Journal of Global Mobility

Editorial: Our Favourite First Decade JGM Articles.

The Journal of Global Mobility (JGM) has come of age, just becoming ten years old. To celebrate this achievement, we are publishing this virtual issue of the journal consisting of the favourite articles of the editors of JGM.

The first decade has sometimes been a bumpy ride for JGM as its editors have had to compete with already established and hence more reputable competitors. Although the journal filled an empty, but much needed niche, we quickly learned that newcomers have no reputation and therefore need to build one. An initial necessity was to make it known to our target audience that JGM exists and what we stand for, a battle that still continuous. We did that through engaging impressive reviewers, creating pleased authors and steadily increasing the group of satisfied readers.  We introduced our one-month turnaround policy for the first submission which is still in place and established both an Editorial Advisory Board of the most iconic scholars within our field as well as created an Editorial Review Board of well-known researchers to safeguard the quality of our reviews. Throughout our first decade, we have introduced other promotional initiatives, including the JGM Expert Review Series, where well-known scholars are invited to review their specialist areas, the JGM BitBlog series, featuring one-page summaries in non-specialist language about recently published articles, and social media teasers announcing just published JGM articles online. The work for better scholarly contributions and hence recognition as an academic research journal never stops and anything that may improve the input to create better output must be considered. This virtual JGM issue celebrating our first decade of existence is just a small piece of that puzzle indicating that JGM is not only here to stay but is making crucial contributions to academic research on global mobility.


In This Virtual Issue

This collection of articles, each of which was selected by one of the editorial team members, spans the whole decade of JGM existence, from 2013 to 2022. The topics also cover a wide area including self-initiated expatriates, expatriate divorce, host country national support to expatriates, expatriate substance use, adjustment of expatriate children, issues of virtual expatriate assignments, as well as historic legacies and the expatriate experience.

Tharenou, P. (2013), "Self-initiated expatriates: an alternative to company-assigned expatriates?" (Jakob Lauring)

I selected this article because it was one of the first articles to include self-initiated expatriates in the debate about staffing and internationalization strategies that was previously reserved for research on assigned expatriates. More specifically, the article discusses whether self-initiated expatriates can actually provide an alternative to assigned expatriates for filling various positions in foreign subsidiaries. By doing this, the article opens up a new perspective on how to view different types of expatriates with particular focus on those that choose the assignment of their own volition.

McNulty, Y. (2015), "Till stress do us part: the causes and consequences of expatriate divorce" (Yu-Ping Chen)

Here are the two major reasons why I like this article. First, while expatriation studies have begun to pay more attention to spousal and family issues, we still only have limited understanding about how expatriation affects families. This article brings attention to expatriate divorce, a timely yet neglected topic. Secondly, this article highlights the importance for MNCs to address expatriates' concerns about spouses and other family members while they are posted abroad. Indeed, expatriate researchers should make sure whether expatriate spouses, the forgotten partners as labeled by Shaffer and Harrison (2001), are still forgotten after more than two decades.

Sonesh, S.C. and DeNisi, A.S. (2016), "The categorization of expatriates and the support offered by host country nationals" (Sebastian Stoermer)

One of the key purposes of expatriate assignments is the transfer of knowledge and relatedly learning for both international assignees and their local colleagues. At the core of this lies the nature of interpersonal encounters, the quality of relationships, and comfort in interactions. My motivation for selecting this article is that it comprehensively zooms in on the role of social categorization in the HCN-expatriate relationship. Since HCN-expatriate interactions are center stage to the success of expatriation, this subject will certainly continue to attract our attention – be it in traditional physical work settings or in virtual environments.

Wurtz, O. (2018), "Expatriation, alcohol and drugs: antecedents and consequences of substance use in expatriation" (Luisa Pinto)

The reasons for choosing this article are threefold. First, it directs scholars’ attention to an overlooked research field within global mobility studies: the health and well-being of international workers. Second, this article reports empirical evidence on drug and alcohol use among international workers, a sensitive topic with consequences for research and practice of global mobility and IHRM. Third, the article associates stress and coping with substance abuse, which emphasizes the higher risk for international workers and the general leniency of the business community (and management scholars alike) towards such abuse.

de Sivatte, I., Bullinger, B., Cañamero, M. and Martel Gomez, M.d.P. (2019), "Children of expatriates: key factors affecting their adjustment" (Margaret Shaffer)

I selected this article as my favorite because it deals with such an important but under-researched phenomenon. Although the expatriate family has long been recognized as a potent influence on the success of an international assignment, most research has focused on the expatriate’s spouse/partner. While anecdotal evidence highlights the role of the adjustment of children in the expatriate adjustment process, this article is the first to offer a more rigorous and systematic look at what contributes to the children’s own adjustment. Studying this population is inherently challenging, so I applaud this research team for taking on this project.

Selmer, J., Dickmann, M., Froese, F.J., Lauring, J., Reiche, B.S. and Shaffer, M. (2022), "The potential of virtual global mobility: implications for practice and future research” (Jan Selmer)

There are two main reasons why I selected this article. Most importantly, this is a peep into the future of global mobility that may become very different from what we know from the past. Within the extension of the ideas and trends discussed in this article lies the unknown with consequences for research and practice of global mobility that are beyond our imagination. And, whether we like it or not, the trip to this future has already begun with the arrival of a global pandemic that nobody saw coming but that has affected us all.

Richardson, C. (2022), "It's all in the past: how do colonial legacies between host and home countries affect the expatriate experience?" (David Guttormsen)

There are three chief reasons for choosing this article. Methodologically, in a research field historically dominated by quantitative research, it is refreshing to see a well-executed qualitative study that incorporates rich and contextualised findings. More notably, it is rewarding to learn how contemporary “lived experience” is influenced by its history and that the understanding of such experiences can be enhanced as a by-product of expanding the investigatory scope beyond personal agency, organisational factors and methodological individualism. Finally, studies that address non-European and intra-regional cross-cultural encounters remain understudied in our field but should be encouraged.

Entering the second decade, JGM may encounter new challenges and pursue new initiatives. But we will no doubt continue the successful path to further establish and enhance the position of JGM as the only academic research journal to focus on global mobility and the management of global employees consistently and exclusively. Manuscripts will continue to be swiftly handled by our expert editors and reviewers. The latter will continue to deliver highly developmental reviews in a timely fashion and the JGM editorial team will facilitate the way to favorable publication decisions. In that respect, our second decade will build on the accomplishments of the first decade, and the journal will continue to be supported by a dedicated group of specialists living up to our motto for JGM: managed by experts for experts.  Please join us in celebrating our 10-year milestone as the leading outlet for academic research on global mobility.

Editors of JGM: Jan Selmer, Jakob Lauring, Yu-Ping Chen, Sebastian Stoermer, Luisa Pinto, Margaret Shaffer, and David Guttormsen.