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Beyond Corporate Expatriation: Examining Neglected Non-Corporate Communities

Special issue call for papers from Journal of Global Mobility


Paper submission deadline: 30th September 2016

Guest Editors:
Yvonne McNulty, SIM University Singapore
Kelly Fisher, West Chester University, USA
Charles Vance, Loyola Marymount University, USA

Over the past 50 years, studies of corporate expatriates and the multinational corporations (MNCs) that employ them have dominated the field of international human resource management (IHRM; e.g., Edström & Galbraith, 1977; Gonzalez & Negandhi, 1967; Hays, 1971; Howard, 1974; Ivancevich, 1969; Tung, 1981). Corporate expatriates are people who typically work for MNCs in the private and for-profit business sector, and who are sent by their organizations to work abroad or employed by businesses once already there. Missing from our understanding of expatriation is a broader look at global mobility across non-corporate communities, such as military, religious (missionary), academic, sport, arts, diplomatic and non-profit expatriation. Studies in these areas are not only under-represented, but in some cases non-existent (e.g., sports and arts). We contend that the dearth of research beyond corporate expatriation is likely due to a common but unnecessarily narrow conceptualization of expatriates as being sent abroad only by an MNC or business organization (see McNulty & Brewster, 2016 for a critique). This limited perspective ignores the employees and volunteers of non-corporate communities who work outside their home country for specific organisations but who do not fall under the umbrella of ‘corporate’ expatriation. It also ignores those who, within the domain of these other communities, have not been sent by their employer but expatriate of their own accord or elect to find employment or change employer whilst already living abroad.

While corporate expatriation has been well researched in the fields of IHRM (Black, Gregersen, & Mendenhall, 1992; Tung, 1988), careers (Cappellen & Janssens, 2005; Herman & Tetrick, 2009), international management (IM) (Gregersen & Black, 1995; Takeuchi, 2010), and international business (IB) (Lazarova & Cerdin, 2007; Reiche, Harzing, & Kraimer, 2009; Tung, 1984), the implicit structuring of the expatriation concept as being a predominantly corporate phenomenon, unless stated otherwise, has limited what has been studied as well as where data is collected and fieldwork conducted. Moreover, as research on expatriation across communities is frequently published in disciplines other than the IHRM, careers, IM and IB fields, management scholars’ limited exposure to the ideas, insights and challenges that global mobility in other communities presents has narrowed how these alternative perspectives can inform management thinking. These ‘other’ disciplines include (among others) missions and theology (Trimble, 2006), public policy (Tresch, 2009; Wilkinson & Singh, 2010), sport (Elliott & Weedon, 2011), demography and population (McKinnish, 2008), diversity (Mahadevan & Zeh, 2015), migration (Hugo, 2006), sociology (Useem & Useem, 1967), hospitality and hotel management (Causin, Ayoun, & Moreo, 2011), education and training (Munene, 2014), corruption (Francis & Armstrong, 2011), disaster prevention and management (Wilson & Gielissen, 2004), linguistics (Dewaele & van Oudenhoven, 2009), medicine and travel (Druckman, Harber, Liu, & Quigley, 2014), mental health (Bikos et al., 2009), and logistics and supply chain management (Kelly, 1996).

With this Special Issue, we are seeking to broaden our understanding of expatriation beyond corporate global mobility. We invite manuscripts from any discipline across a range of research approaches including original quantitative and qualitative empirical research, theory development, case studies, and critical literature reviews. We are interested in articles that address an issue relating to expatriation and global mobility in a non-corporate community, which we define as any of the following noting this is not an exhaustive list:
Military expatriation including active duty, retired (veteran), and reservist expatriates (e.g., Fisher & Hutchings, 2013; Schreurs & Syed, 2011)
Religious (missionary) expatriation involving traditional, professionally qualified, community development and humanitarian, and tent maker missions (e.g., Navara & James, 2005; Oberholster, Clarke, Bendixen, & Dastoor, 2013)
Sports expatriation involving relocation for amateur or professional leagues, training purposes, and to coach sports teams (e.g., Dolles & Egilsson, 2016; Madichie, 2009)
Academic expatriation including those who relocate as professors/international scholars (e.g., Fulbright) or in tertiary institutions; international school teachers, administrators, and staff; and other educators (Roberts, 2015; Selmer & Lauring, 2011)
Diplomatic and foreign service expatriation (government civil service) (e.g., Davoine, Ravasi, Salamin, & Cudré-Mauroux, 2013; Selmer & Fenner Jr, 2009)
Non-profit expatriation, e.g., aid workers and inter-governmental agencies, volunteer missions, and disaster preparation (e.g., Fee & Gray, 2011; Merlot & De Cieri, 2011)
Arts expatriates, e.g., actors, theatre directors and producers, artists, dancers, authors, photographers and other creative professions

