Why do self-initiated expatriates quit their jobs: The role of job embeddedness and shocks in explaining turnover intentions

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International Business Review


© 2017 Elsevier Ltd Retaining self-initiated expatriates is a challenge for many organizations. Self-made expatriates tend to be mobile. They are willing to manage their own careers and to take up opportunities to live and work in countries of their own choice. Despite their importance as a source of human capital there are few studies on the work experiences of self-initiated expatriates and on the factors that affect their decisions to stay or leave their jobs. This article examined the effects of both job embeddedness and shocks on the turnover intention of self-initiated expatriates. Drawing on a sample of 204 self-initiated expatriates working in public healthcare organizations in the United Arab Emirates we found that both on-the-job embeddedness and shocks played a key role in predicting turnover intentions. The study also revealed that off-the-job embeddedness moderated the relationship between shock and turnover intentions such that self-initiated expatriates were more likely to consider leaving their organizations when they were firmly embedded in their community. We discuss the practical and theoretical implications of these findings.

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Author First name, Last name, Institution

Taiba Hussain, Zayed University
Stephen Deery, King's College London