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The Dark Side of Global Mobility

Special issue call for papers from Journal of Global Mobility

CALL FOR PAPERS for a Special Issue of  Journal of Global Mobility


Paper submission deadline: 15 September 2018

Guest Editors:

Benjamin Bader, Leuphana University of Lueneburg, Germany

Tassilo Schuster, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet Muenchen, Germany

Anna Katharina Bader, University of Goettingen, Germany

Margaret Shaffer, University of Oklahoma, USA

During the last decade, a lot of research has been conducted on the choices and challenges of globally mobile employees (for a review see Shaffer, Chen, Kraimer, & Bolino, 2012). A visible manifestation of this is the inception of the Journal of Global Mobility (JGM), a journal dedicating its aims and scope exclusively to global mobility research. In a recent book, Bader, Schuster, and Bader (2017) noted that, despite the increasing knowledge on expatriation, many questions are still unanswered and they predicted that research on global mobility will not ebb away. In fact, international assignments as well as other forms of global employment continue to increase (Brookfield, 2016).
Much research on globally mobile employees has focused on the positive or bright side of working and living abroad, with scholars mainly looking at well-paid, well protected, assigned expatriates. Many of these studies have concentrated, for instance, on understanding what makes an assignment successful, including the role of expatriates’ partner and family, selection, training, mentoring, or perceived organizational support (e.g. Anderson, 2005; Caligiuri, 2000; Caligiuri & Cascio, 1998; Davies, Kraeh, & Froese, 2015; Lazarova, Westman, & Shaffer, 2010; Ren, Yunlu, Shaffer, & Fudchuk, 2015; Schuster, Ambrosius, & Bader, 2017; Shaffer, et al. 2016; Shaffer, Joplin, & Hsu, 2011). Moreover, researchers have looked at how organization, job and, community embeddedness affect expatriates’ outcomes (Andresen, 2015; Peltokorpi, Allen & Froese, 2015). Other research has looked at expatriates’ role in transferring knowledge and spanning boundaries between host country and headquarters (Burmeister & Deller, 2016). This positive side of expatriation is also related to successful repatriation from various perspectives (Lazarova & Cerdin, 2007; Kraimer, Shaffer, Harrison, & Ren, 2012; Knocke & Schuster, 2017). Without doubt, all this has contributed significantly to both theory and practice while firmly establishing global mobility as an important field of research.
On the other hand, from its very beginning, research on global mobility has focused on the “dark side” such as challenges and difficulties of adjusting to a new environment (Black, 1988; Black & Gregersen, 1991; Black & Mendenhall, 1991; Black, Mendenhall, & Oddou, 1991) and the majority of research has applied the stress perspective (Takeuchi, 2010). Other scholars have gazed into darkness by, for example, looking at the risks of expatriation in hostile environments (Bader & Berg, 2014, Bader, Reade, & Froese, 2017; Bader & Schuster, 2015; McPhail & McNulty, 2015), discrimination and hostility (Bader, Störmer, Schuster, and Bader, 2018; Hutchings, Michailova, & Harrison, 2013), or expatriate divorce (McNulty, 2015). An additional aspect that should be considered is abusive leadership (for a review, see Tepper, 2007), with the global employee as potential passive victim or active abuser. Among the many drivers of “failed” assignments (see Harzing, 1995), research has also included personal crises like burnout (Bhanugopan & Fish, 2008). Similarly, the work environment, workload, and work-life balance are worthy of further investigation (Bader, Froese, & Kraeh, 2017), particularly in extreme occupations (e.g., oil and gas, security and terrorism, international aid) where work life almost crushes one’s private life.
Researchers have also begun to expand the scope of global mobility beyond expatriation.  For instance, every year thousands of people relocate to other countries to take on low paid service and hospitality work, agricultural and horticultural labor, or construction jobs, often under vulnerable conditions. Buckley (2012) highlighted the crises experiences of Indian migrant construction workers in Dubai, and the economic insecurity they faced when they lost their jobs after the collapse of the emirate’s construction sector. Other research points at people being forced into unemployment or being employed in jobs below their qualifications, such as a Syrian Medical Doctor working as a nurse or taxi driver (Al Ariss, Vassilopoulou, Özbilgin, & Game, 2013).

