Repatriation: what do we know and where do we go from here

Flora CHIANG, Emmy van Esch, Thomas A. Birtch*, Margaret A. Shaffer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


The unparalleled growth in multinational corporations in recent decades has witnessed a commensurate rise in the deployment of expatriates to foreign subsidiaries and their subsequent repatriation. However, despite considerable progress in our understanding of the expatriation phase of international assignments, the literature on repatriation remains fragmented and incomplete. Plagued with problematic re-adjustments, high turnover rates, and a range of other obstacles, there is an urgent need for an improved understanding of repatriation. This study systematically reviews the repatriation literature over the previous four decades, identifies its major themes, gaps and limitations, and provides a framework that consolidates the literature and prompts future work in several important new directions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-226
Number of pages39
JournalInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2018

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

User-Defined Keywords

  • cross-cultural management
  • international assignments
  • international HRM
  • Repatriation


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