Despite the apparent increasing internationalization of the academic world, research on expatriate academics has remained negligible compared to the literature on business expatriates, which has increased rapidly in recent years. This is regrettable, since it is not obvious to what extent research findings regarding business expatriates also are applicable to expatriate academics. To examine cognitive and affective reasons to expatriate and work adjustment, a questionnaire was directed electronically towards expatriate academics from 60 countries employed in 35 universities in 5 northern European countries. Results indicated that one of the affective reasons to expatriate, refugee reasons (life change/escape), has a clear negative influence on both job adjustment and time to proficiency. However, none of the other studied reasons for expatriate academics to go abroad had any association with their subsequent adjustment to work. Hence, explorer reasons (adventure/travel), architect reasons (careers) or mercenary reasons (financial incentives) do not seem to have any effect on how well expatriate academics adjust to their work abroad. Implications of these findings are discussed in detail.
International Journal of Cross Cultural Management, 2013, Vol 13, Issue 2, p. 175-191
Expatriates; work adjustment; reasons to expatriate; motivation; decisions