Changing psychological contracts and organisational commitment: a longitudinal comparison of assigned and self-initiated expatriates in Australia

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Abstract

This paper compares the psychological contracts and the organisational commitment of company-assigned expatriates (AEs) and self-initiated expatriates (SIEs) in Australia. This was accomplished by conducting a qualitative longitudinal research, which draws on three phases of repeat semi-structured in-depth interviews with 25 participants over four years (2010–2014). Findings reveal that the differences between AEs’ and SEs’ PCs are mostly grounded in the emotional attachment individuals express towards their employment relationships. Findings also uncover how AEs commitment changes over time. This paper contributes to the literature by responding to calls for further study about similarities and differences between AEs and SIEs in the context of the global quest for talent. It further contributes to reconceptualising the PC and organisational commitment in contemporary employment relationships, such as the relationships that AEs and SIEs have with their employers.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Sep 2019

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