Key factors influencing Korean expatriates' and spouses' perceptions of expatriation and repatriation
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Lack of satisfaction with repatriation has been identified as one of the major causes for high turnover of employees returning from international assignments. Extant literature emphasises the importance of organisational training and mentoring, career advancement, and family and spouse support throughout expatriation and repatriation. In the current study we explored factors influencing Korean employees' and spouses' perceptions of expatriation and repatriation. The study involved semi-structured, indepth interviews with 15 Korean expatriates and spouses, currently on assignment in Australia. The research is important in that, as Korea is Australia's fourth largest overall trading partner and Korean companies employ expatriates in managing their Australian operations, understanding factors which determine willingness of Korean expatriates to relocate to Australia is integral to Korean companies' position in the Australian economy. The findings provide three significant contributions. First, Confucian values affect Korean employees' willingness to expatriate and repatriate, in that their decision is largely influenced by requests from superiors. Second, Korean employees perceive that traditional expatriate training and mentoring are no longer as necessary given advances in technology. Third, Korean employees' decisions to expatriate and repatriate are affected by perceptions of impact on their children's education. The research highlights aspects particular to Korean expatriation and in so doing provides potentially valuable insights into Korean values regarding, and approaches to, international work.
International Journal of Human Resource Management
© 2012 Taylor & Francis. This is an electronic version of an article published in International Journal of Human Resource Management, Volume 24, Issue 5, 2013, Pages 1051-1075. International Journal of Human Resource Management is available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com with the open URL of your article.
Human Resources Management