Expatriate management in hostile environments from a multi-stakeholder perspective: a systematic review

Pia Charlotte Faeth, Markus G. Kittler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
864 Downloads (Pure)


The successful management of business expatriates and their families in hostile environments (HE) is a current concern for academics and human resources (HR) practitioners alike. Terrorism and other forms of violent crime have become salient topics on the public agenda, and international organizations are increasingly affected. Hence, scholarly interest in the HR implications for organizations sending staff to HEs has recently grown, and a nascent research area has emerged. This paper is the first systematic review synthesizing emerging literature in the field of expatriate management in HEs and its theoretical foundations, applying a multi-stakeholder perspective.

Following accepted review procedures, systematic searches were conducted across three major databases. Manual search in target journals provided additional scrutiny.

After analysing 28 articles, four main stakeholders were identified as follows: environments, expatriates, assigning organizations and the expatriates' social networks. Findings reveal the ways of how all stakeholders can affect expatiation success or be affected so that the success of the assignment is jeopardised.

Our paper illustrates how these diverse articles can be linked within a comprehensive multi-stakeholder framework and provides avenues for future research. We also shift attention to neglected theoretical perspectives that might further improve the understanding of expatriates in HEs while offering actionable guidance for managerial and organizational practices.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Global Mobility
Issue number1
Early online date30 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jun 2020


  • expatriate management
  • hostile environments
  • systematic review


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