Dangerous Moves and Risky International Assignments
As a result of globalization, migration and international mobility of human resources are of growing relevance (OECD, 2015). Many individual factors drive this increasing mobility, such as the desire for adventure, higher quality of life, compensation, career, and family or personal ties (e.g. Al Ariss et al., 2013; Cerdin, Diné and Brewster, 2014; Doherty, Dickmann and Mills, 2011; Froese and Peltokorpi, 2013; Hippler, 2009; Selmer and Lauring 2011). Externally, the joint influence of the global economic climate, demographic changes, and geopolitical crises have been triggering the phenomena (OECD, 2015). At the same time, the domestic context in which many business organizations operate is becoming more complex and dangerous, mainly due to the threat of natural disasters, war, violent conflicts, crime, civil unrest, and terrorism (Bader, Schuster and Dickmann, 2015). Therefore, an increasing number of people are engaging in roles and jobs that involve mobility under higher danger and risk, such as military, health, emergency and rescue service providers, development aid volunteers and peacekeepers, journalists, diplomats, religious missionaries etc. Until now, we know only little about how the intensification of risks affects international mobility. Previous research has focused on the physical and psychological hazards of certain occupational groups, such as military (e.g. Kelly, Hutchings and Pinto, 2015) and war journalists/correspondents (e.g. Feinstein, Owen and Blair, 2002); other studies have considered the HRM issues of hostile settings (e.g. Bader and Schuster, 2015, Reade and Lee, 2012), highlighting the reality that terrorism-related threats can cause stress and impair expatriates’ attitudes and performance (Bader and Berg, 2013).
Despite these contributions and recent developments in the understanding of multiple forms of international mobility (Mayrhofer and Reiche, 2014; Shaffer et al., 2012), little is known about the people who work in dangerous and remote areas, such as offshore, war zones, humanitarian, and emergency settings. Therefore, this special issue aims at attracting scholarly research that contributes to the knowledge about (1) the dangerous settings (profit and non-profit) in which international mobility occurs, (2) the dangerous occupations (skilled or less-skilled) involving permanent, long-term or short-term international mobility, (3) the individual antecedents and outcomes related to these dangerous assignments, and (4) the organizational policies and practices aimed at managing these dangerous assignments.
Original quantitative and qualitative empirical research, theory development, case studies, and critical literature reviews from multiple disciplines (e.g. sociology, psychology, occupational health, migration, international travelling, risk and safety management, etc.) are appropriate for potential inclusion in this special issue. Also, multi-level approaches are particularly sought to accommodate individual, organizational, and societal perspectives. The following list of topics and research questions illustrate the aims and scope of the special issue. Please note that this list is not exhaustive and other ideas are welcome as well:
• Dangerous and extreme settings: What can we learn from the most frequent threats of dangerous international contexts, such as war and conflict scenarios, peacekeeping, humanitarian and health international assistance etc.? How can permanent threats be managed and overcome?
• Dangerous and extreme occupations: What are the most frequent forms of dangerous and extreme occupations in the context of international mobility? To what extent does the understanding of these occupations advance our theorization of international work and mobility?
• Danger and risk – individual antecedents: What are the main motivations and requirements of accepting dangerous international assignments? What effects do intrinsic motives (e.g. a specific calling, a religious duty, etc.) and extrinsic motives (e.g. compensation, career advancement, etc.) have on the acceptance, outcome and repetition of these assignments?
• Danger and risk – individual outcomes: How do individuals cope with dangerous international assignments, related to different aspects such as decision-making, family, work-life interface, work identity, compensation, career implications etc.? What are the differences in the underlying psychological processes, such as adjustment, commitment (organizational and occupational), and satisfaction of the workers in dangerous international assignments?
• Danger and risk – beyond the individual: How do family members handle the separation or the move into dangerous settings? What are the social networks established in the dangerous host location? How do individuals and/or family members cope, over the short and long-term, with extreme outcomes, such as injury, illness, burnout, disability, or death?
• Danger and risk – organizational policies and practices: What are an organization’s reasons to assign people in dangerous locations? What are the human resource management policies and practices aimed to attract, select, and prepare people for dangerous international assignments? What are the challenges associated with multiple reassignments? What are the main hardship policies and practices in view of accident, illness, death, kidnapping etc.? To what extent can for-profit organizations and multinational corporations (MNCs) learn from the organizational policies and practices of the non-profit organizations (NPO’s) operating in dangerous and extreme contexts?
• Danger and risk – the role of the employer: What is the organization’s ethical responsibility and under which conditions should assignments be terminated or not initiated in the first place? What is the employer’s duty of care required by law and social responsibility? How can employers guarantee safety for employees?
