aspatial” (Roberts, Kossek, & Ozeki,
U.S. companies suggests that between 20 and 1998), “multidirectional” (Baruch, 2004), or

Human Resource Management DOI: 10.1002/hrm


“boundaryless” (Arthur & Rousseau, 1996) Types of International Assignments

careers. According to Schein (1996), the in-
ternal career involves a subjective sense of Most companies have dealt with expatriates
where one is going in one’s work life, where- as if they are a homogenous group (Evans
as the external career refers to advancement et al., 2002), and recommendations for re-
within the organizational hierarchy. Individ- patriation generally lump all international
uals pursuing internal careers may no longer assignees into a single category. However, as
perceive their work life as a progression of Caligiuri and Lazarova (2001) pointed out,
jobs within a single organization. Rather, not all international assignees are created
they will move from one company to anoth- or intended to be equal in terms of their
er (or one country to another) to pursue the strategic significance to the organization,
best career opportunities (Parker the learning and development opportunities
& Inkson, 1999). The “boundary- available to them during the assignment,
The above
less” careerist implicitly admired and the need for the international assignee’s
evidence implies in this literature is the highly competencies upon repatriation.
qualified mobile professional who The literature proposes various taxono-
that managers builds his or her career competen- mies of international assignments (see Björk-
cies and market value through man & Stahl, 2006; Caligiuri & Colakoglu,
and professionals continuous learning and transfer 2008; Evans et al., 2002; Harzing, 2004).
increasingly seek across boundaries (Thomas, La- Edström and Galbraith (1977), in their clas-
zarova, & Inkson, 2005). sic article on international assignment objec-
international The rise of boundaryless ca- tives, identified three principal motives for
reers appears to be a response to the global transfer of managers: (1) to fill po-
assignments to broader economic and societal sitions that cannot be staffed locally because
changes in an era of corporate of a lack of technical or managerial skills, (2)
gain new skills and
downsizing, reorganizing, and to support organizational development, which
experiences that rapidly changing technology. refers to the coordination and control of in-
Boundaryless careers are driven by ternational operations through socialization
will make them more a desire to maintain a permanent and informal networks, and (3) to support
state of employability in an envi- management development by enabling high-
ronment of increasing economic potential individuals to acquire interna-
thus more likely to insecurity and diminished trust tional experience. As Edström and Galbraith
between employers and employ- (1977) noted, these assignment motives are
leave. ees (DePhilippi & Arthur, 1996; not mutually exclusive. The key point is that
Lazarova & Tarique, 2005). These international transfers are a strategic tool to
ideas are consistent with research address specific organizational objectives and
concerning the changing nature needs to be used as such.
of the “psychological contract,” particular- In this study, we adopted a framework
ly the shift from relational contracts based proposed by Pucik (1992), which builds on
on loyalty to more transactional contracts Edström and Galbraith’s (1977) pioneering
based on economic exchange between the work. Pucik (1992) differentiates between
parties (Altman & Post, 1996; Rousseau & two types of international assignments: (1)
Schalk, 2000). As a result, the responsibil- demand-driven (or task-driven) assignments,
ity for career development has shifted from which include coordination and control,
the organization to the individual. Collec- communication, knowledge transfer, and
tively, the above evidence implies that man- problem solving; and (2) learning-driven as-
agers and professionals increasingly seek signments, which are initiated for compe-
international assignments to gain new tency development and career enhancement.
skills and experiences that will make them Learning-driven international assignments
more marketable—and thus more likely to may include short-term learning assign-
leave. ments, such as job rotations across several

Human Resource Management DOI: 10.1002/hrm

Repatriation Concerns, Satisfaction With Company Support, and Perceived Career Advancement Opportunities 95

countries or regions, as well as longer-term (Black et al., 1999; Dowling, Festing, &
assignments that constitute an integral part Engle, 2008). They also tend to remain in
of the career development planning for high- closer contact with key people in the home
potential young managers. From the compa- organization through formal mentoring pro-
ny’s perspective, many assignments combine grams or informal coaching relationships
both elements, but in most cases, one dimen- (Harvey & Novicevic, 2006). From the indi-
sion dominates (Evans et al., 2002). vidual’s perspective, this significantly reduces
Although there seems to be consensus the amount of career uncertainty and
about the motives for international transfers, career risk associated with an international
very little research has been done with regard assignment.
to the importance of learning-driven versus Functional assignees, by contrast, are less
demand-driven assignment objectives and likely to be part of the company’s formal lead-
their implications for the way international ership development programs or
assignees perceive the career management succession planning activities. The
process and, ultimately, whether they remain lack of face-to-face communication The lack of face-to-
with the organization. We propose that in- with key persons in the domestic face communication
ternational assignees with learning-driven or organization and loss of domestic
developmental assignment goals (henceforth, social capital can make integrating with key persons
developmental assignees) and assignees with an international assignment into
demand-driven or task-related assignment the career management process in the domestic
goals (henceforth, functional assignees) may more difficult (Gregersen & Black, organization and
have different perceptions that ultimately in- 1995; Harvey, 1989), especially
fluence their turnover intentions. since the length of assignment is loss of domestic
generally longer for this group of
international assignees. Function- social capital can
Differences in Repatriation Concerns,
al assignees are thus more likely
Satisfaction With Company Support, make integrating
to be out of sight from the home
Perceived Future Career Advance- organization (Harvey & Novicevic, an international
ment Opportunities, and Turnover 2006). Furthermore, although the
Intentions organization needs technical and assignment into the
There is reason to believe that the career functional experts, there is a risk
career management
management of developmental assignees is, that their knowledge and skills
in some ways, easier than for functional as- will become obsolete or are no process more
signees. Developmental assignees are, on longer needed by the end of their
average, relatively young, mobile, and seen international assignments, which difficult.
as having high potential—attributes that fa- makes it difficult for the company
cilitate the transition back into the home or- to fit them back into the organiza-
ganization. They are thus unlikely to be seen tion (Caligiuri & Lazarova, 2001). As a result,
as being “hard to fit back into the company” they may find themselves placed in a hold-
(O’Boyle, 1989, p. B1). Also, they often know ing pattern upon return (Hammer et al., 1998;
their next assignment well in advance of Harvey, 1989). We hypothesize:
completing the international assignment, es- H1a: Developmental assignees will report
pecially if the assignment is part of a formal lower repatriation concerns than function-
management development or succession- al assignees.
planning program, and the expatriate is well H1b: Developmental assignees will be more sat-
aware that he or she is being groomed for a isfied with company support than functional
given position (Caligiuri & Lazarova, 2001). assignees.
Furthermore, developmental assignees are H1c: Developmental assignees will perceive bet-
less likely to fall victim to the out-of-sight, ter career advancement opportunities with
out-of-mind syndrome because the dura- their existing company than functional
tion of their assignments is usually limited assignees.

