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The dynamics of workplace relationships among expatriates and host country nationals in international development organisations

Yusuf, R., Fontinha, R. and Haak-Saheem, W. (2022) The dynamics of workplace relationships among expatriates and host country nationals in international development organisations. Journal of Global Mobility, 10 (4). pp. 476-495. ISSN 2049-8799

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1108/JGM-03-2022-0011


Purpose- This paper aims to explore the dynamics of workplace relationships between expatriates and host country nationals (HCNs) in International Development Organisations (IDOs) through the lens of the social comparison theory. These relationships are likely influenced by the way HRM practices are implemented among individuals from both groups. Design/methodology/approach- We used an inductive approach and analysed qualitative data from ten expatriates and twenty host country nationals employed by five IDOs in Nigeria, a risk-prone context. Findings- Our findings demonstrate that both expatriates and HCNs perceive that the HRM practices implemented by IDOs are more favourable to expatriates. This leads to further social comparisons between members of both groups, affecting their workplace interactions. Practical Implications- The way expatriates and HCNs perceive and act towards these differential practices matters for the operations of IDOs. As such, we recommend that IDO management may consider acknowledging diversity in their workforce, enact inclusive practices, and make deliberate investments on learning opportunities and maximise the continued investments in expatriate use. Originality/Value- This study contributes to expatriation literature by clarifying the extent to which the enactment of differential HRM practices in a risk-prone context can exacerbate upward social comparisons and significantly influence working relationships. We explore this outside the context of multinational enterprises, focusing on IDOs that play a valuable role in local societies.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Henley Business School > International Business and Strategy
ID Code:107342


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