Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Understanding and supporting the career implications of international assignments

By David G. Collings, Noeleen Doherty, Madeleine Luethy and Derek Osborn


International assignments represent an important form of migration in the global economy. In contrast to most other migrants, international assignees enjoy a relatively privileged, position in the labor market. Authored by a diverse team of academics and practitioners, this paper draws on insights from empirical research and unpublished examples from practice to explore how international assignees can be supported before, during and after the international assignment. We move beyond the traditional expatriate cycle as a frame of reference, arguing that many of the challenges from the individual perspective are continuous, often pertinent well before and well after the assignment. We call for a reframing of career support for international assignees to reflect the reality of the experience. We propose that future studies of the impact of international assignments on career use more sophisticated methods including longitudinal studies of career trajectories and experiences of support practices. (138) (C) 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved

Topics: International assignments Career support Expatriates Careers MNE perceived organizational support work role transitions expatriate assignment empirical-examination repatriation concerns adjustment managers subsidiaries advancement performance
Publisher: Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam
Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.jvb.2011.03.010
OAI identifier:
Provided by: Cranfield CERES

Suggested articles


  1. (1991). a comprehensive model of international adjustment: An integration of multiple theoretical perspectives. doi
  2. (2005). A needs-driven approach to expatriate adjustment: A multiple mentoring perspective. doi
  3. (2001). A social capital theory of career success. doi
  4. (1984). A theory of work role transitions. doi
  5. (2004). An examination of perceived organizational support as a multidimensional construct in the context of an expatriate assignment. doi
  6. (1996). An investigation of the effects of protégé gender on responses to mentoring. doi
  7. (2010). Building a company without borders.
  8. (2009). Capital gains: Expatriate adjustment and the psychological contract in international careers. doi
  9. (1992). Career management issues facing expatriates. doi
  10. (2007). Changing patterns of global staffing in the multinational enterprise: Challenges to the conventional expatriate assignment and emerging alternatives. doi
  11. (1998). Closing the gap: Expectations versus reality among repatriates. doi
  12. (2006). Cross-cultural training. doi
  13. (2007). Destiny, drama, and deliberation: Careers in the coevolution of lives and societies. doi
  14. (2005). Developing career capital for global careers: The role of international assignments. doi
  15. (2006). Expatriate adjustment and performance: a critical review. doi
  16. (2009). Expatriate managers: A historical review. doi
  17. (2000). Expatriate training and development: Where do we go from here? doi
  18. (2002). Expatriation and repatriation in MNCs: A taxonomy. doi
  19. (2010). Exploring organizational and individual career goals, interactions and outcomes of developmental international assignments. doi
  20. (2008). Exploring the career capital impact of international assignments within distinct organizational contexts. doi
  21. (2009). Exposing the symbolic capital of international assignments. doi
  22. (2005). Gender differences in the determinants of the willingness to accept and international assignment. doi
  23. (2004). Global careers as dual dependency between the organization and the individual. doi
  24. (2010). Global relocation trends: 2010 survey report. London: GMAC.
  25. (2009). Global staffing: A review and thematic research agenda. doi
  26. (1999). Globalizing people through international assignments. doi
  27. (2005). Implications of short-term international assignments. doi
  28. (2007). Knowledge sharing through expatriate relationships: A social capital perspective. doi
  29. (2007). Managing the career wobble of repatriates.
  30. (2001). Of bears bees and spiders: The role of expatriates in controlling foreign subsidiaries. doi
  31. (2009). Out of time: Work, temporal synchrony and families, doi
  32. (1986). Perceived organizational support. doi
  33. (2009). Predictors of turnover intentions in learning-driven and demand-driven international assignments: The role of repatriate concerns, satisfaction with company support, and perceived careers advancement opportunities. doi
  34. (1993). Pulling up roots in the 1990s: Who’s willing to relocate? doi
  35. (2009). Realistic recruitment practices in organizations: The potential benefits of generalized expectancy calibration. doi
  36. (2006). Refugees in a global era. doi
  37. (1991). Repatriate moves as career transitions. doi
  38. (2008). Repatriation: The end or the middle? In doi
  39. (2001). Retaining repatriates: The role of organization support practices. doi
  40. (2007). Revisiting repatriation concerns: organizational support versus career and contextual influence. doi
  41. (2008). Rewards for internationally mobile employees. In doi
  42. (2009). Role of domain-specific facets of perceived organizations support during expatriation and implications for performance. doi
  43. (1982). Selection and training procedures of US, European and Japanese multinationals. doi
  44. (2001). Sources of support and expatriate performance: The mediating role of expatriate adjustment. doi
  45. (2001). Struggling for balance amid turbulence on international assignments: Work-family conflict, support and commitment. doi
  46. (2010). Swimming against the tide: Outward staffing flows from multinational subsidiaries. doi
  47. (1999). The coffee-machine system: how international selection really works, doi
  48. (2009). The comparative role of home and host supervisor in the expatriate experience. doi
  49. (2005). The complexities of expatriate adaptation. doi
  50. (1985). The dimensions of expatriate acculturation: A review. doi
  51. (2006). The evolution from repatriation of managers in MNEs to ‘‘patriation’’ in global organizations. doi
  52. (1998). The expatriate experience: a critical review and synthesis.
  53. (2011). The global challenge: International human resource management, (2 nd ed).
  54. (1995). The impact of dual-career families on international relocations. doi
  55. (2007). The impact of separation on serving personnel: Social impacts, motivation, capability, and retention.
  56. (1971). The individual, the organization, and the career: a conceptual scheme. doi
  57. (2009). The influence of expatriate and repatriate experiences on career advancement and repatriate retention. doi
  58. (2006). The inpatriate experience in multinational corporations: an exploratory case study in Germany. doi
  59. (2008). The psychology of careers in industrial and organizational settings: a critical but appreciative analysis. doi
  60. (2001). The role of inpatriation in global staffing. doi
  61. (1992). Towards a theoretical framework of repatriation adjustment. doi
  62. (1977). Transfer of managers as a coordination and control strategy in multinational organizations. doi
  63. (1988). Work role transitions: a study of American expatriate managers in Japan. doi
  64. (2008). Working on the margins: Migration and employment in the United States. In

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.