Network Development Management

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Identifying and Mapping the Scientific Landscape of Expatriate(s) Studies in Last Five Decades: An Author Co-citation Analysis


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This paper aims to explore the theoretical essentials of the knowledge network of expatriate studies based on a dataset of 793 journal articles and 17716 citations. A computer-aided co-citation network analysis of 17716 citations is conducted to trace the development paths and paradigms shift of expatriate studies. Based on the analysis, we divided the development of research on expatriate management into three stages: initializing stage (1957-1985), forming stage (1986-1995), and development stage (1996-2006). We ranked overall first author citations, article citations for each stage, and journal citations for each stage. Using network analysis, we mapped the co-citation network for each stage and analyzed the centrality of top 50 articles in each stage. Ideas generated from these articles provide a picture of the research development on expatriate issues. The results provide guidance to researchers for future research in this area.

Key words: Expatriate management, Network of knowledge, Co-Citation Analysis

Identifying and Mapping the Scientific Landscape of Expatriate(s) Studies in Last Five Decades: An Author Co-citation Analysis


Coinciding with the increased globalization and outsourcing of manufacturing and services in the last few decades is increased focus on expatriate management research and practice. Studies in this field have covered many topics ranging from predictor identification, to process investigation, and to outcome examination of expatriate adjustment (see review articles by Harrison, Shaffer, & Bhaskar-Shrinivas, 2004; Mendenhall, Kuhlmann, Stahl, & Osland, 2002; Thomas, 1998; Thomas & Lazarova, 2006). Meta-analyses also demonstrate the importance of expatriate adjustment for promoting personal and organizational effectiveness; and support the validity and generalizability of studies focused on predictors of expatriate adjustment (Bhaskar-Shrinivas, Harrison, Shaffer, & Luk, 2005; Hechanova, Beehr, & Christiansen, 2003).

With the rapid development in expatriate studies, it is time for researchers to reflect on the past and identify avenues for future research. As demonstrated by the majority of reviews, the model and constructs of expatriate adjustment proposed by Black, Mendenhall, and Oddou (1991) have provided a needed conceptual framework for the field. Even though Harrison et al’s (2004) review provided a holistic picture of the expatriate adjustment literature, the center of this review is Black et al’s (1991) framework. While the importance of this model is unquestionable, we would also like to see the integration of ideas from other highly cited works, such as those by Tung (1981; 1982), Adler and Bartholomew (1992), Harvey (1985), Mendenhall & Oddou (1985), Gregersen (1990), Shaffer (1999), Caligiuri (1998), Harzing (1995), Takeuchi, Wang, and Marinova, (2005), Bhaskar-Shrinivas, Harrison, Shaffer, and Luk, and others into further model and theory development of expatriate management. To this end this study will focus on the evolution and centrality/importance of academic articles at different development stages in the field of expatriate management.

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