Differences in self-initiated and organizational expatriates' cross-cultural adjustment



Publication Details

Peltokorpi, V. & Froese, F. (2013). Differences in self-initiated and organizational expatriates' cross-cultural adjustment. In M. Andresen, A. Al Ariss, M. Walther & K. Wolff (Eds.), Self-Initiated Expatriation: Individual, Organizational, and National Perspectives (pp. 90-104). United Kingdom: Routledge.


Reflecting changes in the international labor force, more professionals initiate their own expatriation than are assigned abroad by multinational companies (MNCs). For example, a study on expatriated professionals from Western countries shows that 65% of them are self-initiated expatriates (SIEs) and the remaining 35% organizational expatriates (OEs) (Doherty, Dickmann, & Mills, 2008). SIEs are individuals who decide by themselves to live and work in foreign countries (Peltokorpi & Froese, 2009); OEs are individuals who are deployed by MNCs to complete a time-based task or achieve an organiza­tional goal in a country of a company's choice (Edstrom & Galbraith, 1977). The prevalence of self-initiated expatriating is also shown by the increased international movement of professionals. For example, at least 1.5 million skilled individuals were estimated to migrate to Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries in 2004 (OECD, 2006). Therefore, it is not surprising that scholars have started to classify and exam­ine SIEs as a distinctive group of expatriates.

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