Topics for research in non-corporate communities include but are not limited to:
• Career development, talent management and repatriation including retention initiatives and turnover challenges
• Gender imbalances as well as the gendering of work roles in general
• Expatriation and entrepreneurship
• Expatriation/global mobility planning, including crisis planning and management and duty of care for expatriates working in dangerous locations
• Family issues including dual-career challenges, family stress, split family arrangements where family members remain in the home-country and/or a ‘safer’ host-country while the other spouse commutes to a more dangerous location, and schooling for children
• Third culture kids (TCKs), cross cultural kids (CCKs) and adult TCKs
• Compensation and benefits including localization strategies and issues
• Selection and preparation of expatriates including cross cultural issues
• Expatriate adjustment and performance
• Return on investment, stakeholder management and expatriate success and failure
• Non-traditional expatriates, e.g., LGBT expatriates, single parents, special needs and gifted children
• Global staffing, international work flows and knowledge transfer (brain drain/gain)
• Differences and similarities in the expatriate experience between corporate and other expatriate communities including global mobility policy development and differences
• Generalizable insights from other expatriate communities that can inform and expand broader expatriate theory

Please note that we are not looking for submissions that: (a) deal exclusively with corporate expatriation or corporate international assignees; and, (b) are focused on refugees, migrants or temporary visitors (sojourners, long-term tourists). For the purposes of this Special Issue we define expatriates/expatriation as involving temporary legal employment in a host country for which the individual is not (intending to become) a citizen. Authors who may be unsure whether their paper fits the Special Issue theme are welcome to contact the editors to discuss.

Submission Process and Timeline
Submitted papers must be based on original material not under consideration by any other journal or publishing outlet. The editors will select up to 6 papers to be included in the Special Issue, but other submissions may be considered for regular issues of the journal. All papers will undergo a double-blind peer review process and will be evaluated by at least two reviewers and a Special Issue editor.

To be considered for the Special Issue, manuscripts can be submitted anytime between February and September 2016 but no later than 30 September 2016, 5:00pm Central European Time. Final acceptance is dependent on the following:
(1) Theoretical contribution: Does the article offer novel and innovative insights and/or meaningfully extend existing theory in the field of global mobility?
(2) Empirical contribution: Does the article offer novel findings and are the study design, analysis, and results rigorous and appropriate in testing hypotheses or research questions?
(3) Practical contribution: Does the article improve the management of global mobility?
(4) Contribution to the special issue topic.

Authors should prepare their manuscripts for blind review according to the Journal of Global Mobility author guidelines, available at Please remove any information that may potentially reveal the identity of the authors to the reviewers. Manuscripts should be submitted electronically at: When submitting through the ScholarOne system, please be sure to select the correct Special Issue title from the drop down menu. For enquiries regarding the special issue please contact either of the three Guest Editors, Yvonne McNulty at; Kelly Fisher at; and Charles Vance at

Important dates
Paper submission deadline: 30 September 2016
Acceptance notification: 1 February 2017
Publication:  April-June 2017

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Causin, G., Ayoun, B., & Moreo, P. 2011. Expatriation in the hotel industry: An exploratory study of management skills and cultural training. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 23(7): 885-901.
Davoine, E., Ravasi, C., Salamin, X., & Cudré-Mauroux, C. 2013. A "dramaturgical" analysis of spouse role enactment in expatriation: An exploratory gender comparative study in the diplomatic and consular field. Journal of Global Mobility, 1(1): 92-112.
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