These and other aspects are pressing and important topics and we believe that it is time for research to extend studies on the dark side of being a globally mobile employee. For potential inclusion in this Special Issue, we are looking for original quantitative and qualitative empirical research, theory development, case studies, and critical literature reviews from multiple disciplines (e.g. sociology, psychology, occupational health, migration, legal, risk and safety management, etc.). In addition, we particularly seek multi-level approaches to accommodate individual, organizational, and societal perspectives. In the following, we list topics and research questions illustrating the aims and scope of the Special Issue. Please note that this list is not exhaustive. Other ideas are welcome as well:

•    The dark side of destination: What can we learn from the most frequent threats of dangerous international contexts, assigning people in regions where terrorism or war prevails? What can an organization do in order to overcome and manage threats? How does being assigned in such a location affect expatriates’ psychological well-being and mental health?
•    The dark side of leadership: What can we learn from abusive leadership experiences in the global mobility context? Do expatriates from certain cultural origins (e.g. cultures with high power distance) better deal with those experiences? Are reports of abusive leadership experiences more prevalent in certain regions? How can organizations prevent abusive leadership practices and protect their expatriates?
•    The dark side of the globally mobile employee: To what extent do globally mobile employees engage in abusive or discriminating behavior themselves and how can organizations protect locals from such experiences? Do ethics change when abroad, in particular when globally mobile employees are facing an environment in which ethics differs from their home country? When and why would they violate ethical standards (as expected in their home country) abroad (e.g. bribes, abuse of power, tax violation)?
•    The dark side of the foreign work environment: How do foreign work practices affect expatriates? How do expatriates react to discriminating work practices either affecting themselves or others working with them? What kind of work practices foster frustration among expatriates and how do expatriates cope? How can organizations ensure a satisfying work-life balance for their expatriates?
•    The dark side of repatriation: What are the consequences for organizations when expatriates feel “betrayed” after their return? What does unsuccessful repatriation mean for expatriates’ future careers? How can companies attract staff for less attractive international assignments without making promises for their future career that cannot be kept?

Submission Process and Timeline

To be considered for the Special Issue, manuscripts must be submitted no later than September 15, 2018, 5:00pm Central European Time. Papers may be submitted prior to this deadline as well. Submitted papers will undergo a double-blind peer review process and will be evaluated by at least two reviewers and a special issue editor. The final acceptance is dependent on the review team’s judgments of the paper’s contribution on four key dimensions:
(1)    Theoretical contribution: Does the article offer novel and innovative insights 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, data analysis, and results rigorous and appropriate in testing the hypotheses or research questions?
(3)    Practical contribution: Does the article contribute to the improved 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 www.emeraldinsight.com/jgm.htm. Please remove any information that may potentially reveal the identity of the authors to the reviewers. Manuscripts should be submitted electronically at: http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/jgmob. For enquiries regarding the special issue please contact Benjamin Bader at benjamin.bader@leuphana.de.

Important dates

Paper submission deadline: 15 September 2018
Acceptance notification: March 2019
Publication: June 2019


