Fostering expatriate success: A meta-analysis of the differential benefits of social support

Paul van der Laken*, Marloes van Engen, Marc van Veldhoven, Jaap Paauwe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

While social support is recognized as an important factor for successful international assignment, there is, to date, no overview of the supportive agents during the expatriation process and their influence on different criteria of expatriate success. We culminate findings of 84 independent studies that examined the social support provided by community-, work-, and family-domain agents in relation to four criteria of expatriate success: adjustment, commitment, performance, and retention. We explore the role of social support proximity: the physical, cultural, or hierarchical distance between a supporting agent and the expatriate. Our meta-analysis demonstrates that the strength of the support-success relationship (ρ = .24 overall) depends on this supporting agent and the success criterion under study. We visualized the meta-analytical estimates of the different relationships between social support and success criteria using a force-directed graph, demonstrating that adjustment and performance criteria have similar relationships to social support, distinct from those of commitment or retention criteria. Implications for future research and practices that do or do not foster the success of expatriate assignments are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
JournalHuman Resource Management Review
Volume29
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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Keywords

  • ANTECEDENTS
  • CAREER ADVANCEMENT
  • CROSS-CULTURAL ADJUSTMENT
  • FAMILY
  • INTERNATIONAL ASSIGNMENTS
  • MODEL
  • PERCEIVED ORGANIZATIONAL SUPPORT
  • PERCEPTIONS
  • REPATRIATION CONCERNS
  • WORK

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