Human Resource Management DOI: 10.1002/hrm


Paradoxically, despite their organization- er employers. Collectively, these arguments

ally programmed career advancement op- suggest the following hypotheses:
portunities, there is reason to believe that
H2a: Developmental assignees will be more con-
developmental assignees are more likely to
fident than functional assignees that their
leave their organizations because they have international assignment will enhance their
more career opportunities available outside career prospects with other employers.
the company. Since developmental assignees H2b: Developmental assignees will have higher
tend to be relatively mobile high-potentials turnover intentions than functional assignees.
with international experience, other organi-
zations tend to seek them out.
Although the availability of career op- Predictors of Expatriate Turnover
portunities outside the company Intentions Upon Repatriation
does not necessarily mean that
Paradoxically, Several studies have investigated the factors
an individual will pursue them,
the emergence of boundaryless that predict expatriate turnover intentions
despite their
careers and the changing na- or actual turnover rates among repatriates
organizationally ture of the psychological con- (e.g., Adler, 1981; Black & Gregersen, 1991;
tract discussed in the preceding Lazarova & Caligiuri, 2001; Stroh, 1995;
programmed career Tung, 1998). Although the focus of this
section imply that this kind of
job hopping may have become study is on expatriate turnover intentions, we
a routine part of international also draw on research that examines the
opportunities, there assignees’ career plan. Yan et al. predictors of repatriate turnover to build
(2002) have argued that when our hypotheses.
is reason to believe the psychological contract is Lazarova and Cerdin (2007) provide an
transactional, individuals may integrative framework that synthesizes our
that developmental
see an international assignment current understanding of the antecedents
assignees are as a means to promote their and consequences of repatriation success
marketability. International as- from the perspective of both the individual
more likely to leave signees may get involved in ac- and the organization. They identify three
tivities such as cultivating local sets of predictors of repatriation outcomes:
their organizations individual variables (e.g., demographic
networks that increase their at-
because they tractiveness to future employers, characteristics), organizational variables
jockeying between companies (e.g., availability of repatriation support
have more career for better job offers, or withhold- practices), and environmental variables
ing strategic information to in- (e.g., available employment opportunities
opportunities in the home country). Because we are try-
crease their bargaining power. A
ing to understand the effects of corporate
available outside the likely outcome of this scenario is
that expatriates betray the com- expatriate career development policies and
company. pany by leaving to pursue better practices on turnover intentions, our study
opportunities elsewhere. A shift focuses on organizational variables. These
away from mutual loyalty to op- are factors HR professionals and line man-
portunism is particularly likely when the agers have the most ability to influence or
employee’s relative bargaining power vis-à- manage, and understanding their effects
vis the organization increases, as is the case contributes importantly to practice. We pro-
with developmental assignees. The high- pose that three sets of variables play a key
potential employees composing this group role in international assignees’ willingness
also tend to be more proactive in terms of to stay with the company: (1) the perceived
their career management strategies and be- company-provided support during the as-
haviors (Lazarova & Cerdin, 2007), which signment, (2) the perceived effectiveness
further increases the likelihood that they of repatriation management practices, and
will look for career opportunities with oth- (3) the perceived long-term career advance-

Human Resource Management DOI: 10.1002/hrm

Repatriation Concerns, Satisfaction With Company Support, and Perceived Career Advancement Opportunities 97

