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A risk management model for research on expatriates in hostile work environments

Carl Maertz, PhD R.A. Posthuma J. Ramsey F. Flores R. Ahmed
International Journal of Human Resource Management. September 11, 2017

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Although much has been written about the causes of expatriate adjustment, more research is needed on managing the fear and anxiety experienced when expatriates work in hostile environments. The perceived risks of terrorism, kidnapping, crime, and civil unrest can have negative effects on the performance of expatriates and the organizations that employ them. While research has begun to examine expatriates’ stress in hostile environments, there is comparatively little research on the effectiveness of management practices that can reduce such stress. We integrate the expatriate adjustment, psychological contract, and risk management literature to develop a model that can guide efforts to reduce environmental stress and its negative effect on expatriate adjustment. Specifically, we build on recent work by Bader and colleagues to develop propositions to guide future research with the aim of improving the conditions of expatriates working in hostile environments.