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Special Issue: Context and Global Mobility: Diverse Global Work Arrangements

Special issue call for papers from Journal of Global Mobility


Guest Editors:  

Wolfgang Mayrhofer, WU (Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien)
B. Sebastian Reiche, IESE Business School

Due to the continuous growth in the globalization of business, an increasing number of people are taking on roles and responsibilities that reach beyond the domestic work context. Even the recent financial turmoil does not seem to have changed this trend (e.g., Brookfield, 2011). As a result, an increasing number of people are directly collaborating cross-nationally (Hinds, Liu, & Lyon, 2011). At the same time, the context in which this global work occurs is becoming more and more complex and the forms through which people engage in global work increasingly fragmented (Tharenou, 2005). First, while it has been common to view an international relocation as a single career event, more and more employees engage in repeated staff transfers, thereby increasing the intensity of global mobility over the course of employees’ careers (Shaffer, Kraimer, Chen, & Bolino, 2012).

Second, whereas the traditional expatriation of HQ personnel to foreign subsidiary continues to serve an important global staffing strategy, organizations have also diversified their pool of global employees (Mayrhofer, Reichel, & Sparrow, 2012). Among the alternative forms of international assignments are short-term transfers (Tahvanainen, Worm, & Welch, 2005), inpatriation (Reiche, 2006), international business travel (Welch, Welch, & Worm, 2007), virtual assignments (Maznevski, Davison, & Jonsen, 2006) and commuter or rotational assignments (Collings, Scullion, & Morley, 2007). Research on emerging forms of global work has also gone far beyond flexible expatriation. For example, scholars have examined phenomena such as self-initiated international transfers (Andresen, Al Ariss, & Walther 2012), skilled individuals working in geographically remote centres of excellence serving global operations (Mayrhofer, Sparrow, & Zimmermann, 2008), or immigrants actively attracted to national labour markets (Van Hoven & Meijering, 2005).

Despite the recent advances in our understanding of these alternative global work arrangements we still know very little about their relative differences, the extent to which they can complement or substitute each other, how they impact individuals and by extension their families, or how organizations can effectively manage the growing pool of global staffing options. Therefore, this special issue intends to provide a platform to draw together scholarly research that contributes to our knowledge about (1) the context in which global mobility occurs, (2) the drivers and impact of the alternative forms through which global work is experienced, and (3) how the growing fragmentation of global staff can be effectively managed. Original empirical research, theory development, meta-analytic reviews, and critical literature reviews are all suitable for potential inclusion in the special issue. Below is an illustrative list of topics that are consistent with the scope of the special issue, but other topics may be appropriate as well:

• Why does each alternative form of global work matter as global mobility moves into a new decade?
• What are relevant relative differences between various forms of global work?
• To what extent does our theorization of global mobility advance as a result of studying alternative forms of global work?
• How and, if so, why do changing patterns of global staffing affect the structure and dynamics of MNC knowledge flows?
• How do individuals cope with alternative global work engagements related to different aspects such as decision making, work-life balance, career aspirations etc.?
• What are differences in the underlying psychological processes such as adjustment that employees in alternative forms of global work experience?
• What are the career implications of alternative global work arrangements?
• What are the work-family implications of alternative global work arrangements?
• To which extent do these forms of global work help to develop global leadership competences?
• What repatriation challenges do alternative forms of international assignees face and how do they differ from traditional expatriates?
• How can HRM deal with these alternative forms of global work arrangements and what are specific challenges and potential solutions in classic HRM areas such as recruitment and selection, performance appraisal, compensation, or training and development?
• How and, if so, why do different aspects of context such as institutional arrangements or national culture influence the emergence and the outcomes of alternative global work arrangements?
• What effects does the spiritual dimension, e.g. a specific calling, a religious duty, have on agreeing upon alternate global work arrangements and their outcomes?

Submission Process and Timeline

To be considered for the special issue, manuscripts must be submitted no later than June 30, 2013, 5:00pm Central European Time. Papers may be submitted prior to this deadline as well. Submitted papers will undergo a double-blind 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 Please remove any information that may potentially reveal the identity of the authors to the reviewers.
Manuscripts should be submitted electronically at:

For enquiries regarding the special issue please contact either of the two Guest Editors, Wolfgang Mayrhofer, at [email protected] or B. Sebastian Reiche, at [email protected]

Andresen, M., Al Ariss, A., & Walther, M. (Eds.) (2012). Self-Initiated Expatriation: Individual, Organizational, and National Perspectives. London: Routledge.
Brookfield (2011). Global Relocation Trends 2011 Survey Report. Brookfield Global Relocation Services.
Collings, D. G., Scullion, H., & Morley, M. J. (2007). Changing patterns of global staffing in the multinational enterprise: Challenges to the conventional expatriate assignment and emerging alternatives. Journal of World Business, 42, 198-213.
Hinds, P., Liu, L., & Lyon, J. (2011). Putting the global in global work: An intercultural lens on the practice of cross-national collaboration. Academy of Management Annals, 5, 135-188.
Mayrhofer, W., Reichel, A., & Sparrow, P. (2012). Alternative forms of international working. In G. K. Stahl, I. Björkman & S. Morris (Eds.), Handbook of Research in International Human Resource Management (2nd ed.): 300-327. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.
Mayrhofer, W., Sparrow, P. R., & Zimmermann, A. (2008). Modern forms of international working. In M. Dickmann, C. Brewster & P. R. Sparrow (Eds.), International Human Resource Management: Contemporary Issues in Europe: 219-239. London: Routledge.
Maznevski, M., Davison, S. C., & Jonsen, K. (2006). Global virtual team dynamics and effectiveness. In G. Stahl & I. Björkman (Eds.), Handbook of Research in International Human Resource Management. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.
Reiche, B. S. (2006). The inpatriate experience in multinational corporations: An exploratory case study in Germany. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 17, 1572-1590.
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, 1282-1327.
Tahvanainen, M., Worm, V., & Welch, D. (2005). Implications of short-term international assignments. European Management Journal, 23, 663-673.
Tharenou, P. (2005). International work in domestic jobs: An individual explanation. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 16, 475-496.
Van Hoven, B., & Meijering, L. (2005). Transient masculinities: Indian IT-professionals in Germany. In B. Van Hoven & K. Hörschelmann (Eds.), Spaces of Masculinities: 75-85. London: Routledge.
Welch, D. E., Welch, L. S., & Worm, V. (2007). The international business traveller: A neglected but strategic human resource. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 18, 173-183.