ment and growth opportunities inside the ee to stay. Yan et al.’s (2002) analysis of the
company relative to those available outside social exchange relationship between the
the company. international assignee and the organiza-
Of the factors suggested in the litera- tion suggests that “success in repatriation is
ture that may affect repatriate turnover, determined not only by organizational ar-
the repatriate’s satisfaction with how well rangements made at the individual’s reen-
the company plans and manages the re- try but also by the extent to which such
patriation process consistently emerged arrangements are in accordance with the
in empirical studies as the most important individual’s expectations in the expatria-
(Lazarova & Caligiuri, 2001; Stroh, 1995; tion stage” (p. 373).
Tung, 1998). This research suggests that if The idea that the expatriation and re-
the organization effectively addresses po- patriation experiences are inher-
tential repatriation problems in advance, ently related is consistent with
Of the factors
repatriate turnover will occur less often. studies that have found that the
The underlying assumption is that repa- availability of organizational sup- suggested in
triates who perceive they have more sup- port and career development pro-
port from their organization will be more grams during the international as- the literature
committed to that organization—and thus signment is an important factor in
will be more likely to stay (Lazarova & Ca- repatriates’ decisions to stay with that may affect
ligiuri, 2001). These ideas are in line with the company. Studies have shown repatriate turnover,
Yan et al.’s (2002) model of the role that that expatriates who see a strong
psychological contract fulfillment plays in connection between their inter- the repatriate’s
the exchange relationship between the in- national assignments and their
ternational assignee and the organization. long-term career paths are more satisfaction with
According to this model, any mismatch of likely to stay with the company
how well the
the two parties’ expectations for an inter- upon repatriation (D. C. Feldman
national assignment can result in assign- & Thomas, 1992; Lazarova & company plans
ment failure, both from the perspective of Caligiuri, 2001; Stroh, 1995). The
the organization (e.g., repatriate turnover) key issue here is that the interna- and manages
or the individual (e.g., career derailment). tional assignee’s perception about
the repatriation
Yan et al. (2002) argue that organization- the availability or usefulness of the
individual alignment is a dynamic process, company’s support and career de- process consistently
since changes in the individual, organiza- velopment practices, rather than
tion, and environment can occur during an objective assessment of wheth- emerged in
the international assignment. For example, er certain practices are effective,
empirical studies as
as a consequence of changes in the busi- has an influence on whether the
ness environment, such as restructuring or international assignee will stay or the most important.
a merger, an international assignee’s former leave (Lazarova & Caligiuri, 2001).
job may be cut, or his or her contact with a Collectively, these arguments sup-
mentor in the home organization might be port the following hypotheses:
lost—both of which could cause the indi-
H3a: Satisfaction with company support during
vidual to fall out of the loop on key career-
international assignments is negatively re-
planning decisions back home. Thus, the
lated to turnover intentions.
original match in loyalty expectations falls H3b: Repatriation concerns are positively related
apart. Conversely, a company may wish to to turnover intentions.
have a continuing relationship with an in-
ternational assignee because he or she has Organizations should expect some natu-
acquired valuable skills and is seen as hav- ral attrition from international assignees as
ing high potential. The company may thus they would from other high-demand pro-
offer career advancement opportunities fessionals in their organizations (Caligiuri
and other incentives to induce the employ- & Lazarova, 2001). In particular, if interna-

Human Resource Management DOI: 10.1002/hrm


tional assignees see a gap between the career Method

advancement opportunities available within
their companies and what the job market has
Sample and Procedure
to offer, they may be inclined to pursue more
lucrative and challenging opportunities else- To test the hypotheses, we surveyed German,
where. As Lazarova and Cerdin (2007) point- French, American, Singaporean, and Japanese
ed out, “Retention upon repatriation may international assignees in 93 countries. A
not necessarily be determined by repatriates’ sample of 1,779 international assignees from
frustration, but rather by a rational choice to 141 MNCs participated in this study. Thirty-
move elsewhere in search of a better career three companies were based in Germany,
fit” (p. 9). Therefore, we propose the follow- 20 in France, 32 in the United States, 31 in
ing hypothesis: Singapore, and 25 in Japan. The companies
represented a variety of industries, including
H3c: The greater the perceived career advance-
ment opportunities available outside the electronics, automotive, chemicals, pharma-
company relative to those available inside ceuticals, consumer products, telecommuni-
the company, the greater international as- cations, airlines, and financial services. To
signees’ turnover intentions. enhance the generalizability of findings, we
preferred a broad representation of different
Our final hypothesis addresses how the industries, countries of origin, and countries
antecedents of turnover intentions may dif- of assignment over a more narrow range of
fer across the two types of international as- industries and countries.
signees. In predicting turnover intentions, it Data were collected through a standard-
is important to consider assignees’ perceived ized questionnaire developed after an exten-
opportunities inside the company relative sive review of the expatriate career literature.
to the opportunities available outside the The English version of the questionnaire that
company. Functional assignees, for the rea- was used in the survey of U.S. and Singapo-
sons discussed above (e.g., partly obsolete rean expatriates was translated into French,
knowledge and skills, less demand for the German, and Japanese; based on methodo-
skills they have developed abroad), may be logical guidelines provided by Brislin (1986),
less optimistic about their career prospects it was back-translated into English to ensure
within the organization than developmental literal accuracy and idiomatic equivalence
assignees; since they are likely to have fewer between the different language versions.
career options outside the company, howev- Request for participation in the question-
er, their concerns may not readily translate naire survey was made directly to expatriates
into higher turnover intentions. Thus, we ex- and to HR professionals in charge of manag-
pect a greater disconnect between functional ing expatriate assignments who forwarded
assignees’ repatriation concerns, perceived the questionnaires to the expatriates abroad.
company support, and perceived career pros- The proportion of expatriates the research-
pects within the organization and their turn- ers contacted directly and those contacted
over intentions. Developmental assignees, through the central HR offices of partici-
by contrast, may be more inclined to leave if pating companies varied depending on the
they are unhappy with the company support country. For the Singaporean sample, for ex-
or career advancement and growth opportu- ample, the number of expatriates contacted
nities available inside the company. These ar- directly was quite large because we had the
guments lead to our final hypothesis: assistance of associations such as the Singa-
H4: Satisfaction with company support, repatria- pore International Foundation, Contact Sin-
tion concerns, and perceived career advance- gapore, the Overseas Singapore Club, and the
ment opportunities within the organization Singapore National Employers Federation.
will be more predictive of turnover intentions Completed questionnaires were returned to
for developmental assignees than for func- the respective authors in charge of collecting
tional assignees. data for each country sample to ensure confi-

