Theoretical modeling and empirical tests: impact of international employee identity

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This study draws attention to international employee identity and the transitional impact from expatriate to repatriate on repatriate turnover. Prior studies have researched identity constructs in social- cultural and organizational context. Rather, the current paper advances this line of research by focusing on the structural mechanisms of identity and the contextual mechanisms of identity. Drawing on sample data from 147 recently repatriated employees currently working in multinational enterprises, the study finds that expatriate role identity can affect the feeling of repatriating job deprivation in that the structure of prior role identity can cause perceived overqualification and hence turnover intent. Yet when contextual mechanism of identity enacts identity reentry by adjustment, it moderates that feeling and hence leads to lower levels turnover intent in which organizational support also plays an exceptional role. The findings contribute to understanding repatriate turnover behavioral, in relation to identity structure and identity context of international employees, which have important implications for IHRM of MNCs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)451
Number of pages30
JournalAcademy of Management Proceedings
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
Event75th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management - Vancouver, Canada
Duration: 9 Aug 201511 Aug 2015


  • repatriation, salient identity, identity strain, mental models, social context


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