While the literature on private sector expatriates is burgeoning, research on public sector expatriates is scant, despite their increasing numbers. This is unfortunate, since these two groups of expatriates may face different work conditions at their foreign assignment. The target group for this study was U.S. Department of Defense administrators at U.S. embassies around the world. Results showed that the time expatriates had spent in their current location had a positive association with both work adjustment and work effectiveness. So did role clarity, which also had a positive association with job satisfaction, making it a more important job factor than role conflict, role overload or role discretion. While role clarity may have a similar impact on work outcomes of expatriates both in the private and public sector, the findings regarding role conflict and role overload may constitute a discrepant outcome for the two groups. There may also be a difference between the two categories of expatriates with regard to role discretion. Implications of these findings are discussed in detail.
Human Resource Management Journal, 2009, Vol 19, Issue 1, p. 75-90