Human Resource Management DOI: 10.1002/hrm

Repatriation Concerns, Satisfaction With Company Support, and Perceived Career Advancement Opportunities 99

dentiality. The response rates for the German, current international assignment out of a
French, U.S., Singaporean, and Japanese sam- list of eight possible objectives. The two
ples were 46%, 38%, 34%, 50%, and 39%, items measuring developmental assignment
respectively. goals were: “to gain experience, skills, and
Table I shows the demographic profiles exposure for future positions within the par-
of the international assignees who partici- ent company” and “to gain experience, skills,
pated in the study across the two types of and exposure for future positions within
assignees. The typical respondent was a col- the foreign operations of the company.” If
lege-educated, married male in a manage- the respondent selected either or both of
rial position who had been on the assign- these developmental assignment goals, he
ment for less than three years and had a or she was categorized as a “developmental
career emphasis that was either on inter- assignee.” Otherwise, the respondent was
national assignments or a mixture of do- categorized as a “functional assignee.” To
mestic and international responsibilities. test for the moderating effects of assignee
The group of functional assignees was com- type, we created a dummy variable, Assignee
posed of individuals who had been sent Type. Functional assignees were coded 0, and
abroad for various reasons (e.g., knowledge developmental assignees were coded 1.
transfer, coordination, and control) but for
whom learning and development were not
Satisfaction With Company Support
stated goals of the assignment. These indi-
viduals could be from all levels within the We measured this variable with a five-item
organization. The group of developmental scale, which included a Likert scale that
assignees was composed of employees who ranged from 1 to 5, where 1 = highly dissatis-
had been sent on the international assign- fied, 3 = neutral, and 5 = highly satisfied. A
ment to gain exposure and experience for sample item is “How satisfied are you/were
future positions either within the parent you with your company’s support concern-
company or within foreign operations. In ing the predeparture preparation for the
almost all cases, these individuals had been requirements of your new job?” Cronbach’s
posted abroad with multiple objectives, but alpha for this scale was .78.
the main purpose was professional devel-
opment (i.e., learning-driven). As indicat-
ed by Table I, the two groups of assignees Repatriation Concerns
were remarkably similar in terms of demo- We measured this variable with a five-item
graphic characteristics and most aspects of scale with options ranging from 1 to 5,
their international assignments. The main where 1 = highly concerned, 3 = neutral, and
difference, apart from assignment motives, 5 = not concerned. A sample item is “How
was that developmental assignees were on concerned are you about limited opportuni-
average younger and occupied more junior ties for using your newly acquired knowl-
positions within the company. This group edge and skills upon repatriation?” Items
also consisted of a relatively greater per- in this scale were reverse-coded. Cronbach’s
centage of assignees who were single and alpha was .76.
without children, and had a slightly larg-
er percentage of females compared to the
group of functional assignees. Within-Company Career Advancement
Measures We measured this variable by a single
item. The Likert scale ranged from 1 to 5,
Type of Assignment
where 1 = highly unlikely, 3 = neutral, and
We assessed the company reasons for trans- 5 = highly likely. The item read, “In your
ferring the employee abroad by asking re- opinion, what is the likelihood that suc-
spondents to select the objective(s) of their cessful performance in your current interna-
Human Resource Management DOI: 10.1002/hrm

TABLE I Demographic Profiles*

Demographic Variables Percentage
Functional Assignees Developmental
(N=848) Assignees (N=923)
Position Level
Senior management 32.9 22.2
Middle management 33.1 37.7
Lower management 19.8 24.6
Others 14.2 15.5
Company Objective of International Assignment
Gain experience, skills, and exposure for future 0 82.1
positions within the parent company
Gain experience, skills, and exposure for future 0 65.8
positions within the foreign operations of the company
Investigate subsidiary’s potential for expansion and 21.0 23.5
Coordinate subsidiary’s activities with overall activity of 41.7 57.7
Ensure that headquarters’ policies are carried out locally 48.5 58.4
Conduct transactions for subsidiary and corporation 19.3 15.7
as a whole
Transfer of technical, administrative, or management 51.9 38.2
Improve communication between headquarters and 38.0 58.3
20–29 years old 5.4 12.0
30–39 years old 42.6 54.9
40–49 years old 31.5 27.2
>50 years old 20.5 5.9
Marital Status
Single 18.6 23.8
Married/Living with someone 81.4 76.2
Has Children
Yes 71.6 60.3
No 28.4 39.7
Male 91.6 89.0
Female 8.4 11.0
Educational Level
Nondegree holder 31.6 25.8
Degree holder 68.4 74.2
Previous International Assignment Experience
Yes 58.3 50.6
No 41.7 49.4

Human Resource Management DOI: 10.1002/hrm

Repatriation Concerns, Satisfaction With Company Support, and Perceived Career Advancement Opportunities 101