Al Ariss, A., Vassilopoulou, J., Özbilgin, M. F., & Game, A. (2013). Understanding career experiences of skilled minority ethnic workers in France and Germany. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 24(6), 1236-1256.
Anderson, B. A. (2005). Expatriate selection: good management or good luck? The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 16(4), 567–583.
Andresen, M. (2015). What determines expatriates’ performance while abroad? The role of job embeddedness. Journal of Global Mobility, 3(1), 62–82.
Bader, A. K., Froese, F. J., Kraeh, A. (2017). Clash of cultures? German expatriates' work-life boundary adjustment in South Korea. European Management Review. Online first.
Bader, A. K., Reade, C., Froese, F. J. (2017). Terrorism and expatriate withdrawal cognitions: the differential role of perceived work and non-work constraints. The International Journal of Human Resource Management. Online first.
Bader, B. and Schuster, T. (2015), 'Expatriate Social Networks in Terrorism-Endangered Countries: An Empirical Analysis in Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia', Journal of International Management, 21(1), 63-77.
Bader, B., & Berg, N. (2014). The Influence of Terrorism on Expatriate Performance: a Conceptual Approach. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 25(3–4), 539–557.
Bader, B., Schuster, T., & Bader, A. K. (2017). Expatriate Management: Transatlantic Dialogues. (B. Bader, T. Schuster, & A. K. Bader, Eds.). London and New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Bader, B., Störmer, S., Bader, A. K., & Schuster, T. (2018). Institutional Discrimination of Women and Workplace Harassment of Female Expatriates: Evidence from 25 Host Countries. Journal of Global Mobility: The Home of Expatriate Research, Online first.
Bhanugopan, R., & Fish, A. (2008). An empirical investigation of job burnout among expatriates. Personnel Review, 35(4), 449-468.
Black, J. S. (1988). Work role transitions: A study of American expatriate managers in Japan. Journal of International Business Studies, 19(2), 277–294.
Black, J.S. & Gregersen, H.B. (1991). Antecedents to Cross-cultural Adjustment for Expatriates in Pacific Rim Assignments. Human Relations, 44(5), 497–515.
Black, J.S., & Mendenhall, M. (1991). The U-curve Adjustment Hypothesis Revisited: A Review and Theoretical Framework. Journal of International Business Studies, 22(2), 225–247.
Black, J.S., Mendenhall, M., & Oddou, G.R. (1991). Towards a comprehensive model of international adjustment: An integration of multiple theoretical perspectives. Academy of Management Review, 16(2), 291–317.
Brookfield. (2016). Brookfield Global Relocation Services: Global Relocation Trends 2016 Survey Report.
Burmeister, A., & Deller, J. (2016). A practical perspective on repatriate knowledge transfer. Journal of Global Mobility, 4(1), 68–87.
Buckley, M. (2012). From Kerala to Dubai and back again: construction migrants and the global economic crisis. Geoforum, 43(2), 250-259.
Caligiuri, P. M., & Cascio, W. F. (1998). Can We Send Her There? Maximizing the Success of Western Women on Global Assignments. Journal of World Business, 33(4), 394-410.
Caligiuri, P. M. (2000). Selecting Expatriates for Personality Characteristics: A Moderating Effect of Personality on the Relationship Between Host National Contact and Cross-cultural Adjustment. Management International Review, 40(1), 61–80.
Davies, S., Kraeh, A., Froese, F.J. (2015). Burden or support? The influence of partner nationality on expatriate cross-cultural adjustment. Journal of Global Mobility, 3(2), 169-182.
Harzing, A.-W. (1995). The persistent myth of high expatriate failure rates. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 6(2), 457–474.
Hutchings, K., Michailova, S., & Harrison, E. C. (2013). Neither Ghettoed Nor Cosmopolitan: A Study of Western Women’s Perceptions of Gender and Cultural Stereotyping in the UAE. Management International Review, 53(2), 291–318.
Knocke, J., & Schuster, T. (2017). Repatriation of international assignees: Where are we and where do we go from here? A systematic literature review. Journal of Global Mobility, 5(3), 275-303.
Kraimer, M. L., Shaffer, M. A., Harrison, D. A., & Ren, H. (2012). No place like home? An identity distress perspective on repatriate turnover. Academy of Management Journal, 55(2), 399-420.
Lazarova, M. B., & Cerdin, J.-L. (2007). Revisiting Repatriation Concerns: Organizational Support versus Career and Contextual Influences. Journal of International Business Studies, 38(3), 404–429.
Lazarova, M. B., Westman, M., & Shaffer, M. A. (2010). Elucidating the Positive Side of the Work-Family Interface on International Assignments: A Model of Expatriate Work and Family Performance. Academy of Management Review, 35(1), 93–117.
McNulty, Y. (2015) Till stress do us part: the causes and consequences of expatriate divorce, Journal of Global Mobility, 3(2), 106-136.
McPhail, R., & McNulty, Y. (2015). “Oh, the places you won’t go as an LGBT expat!”: A study of HRM's duty of care to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender expatriates in dangerous locations. European Journal of International Management, 9(6), 737-765.
Peltokorpi, V., Allen, D. & Froese, F.J. (2015). Organizational embeddedness, turnover intentions, and voluntary turnover: The moderating effects of employee demographic characteristics and value orientations. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 36(2), 292-312.
Ren, H., Yunlu, D., Shaffer, M.A., Fodchuk, K. M.  (2015). Expatriate success and thriving: The influence of job deprivation and emotional stability. Journal of World Business, 50(1), 69-78.
Schuster, T., Ambrosius, J., & Bader, B. (2017). Mentoring in international assignments: a personality traits perspective. Employee Relations: The International Journal, Online first.
Shaffer, M. A., Joplin, J. R. W., Hsu, Y. S. (2011). Expanding the boundaries of work-family research: A review and agenda for future research. International Journal of Cross-Cultural Management, 11(2), 221-268.
Shaffer, M. A., Kraimer, M. L., Chen, Y.-P., & Bolino, M. C. (2012). Choices, Challenges, and Career Consequences of Global Work Experiences: A Review and Future Agenda. Journal of Management, 38(4), 1282–1327.
Shaffer, M. A., Reiche, B. S., Dimitrova, M., Lazarova, M., Westman, M., Chen, S., & Wurtz, O. (2016). Work and family role adjustment of different types of global professionals: Scale development and validation. Journal of International Business Studies, 47(2), 113-139.
Takeuchi, R. (2010). A critical review of expatriate adjustment research through a multiple stakeholder view: progress, emerging trends, and prospect. Journal of Management, 36(4), 1040–1064.
Tepper, B. J. (2007). Abusive supervision in work organizations: Review, synthesis, and research agenda. Journal of Management, 33(3), 261-289.