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Special Issue Call for Papers – Special Issue on Self-initiated Expatriation: Career experiences, processes and outcomes

Special issue call for papers from Career Development International

Guest Editors

Noeleen Doherty, Cranfield University, United Kingdom, [email protected]

Julia Richardson, York University, Canada, [email protected]

Kaye Thorn, Massey University, New Zealand, [email protected]

As globalisation continues unabated, an increasing number of careers are evolving across national and regional boundaries.  Many people experience international mobility as part of an expatriate assignment or through migration. Yet an increasing number are choosing self-initiated expatriation (SIE). Moreover, although there is a growing interest in self-initiated expatriation and the self-initiated expatriate, this emerging field remains both under-researched and under-theorised (Doherty, 2010).  For example, much of the extant research on SIEs draws on specific geographical locations in developed countries such as New Zealand , Canada (Richardson, 2009) and Finland (Jokinen et al., 2008) often fuelled by concerns of “brain drain” and talent shortages. The focus on published works to date has been on specific groups  such as academics (Richardson, 2009), nurses (Bozionelos, 2010), and other professionals (Thorn, 2009), whereas some scholars have explored themes relating to gender (Tharenou, 2010) and the connection between SIE and migration (Al Ariss and Özbilgin, 2010).

There have been growing calls to unite scholars researching SIE in order to encourage a better understanding of the field (Inkson and Richardson, 2010).  Responding to these calls, this special issue will bring together a robust set of papers to explore the conceptual distinction of SIE from other forms of mobility such as migration and to move towards a more theoretically-grounded understanding of both individual SIEs and SIE as a process.  We are particularly interested in conceptual and empirical papers that examine SIE in different cultural, political and economic contexts and those that provide a theoretical understanding of SIE as a career experience. The list below presents illustrative topics for contributions: 

·  How can SIE be defined and/ or measured?  What is the connection or distinction between SIE and other forms of mobility such as migration?

·  Do the motives for SIE vary across countries/cultures?  Are the patterns of mobility similar for the SIE from developing countries?

·  What are the characteristics and motivations of those who engage in SIE?

·  What factors, such as physical location and destination choices, influence the motivation to undertake SIE?

·  What are the implications of SIE for familial relationships and dynamics?

·  What are the long term implications of SIE on society, the economy and individuals’ careers?

·  How do demographic factors such as gender/SEC/education/family status impact SIE?

· How do career issues (including employment status, under-employment, career support, integration in host and re-integration in the home context) impact on the SIE experience?

· What are the methodological challenges of researching SIE, including accessing populations and implementing longitudinal research?

We welcome conceptual, theoretical, qualitative or quantitative papers.  Contributions should report original research that is not under consideration at any other journal.  This call for papers is open and competitive, and all submitted papers will be subjected to anonymous review by referees with expertise in the field.

Review process for the selection and rejection of papers

Submitted papers will be subject to a double-blind review process and will be evaluated by the special issue editors. Authors should prepare their manuscripts for blind review.

The deadline for submissions of full papers is January 2012. Accepted papers will be published in the Special Issue scheduled to appear in 2012.

Please submit enquiries to [email protected]

Submissions should be made through ScholarOne Manuscripts:

Specific details on the format for submitted manuscripts can be found at the journal’s website

Please direct any general questions about the journal or any administrative matters to the Editor, Professor Jim Jawahar ([email protected]


Al Ariss, A. & Özbilgin, M. 2010. Understanding Self-Initiated Expatriates: Career Experiences of Lebanese Self-Initiated Expatriates in France. Thunderbird International Business Review, 52, 275–285.

Bozionelos, N. 2010. An investigation of the double jeopardy proposition with Chinese origin self-initiated expatriate women. Academy of Management Conference. 6-10 August, Montreal, Canada.

Doherty, N. 2010. Self-initiated expatriates - Mavericks of the global milieu. The Academy of Management, 6–10 August. Montreal, Canada.

Inkson, K. & Richardson, J. 2010. Self-initiated expatriation and career development: Diversity across cultures and genders. Academy of Management, 6-10 August. Montreal, Canada.

Jokinen, T., Brewster, C. & Suutari, V. 2008. Career capital during international work experiences: Contrasting self-initiated expatriate experiences and assigned expatriation. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 19, 979–998.

Richardson, J. 2009. Geographic flexibility in academia: A cautionary note. British Journal of Management, 20, 160-170.

Tharenou, P. 2010. Women’s Self-Initiated Expatriation as a Career Option and Its Ethical Issues. Journal of business ethics, 1-16.

Thorn, K. 2009. The relative importance of motives for international self-initiated mobility. Career Development International, 14, 441-464.