TABLE I Continued*
Career Emphasis
Domestic operations 11.1 8.0
Mixture of domestic and international assignments 51.3 58.9
International assignments/responsibilities 37.6 33.1
German 32.8 30.4
Singaporean 14.6 12.6
French 23.7 33.4
American 12.5 12.6
Japanese 16.4 11.0
Time on Current Assignment
< 1 year 28.6 30.4
1–2 years 39.2 43.5
> 3 years 32.2 26.1
*Since some respondents cannot be categorized into one of the two types of assignees due to missing data, the total usable sample size
of this study is 1,771.
**Respondents were instructed to indicate multiple company objectives for sending them on their current international assignment.

tional assignment will advance your career Turnover Intentions

within your company?”
A single item measured respondents’ turn-
over intentions. The Likert scale ranged from
Outside-Company Career Advancement 1 to 5, where 1 = highly willing, 3 = neutral,
Opportunities and 5 = highly unwilling. The item read,
“Are you willing to leave your company for
We measured this variable by a single a better job in another firm?” The item was
item. The Likert scale ranged from 1 to 5, reverse-coded.
where 1 = highly unlikely, 3 = neutral, and
5 = highly likely. The item read, “In your
opinion, what is the likelihood that suc- Control Variables
cessful performance in your current interna- Since there is evidence that environmental
tional assignment will be important to your variables such as available employment op-
career opportunities among other possible portunities in the home country may affect
employers?” expatriate turnover intentions (e.g., Lazarova
& Cerdin, 2007), we controlled for coun-
Perceived Gap Between Within- and try-of-origin effects as well as individual-
Outside-Company Career Advancement level variables that may potentially affect
Opportunities turnover intentions. We created dummy
variables to control for respondents’ nation-
We measured this variable by computing the ality. Since there were five nationalities in
difference between the respondent’s scores of this study, four dummy variables were cre-
the variables “outside-company career advance- ated. Other control variables included: gender
ment opportunities” and “within-company (male, female); position level (senior manage-
career advancement opportunities.” A positive ment, middle management, lower manage-
score indicates better-perceived career advance- ment, other professional positions); tenure
ment opportunities with other companies than (in years); and time on the current international
inside the respondent’s own company. assignment (in years).

Human Resource Management DOI: 10.1002/hrm


Results Hypotheses Tests: Predictors of

Turnover Intentions
Hypotheses Tests: Differences in Post hoc analyses suggest that turnover in-
Repatriation Concerns, Satisfaction tentions were high across the two groups of
With Company Support, Perceived assignees. When asked whether they would
Career Advancement Opportunities, be willing to leave their company for a bet-
and Turnover Intentions ter job in another firm, more than one-third
of functional assignees and almost one-half
Hypotheses 1a–1c and 2a–2b suggest that of developmental assignees indicated that
the two groups of international assignees they were willing or highly willing to leave
differ in terms of satisfaction the company, and an additional one-quar-
Satisfaction with the with company support, repatria- ter said they were undecided, which means
tion concerns, perceived career they could be persuaded to leave with an
company-provided advancement opportunities with attractive job offer. Likewise, both types of
their existing and other employ- assignees had an overall low satisfaction
support, repatriation ers, and turnover intentions. To
with company support and high repatriation
concerns, and
test these five hypotheses, we concerns, as Figure 1 indicates.
conducted a series of hierarchical Given the high vulnerability to turnover
perceived career regression analyses. For each re- among both groups of international assign-
gression analysis, we controlled ees, what factors influence assignees’ turn-
advancement for individual-level differences over intentions? We hypothesized that three
and country-of-origin effects, sets of organizational-level variables are
opportunities within
including gender, tenure with likely to play a key role in assignees’ turno-
the company relative the current firm, position level, ver intentions: (1) the satisfaction with com-
time on the international assign- pany-provided support, (2) the perception of
to those available ment, and respondent national- repatriation concerns, and (3) the perceived
ity dummy variables in the first career advancement opportunities within
outside the company
step. In the second step, we en- the company relative to those available out-
are important tered the assignee-type dummy side the company. To examine the predictors
variable. The dependent vari- of international assignees’ turnover inten-
factors in predicting able in each regression analysis
tions, we conducted a hierarchical regression
was the variable that we hy- analysis. In the first step, we entered gender,
international pothesized functional and de- tenure with the current firm, position level,
assignees’ velopmental assignees differed time on the international assignment, and
on. Overall, the results presented respondent nationality dummy variables to
turnover intentions in Table II provide only mixed control for individual differences and coun-
support for these hypotheses. As try-of-origin effects. In the second step, we
regardless of the predicted, developmental assign- entered the hypothesized predictors of turn-
type of assignee.
ees were significantly more opti- over intentions.
mistic about their future career The results of the hierarchical regres-
advancement opportunities with sion analysis presented in Table III support
their existing employers and other employ- the hypotheses. While satisfaction with the
ers than were functional assignees. Devel- company support was significantly and neg-
opmental assignees also had significantly atively associated with turnover intentions,
higher turnover intentions than did func- repatriation concerns and a perceived gap
tional assignees. However, the two groups between the existing employer’s career ad-
did not differ in terms of satisfaction with vancement opportunities and those available
the company support and repatriation con- outside the company were positively related
cerns. Thus, Hypotheses 1a and 1b are not to assignees’ willingness to leave. Thus, Hy-
supported, while Hypotheses 1c, 2a, and 2b potheses 3a through 3c are supported.
are supported.
Human Resource Management DOI: 10.1002/hrm
Repatriation Concerns, Satisfaction With Company Support, and Perceived Career Advancement Opportunities 103

