Evolving research on expatriates: What is 'known' after four decades (1970-2012)
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The purpose of this paper was to provide a comprehensive review of the evolving research on a still key challenge for human resource management (HRM) in the globalized business of today: the expatriates and their impact on business performance. Research of four decades was reviewed to show what was known and what was not yet known. A bibliometric analysis was conducted to build a conceptual map of the evolving research. Up to 438 papers published in 104 different journals by 233 authors were analyzed. Most of the literature studies and research does not show a systematic approach, so this review may be useful for scholars and practitioners in the field of HRM and International Business Management in order to advance into the next stage of development on how to deal with and take advantage of hiring expatriates. Even after more than four decades of intensive research, the literature on expatriation is still nascent and requires higher order content. New contexts and organizations should be included in the research agenda, while an effort must be made in systematic approaches and in building higher order content in the international HRM field.
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