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An exploratory study of organizational repatriates’ emotional support network

Lore Van Gorp (UGent) , Smaranda Boros, Piet Bracke (UGent) and Peter Stevens (UGent)
Author
Organization
Abstract
This qualitative study explores characteristics of repatriates’ emotional support providers. Although most scholars agree on the importance of support for ex/repatriates’ well-being, the sources of repatriates’ emotional support – that is, their emotional support network – remain largely unexplored. Analyses of 27 semi-structured in-depth interviews with organizational repatriates suggest that expat/adjustment empathy is a key attribute of organizational repatriates’ main emotional support providers. Analyses suggest that not only people who went abroad themselves are perceived as ‘expat-emphatic’ but also people who came to visit or people that are considering going abroad themselves. Next to this, results show that although partners are a main source of emotional support upon re-entry, they are at the same time important causes of distress as well. Finally, the results suggest that the cultural diversity of repatriates’ emotional support network is linked with characteristics of the assignment and that it impacts their re-entry experiences. This study adds to the understanding of repatriates’ emotional support networks generally and contributes to the IHRM literature by developing practical implications based on these new insights –such as, the possible benefits of spouse management or encouraging expatriates to invite home country friends when living abroad.
Keywords
International human resource management, Cultural diversity, Social network, Repatriation, Social support

Citation

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Chicago
Van Gorp, Lore, Smaranda Boros, Piet Bracke, and Peter Stevens. 2016. “An Exploratory Study of Organizational Repatriates’ Emotional Support Network.” In European Institute for Advanced Studies in Management) 6th Workshop on Expatriation.
APA
Van Gorp, L., Boros, S., Bracke, P., & Stevens, P. (2016). An exploratory study of organizational repatriates’ emotional support network. European Institute for advanced studies in management) 6th workshop on expatriation. Presented at the EIASM (European Institute for advanced studies in management) 6th workshop on expatriation.
Vancouver
1.
Van Gorp L, Boros S, Bracke P, Stevens P. An exploratory study of organizational repatriates’ emotional support network. European Institute for advanced studies in management) 6th workshop on expatriation. 2016.
MLA
Van Gorp, Lore, Smaranda Boros, Piet Bracke, et al. “An Exploratory Study of Organizational Repatriates’ Emotional Support Network.” European Institute for Advanced Studies in Management) 6th Workshop on Expatriation. 2016. Print.
@inproceedings{8197222,
  abstract     = {This qualitative study explores characteristics of repatriates{\textquoteright} emotional support providers. Although most scholars agree on the importance of support for ex/repatriates{\textquoteright} well-being, the sources of repatriates{\textquoteright} emotional support -- that is, their emotional support network -- remain largely unexplored. Analyses of 27 semi-structured in-depth interviews with organizational repatriates suggest that expat/adjustment empathy is a key attribute of organizational repatriates{\textquoteright} main emotional support providers. Analyses suggest that not only people who went abroad themselves are perceived as {\textquoteleft}expat-emphatic{\textquoteright} but also people who came to visit or people that are considering going abroad themselves. Next to this, results show that although partners are a main source of emotional support upon re-entry, they are at the same time important causes of distress as well. Finally, the results suggest that the cultural diversity of repatriates{\textquoteright} emotional support network is linked with characteristics of the assignment and that it impacts their re-entry experiences. This study adds to the understanding of repatriates{\textquoteright} emotional support networks generally and contributes to the IHRM literature by developing practical implications based on these new insights --such as, the possible benefits of spouse management or encouraging expatriates to invite home country friends when living abroad.},
  author       = {Van Gorp, Lore and Boros, Smaranda and Bracke, Piet and Stevens, Peter},
  booktitle    = {European Institute for advanced studies in management) 6th workshop on expatriation},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Catania, Italy},
  title        = {An exploratory study of organizational repatriates{\textquoteright} emotional support network},
  year         = {2016},
}