TABLE II Regression Analysis to Test Hypotheses 1a–c and 2a–b

Hypothesis Hypothesis Hypothesis Hypothesis Hypothesis Hypothesis
1a 1b 1c 2a 2b
Dependent Variable Repatriation Satisfaction Within Company Outside Turnover
Concerns with Company Career Company Intentions
Support Advancement Career
Opportunities Advancement
N 1,620 1,628 1,607 1,617 1,581
Independent Variable Beta Beta Beta Beta Beta
Step 1: Control
Gender –.02 .04 .05 .01 –.04
Nationality dummy 1 .21*** .10*** .05 .01 –.04
Nationality dummy 2 .28*** –.10** .01 –.11*** –.12***
Nationality dummy 3 .10*** .16*** .01 .03 –.06**
Nationality dummy 4 .27*** .10*** –.02 –.09** .03
Tenure .01 .01 –.02 –.09** –.11***
Years on current .12*** –.06* –.03 .04 .03
Hierarchical .02 –.09*** –.07** –.01 .05*
position level
R 2 .13 .06 .01 .03 .04
Step 2: Main Effect
Assignee Type –.02 .05 .26*** .12*** .07**

R 2 .00 .00 .06 .01 .00

Overall R .36 .25 .28 .21 .21

Overall R .13 .06 .08 .05 .04
Overall adjusted R .12 .06 .07 .04 .04
Overall F 26.06*** 12.28*** 14.53*** 8.61*** 7.74***
*p <.05,
**p <.01,
***p <.001.

To test Hypothesis 4, whether the ante- prospects within the organization, and as-
cedents of turnover intentions differ across signee type. In the third step, we entered the
the two groups of international assignees, we interaction terms between assignee type and
conducted a moderated hierarchical regres- each of the three predictors in step two. As
sion analysis. In the first step, we entered the nonsignificant interaction terms in Table
gender, tenure with the current firm, position III indicate, type of assignee does not seem to
level, time on the international assignment, moderate the relationships between the an-
and respondent nationality dummy variables tecedent variables and turnover intentions.
to control for individual-level differences and This finding suggests that satisfaction with
country-of-origin effects. In the second step, the company-provided support, repatriation
we entered satisfaction with company sup- concerns, and perceived career advancement
port, repatriation concerns, perceived career opportunities within the company relative to
Human Resource Management DOI: 10.1002/hrm


Satisfaction Repatriation Inside Career Outside Career Perceived Gap Turnover
with Company Concerns Opportunities Opportunities between Inside Intentions
Support (p < .001) and Outside Career
(n.s.) (p < .001) (p < .01)
(n.s.) Opportunities
(p < .001)

Functional Assignees Developmental Assignees

FIGURE 1. Mean Level of Repatriation Concerns, Satisfaction With Company Support,

Perceived Career Opportunities, and Turnover Intentions Among International Assignees

those available outside the company are im- assignees than for developmental assignees
portant factors in predicting international as- (see Figure 1). One explanation is that the
signees’ turnover intentions regardless of the perceived career advancement opportunities
type of assignee. Hence, we found no support outside the company—which are greater for
for Hypothesis 4. developmental assignees—are a more power-
ful predictor of turnover intentions than the
Discussion perceived gap between inside and outside ca-
reer opportunities. Another possibility is that
Key Findings and Implications for developmental assignees may place greater
importance on future career advancement op-
Future Research
portunities compared to functional assignees.
This study begins to disentangle the experi- With internally driven career motivations,
ences of expatriates across different catego- developmental assignees may be more willing
ries of functional (i.e., demand-driven) and to leave (Lazarova & Cerdin, 2007). In other
developmental (i.e., learning-driven) assign- words, developmental assignees are more
ments. Compared to functional assignees, career-oriented and may be more likely to be
developmental assignees perceive their future proactive in their career management strate-
career advancement opportunities with their gies and behaviors than the group of func-
existing employer to be better and are also tional assignees. Another possibility is that
more optimistic about their career prospects turnover intentions may have more to do
with other possible employers. With respect with how one perceives oneself (e.g., mobile,
to predicting turnover intentions, develop- high potential) rather than the category in
mental assignees are more inclined to leave which one is placed. The very individuals our
their companies than functional assignees, study categorized as functional may perceive
presumably because they would have better themselves to be developmental regardless of
career opportunities available outside their the nature of the tasks of their assignment.
companies. Surprisingly, however, our data In general terms, this study found that
suggest that the perceived gap between the there are important similarities between
career opportunities inside and outside the developmental and functional assignees,
company is significantly greater for functional especially with respect to their concerns

Human Resource Management DOI: 10.1002/hrm

Repatriation Concerns, Satisfaction With Company Support, and Perceived Career Advancement Opportunities 105

TABLE III Regression Analysis of Predicting Turnover Intentions Among International

Hypotheses 3a–c Hypothesis 4
Independent Variable Beta Beta
Step 1: Control Variables
Gender –.02 –.02
Nationality dummy 1 –.03 –.03
Nationality dummy 2 –.15*** –.17***
Nationality dummy 3 –.04 –.03
Nationality dummy 4 .03 .03
Tenure –.09** –.11***
Years on current assignment –.01 .00
Hierarchical position level .02 .03

R 2 .04 .04

Step 2: Main Effects

Satisfaction with company support –.21*** –.21***
Repatriation concerns .09** .13***
Within company career advancement opportunities n.a. –.03
Perceived gap between within and outside company career .18*** n.a.
advancement opportunities
Assignee type .11*** .32*

