Career satisfaction of expatriates in humanitarian inter-governmental organizations

Mila Lazarova, Mihaela Dimitrova, Michael Dickmann, Chris Brewster, Jean-Luc Cerdin

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review


We examine the careers of expatriates in an inter-governmental organization (IGO) who undertake a mix of hardship and non-hardship assignments. Considering the individual, organizational, and broader environmental
domains, and using conservation of resources theory, we examine what contributes to such expatriates’ career satisfaction. Based on survey data, we find that career satisfaction is influenced by views of how their assignments
fit their overall career and the procedural justice of their organization’s career management system. Since their careers – unlike careers in most multinational corporations (MNC) – are likely to include one or more hardship postings, we also look at whether these hardship postings are associated with lower career satisfaction. Our results provide support for such negative relationships only when IGO expatriates’ career motivations of dedication to cause and challenge-seeking are low. We contribute to a greater understanding of career success and
expatriation outside the MNC ‘norm’ and to research on expatriation in extreme contexts.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of World Business
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 211903 Science of management
  • 502044 Business management
  • 502026 Human resource management
  • 501015 Organisational psychology

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