R 2 .11 .08
Step 3: Interaction Effects
Assignee type × satisfaction with company support n.a. –.05
Assignee type × repatriation concerns n.a. –.08
Assignee type × within company career advancement n.a. –.12
R 2 n.a. .00
Overall R .38 .35
Overall R 2 .15 .12
Overall adjusted R .14 .11
Overall F 21.50*** 13.91***
For the regression to test Hypotheses 3a–c, N=1,534.
For the regression to test Hypothesis 4, N=1,546.
*p <.05.
**p <.01.
***p <.001.

during the international assignment. Like- pany-provided support, repatriation con-

wise, both types of assignees had an overall cerns, and perceived career advancement
low satisfaction with company support and opportunities within the company were all
high repatriation concerns. This is signifi- important indicators in predicting turno-
cant given that satisfaction with the com- ver intentions.
Human Resource Management DOI: 10.1002/hrm

While some repatriate turnover is expect- tal variables such as available home-country
ed, in most cases, it is detrimental because employment opportunities.
it inflicts a costly expense in terms of time, Another limitation of this study is meas-
money, and human capital (Caligiuri & La- urement of the self-reported independent
zarova, 2001; Stahl et al., 2002). Also, since and dependent variables. We attempted to
international assignees acquire valuable tacit reduce potential biases that may result from
knowledge and social capital during their as- self-reported variables. For example, we as-
signments, opportunities for reverse knowl- sessed the demographic and control varia-
edge transfer, organizational learning, and bles at the front end of the survey and placed
global coordination are often lost (Downes the self-rated criterion measure at the end of
& Thomas, 1999; Lazarova & Tarique, 2005). the survey in an effort to reduce self-gener-
Finally, high turnover rates among repatri- ated validity (J. M. Feldman & Lynch, 1988).
ates may discourage other em- While only self-reports can measure turnover
ployees—especially those desig- intentions, future studies may include inde-
While only self- nated as high potentials—from pendent variables assessed through a diver-
accepting an international assign- sity of measures, such as objective measures
reports can measure
ment for fear that it may result of organizational support practices or super-
turnover intentions, in a negative career move (Tung, visors’ ratings of career opportunities.
1988). Future research should ex-
future studies may amine ways to alleviate repatria- Managerial Implications
tion concerns among the group
include independent
most critical for the future growth This study has several practical implica-
variables assessed of firms—the developmental as- tions, especially with respect to the way
signees. in which expatriates are managed. From
through a diversity the organization’s point of view, employees
who have been posted abroad for leadership
of measures, Limitations
development purposes and career enhance-
such as objective Strengths of this study are the ment are probably the most important to
national diversity of expatriates retain. These assignees are often groomed for
measures of surveyed and the associated gen- higher-level positions within the global or-
eralizability. The sample size was ganization, and retaining them is critical to
organizational large with ample statistical power. the company’s leadership development and
Despite this large sample size, succession planning efforts (Caligiuri & Laz-
support practices
however, we were unable to ex- arova, 2001; Evans et al., 2002). Although
or supervisors’ plain much of the variance in these individuals are usually not sent solely
turnover intentions. This limita- for developmental purposes, the nature of
ratings of career tion of the study suggests that their assignments means that they have ac-
we have not included potentially quired knowledge, skills, and social capital
relevant independent variables. by the end of their stints abroad that make
Future studies should examine them valuable assets. An international as-
the full array of variables Lazarova and Cer- signment of this type represents a significant
din (2007) suggest. In addition to the orga- human capital investment, and turnover
nizational variables this study examined, po- upon repatriation is detrimental not only to
tentially relevant predictors of international the company’s leadership development and
assignee turnover (or turnover intentions) succession planning efforts, but also to its
include individual-level variables, such as entire globalization plans. Yet, as this study
proactive career development behaviors or has shown, these developmental assignees
changes in the expatriate’s career orientation are most likely to quit. By enabling high-
as a result of the international assignment potential employees to acquire international
(e.g., from a focus on career advancement to experience and other transferable—and trad-
a more balanced lifestyle), and environmen- able—skills, companies are automatically

Human Resource Management DOI: 10.1002/hrm

Repatriation Concerns, Satisfaction With Company Support, and Perceived Career Advancement Opportunities 107

making them more valuable for the external tion goals and its HRM policies and practices,
labor market. Companies should pay special more than half said they did so because of a
attention to these high-risk repatriates. lack of long-term career planning. Of the vari-
How can companies that use internation- ous aspects of the expatriation and repatriation
al assignments as a career development tool process this study examined, respondents ex-
make sure they get an adequate return on their pressed by far the greatest dissatisfaction with
investments? While there are no guaranteed the long-range planning of their repatriation.
recipes for lowering turnover intentions, the Various career-development practices can
growing literature on talent management best assist companies in successfully career-pathing
practices (e.g., Michaels, Handfield-Jones, & international assignees, including managing
Axelrod, 2001; Stahl et al., 2007) has identified assignees’ career expectations, providing ca-
a number of approaches that can help compa- reer-path information, organizing participation
nies retain high-potential employees. These in networking activities that allow assignees
include the development of a compelling to stay in touch with key people in the home
“employee value proposition” (Chambers et organization, providing ongoing
al., 1998; Lawler, 2003), which is top manage- coaching, establishing mentor re-
ment’s explanation of why a smart, energetic, lationships between expatriates Integrating
and ambitious person might want to join (or and executives from the home lo- international
remain with) the company. A value proposi- cation, and improving expatriates’
tion that would resonate with international as- career self-management skills (e.g., assignments with
signees and enhance the company’s ability to Dowling et al., 2008; Mendenhall,
attract high-caliber staff for global assignments Kühlmann, Stahl, & Osland, 2002; long-term career
and to retain them after repatriation would Selmer, 1999). Most important,
include aspects such as long-term career plan- senior management must aggres-
ning and growth opportunities, mentoring, at- sively—and credibly—demonstrate seems to be the
tention from senior management, an exciting that it values international exper-
reentry job with international responsibilities, tise and that such experience will most critical
and a culture in which international experi- enhance one’s career advancement
variable in retaining
ence is valued. Developing a compelling inter- and prestige within the organiza-
national assignee value proposition requires a tion. In a study by Lazarova and international
clear understanding of the factors that push Caligiuri (2001), repatriates rated
and pull employees toward an international as- visible signs that the company val- assignees and
signment and of the concerns employees may ues international experience and
have about the repatriation and career devel- that it is beneficial to one’s career as
opment process. Developing such a tool would the most important element in the repatriation
be an important step toward designing human international HRM system. Unfor-
resource management policies and career de- tunately, we found that a substan- success.
velopment and support systems that align the tial proportion of the international
company’s interests with those of its interna- assignees surveyed felt that their
tional assignees. company did not appreciate their internation-
In terms of company support and career al experience.
development programs, integrating interna- While well-designed career development
tional assignments with long-term career de- and support programs and developing a cul-
velopment seems to be the most critical vari- ture that values international experience can
able in retaining international assignees and help in the effective repatriation and reten-
facilitating repatriation success (Bolino, 2007; tion of international assignees, it is clear that
Harvey & Novicevic, 2006; Riusala & Suutari, in some cases companies will not be able to
2000). In a study of German expatriates (Stahl retain certain repatriates, no matter how so-
et al., 2002), of the more than 200 expatriates phisticated their career development and re-
who indicated that they perceived a gap be- patriation management programs. In cases
tween their company’s stated internationaliza- where international assignees have acquired

Human Resource Management DOI: 10.1002/hrm


valuable new skills, increased their market- other opportunities that help them achieve
ability, and perhaps gained a completely new their personal growth and career goals.
perspective on life as a result of their inter- In conclusion, given the rise of globali-
national experience, they may be leaving to zation and the dynamic changes occurring
pursue new opportunities for both monetary within the global economy, international ex-
gains and self-fulfillment (Harvey, 1982). As perience is becoming a critical asset for glo-
Lazarova and Cerdin (2007) have pointed bal organizations. International assignment
out, in an era of diminished trust between experience is valuable and hard to imitate. In
employers and employees, with “boundary- the right context, it can create competitive
less” careers on the rise, why should compa- advantage—both for the individuals and for
nies expect international assignees to stay the companies that employ them. To ensure
with them if better opportunities are available that both the international assignee and the
elsewhere? From this perspective, it is argu- organization will benefit from the experi-
able whether organizations lose internation- ence, companies need to design effective ex-
ally experienced managers and profession- patriate support systems and career develop-
als because they are not providing enough ment programs, and they need to cultivate
support. Rather, they may be losing them a culture that genuinely values international
because the managers are leaving to pursue experience.

GÜNTER K. STAHL is an associate professor of organizational behavior at INSEAD. His

research and teaching interests are interdisciplinary in nature and lie at various points of
intersection between strategy, international management, organizational behavior, and
human resource management. His special areas of interest include the dynamics of trust
within and between organizations; sociocultural processes in teams, alliances, mergers,
and acquisitions; and how to manage people and culture effectively in those contexts.
He has published in leading academic journals, as well as practitioner-oriented journals
and the international business press. He will be joining the faculty of WU Wien (Vienna
University of Economics and Business Administration) in 2009.

CHEI HWEE CHUA is a PhD candidate in the Sonoco International Business Department
of the Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina. Prior to coming to
the United States, she worked at INSEAD (Singapore and France) as a research associate
at PSA Corporation (Singapore) in management training and career development. She
obtained her bachelor’s degree at the NUS Business School (Singapore) and master’s
degree at Lund University (Sweden). Her research interests include strategic international
human resource management, management of mergers and acquisitions, and the role of
social capital in cross-border transfer of organizational practices within MNCs.

PAULA CALIGIURI is a professor in the human resource management department in

the School of Management and Labor Relations at Rutgers University, where she is the
director of the Center for Human Resource Strategy. She researches, publishes, and
consults extensively in three primary areas: strategic human resource management in
multinational organizations, global leadership development, and international assignee
management. She is on the editorial boards for the International Journal of Human
Resource Management, Journal of World Business, and Journal of Organizational
Behavior. She holds a PhD from Penn State University in industrial and organizational

JEAN-LUC CERDIN is a professor of human resource management at ESSEC Business

School, Paris, France. He has a PhD from Toulouse University (France) and an MSc
from the London School of Economics. He was recently a visiting professor at Rutgers
University and the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He has also been a visiting scholar

Human Resource Management DOI: 10.1002/hrm

Repatriation Concerns, Satisfaction With Company Support, and Perceived Career Advancement Opportunities 109

at Wharton. His research interests include expatriate management, career management,

and international human resource management.

MAMI TANIGUCHI is a professor of international business at the Graduate School of

Commerce, Waseda University, Japan. For the past 15 years, she has been investigating
the relationship between leadership development processes and organizational
characteristics. She is also interested in the development of global leaders in Japanese
corporations and the development of local leaders in Japanese MNCs. Her book Diversity
Management, the first book in Japanese on this topic, appeared in September 2005.

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