Submission Process and Timeline
To be considered for the special issue, manuscripts must be submitted no later than 30 November, 2016, 5:00pm Central European Time. Papers may be submitted prior to this deadline as well. Submitted papers will undergo a double-blind peer review process and will be evaluated by at least two reviewers and a special issue editor. The final acceptance is dependent on the review team’s judgments of the paper’s contribution on four key dimensions:
(1) Theoretical contribution: Does the article offer novel and innovative insights or meaningfully extend existing theory in the field of global mobility?
(2) Empirical contribution: Does the article offer novel findings and are the study design, data analysis, and results rigorous and appropriate in testing the hypotheses or research questions?
(3) Practical contribution: Does the article contribute to the improved management of global mobility?
(4) Contribution to the special issue topic.
Authors should prepare their manuscripts for blind review according to the Journal of Global Mobility author guidelines, available at www.emeraldinsight.com/jgm.htm. Please remove any information that may potentially reveal the identity of the authors to the reviewers. Manuscripts should be submitted electronically at: http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/jgmob. For enquiries regarding the special issue please contact any of the three Guest Editors, Luisa Pinto, at email@example.com; Benjamin Bader, at firstname.lastname@example.org and Tassilo Schuster, at email@example.com.
Al Ariss, A., Koall, I., Mustafa, Ö. and Vesa, S. (2013), 'Careers of skilled migrants', Journal of Management Development, Vol. 32 No. 2, pp. 148-151.
Bader, B. and Berg, N. (2013), ‘An empirical investigation of terrorism-induced stress on expatriate attitudes and performance’, Journal of International Management, Vol. 19 No. 2, pp. 163-175.
Bader, B. and Schuster, T. (2015), 'Expatriate Social Networks in Terrorism-Endangered Countries: An Empirical Analysis in Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia', Journal of International Management, Vol. 21 No. 1, pp. 63-77.
Bader, B., Schuster, T. and Dickmann, M. (2015), 'Special issue of International Journal of Human Resource Management: Danger and risk as challenges for HRM: how to manage people in hostile environments', The International Journal of Human Resource Management, Vol. 26 No.15, pp. 2015-2017.
Cerdin, J. L., Diné, M. A. and Brewster, C. (2014), 'Qualified immigrants’ success: Exploring the motivation to migrate and to integrate', Journal of International Business Studies, Vol. 45 No. 2, pp. 151–168.
Doherty, N., Dickmann, M. and Mills, T. (2011), 'Exploring the motives of company-backed and self-initiated expatriates', The International Journal of Human Resource Management, Vol. 22 No. 3, pp. 595-611.
Feinstein, A., Owen, J. and Blair, N. (2002), 'A Hazardous Profession: War, Journalists, and Psychopathology', American Journal of Psychiatry, Vol. 159 No. 9, pp. 1570-1575.
Fisher, K., Hutchings, K. and Pinto, L. H. (2015), 'Pioneers across war zones: The lived acculturation experiences of US female military expatriates', International Journal of Intercultural Relations, Vol. 49, pp. 265–277.
Froese, F. J. and Peltokorpi, V. (2013), 'Organizational expatriates and self-initiated expatriates: differences in cross-cultural adjustment and job satisfaction', The International Journal of Human Resource Management, Vol. 24 No.10, pp. 1953-1967.
Hippler, T. (2009), 'Why do they go? Empirical evidence of employees' motives for seeking or accepting relocation', The International Journal of Human Resource Management, Vol. 20 No. 6, pp. 1381 - 1401.
Mayrhofer, W. and Reiche, S. B., (2014), ’Guest editorial: context and global mobility: diverse global work arrangements’, Journal of Global Mobility, Vol. 2 No. 2.
OECD (2015), International Migration Outlook 2015. Paris: OECD Publishing.
Reade, C. and Lee, H. J. (2012), ‘Organizational Commitment in Time of War: Assessing the Impact and Attenuation of Employee Sensitivity to Ethnopolitical Conflict’, Journal of International Management, Vol. 18 No. 1, pp. 85–101.
Selmer, J. and Lauring, J. (2011), 'Acquired demographics and reasons to relocate among self-initiated expatriates', The International Journal of Human Resource Management, Vol. 22 No. 10, pp. 2055-2070.
Shaffer, M. A., Kraimer, M. L., Chen, Y. P. and Bolino, M. C. (2012), 'Choices, Challenges, and Career Consequences of Global Work Experiences', Journal of Management, Vol. 38 No. 4, pp. 1282-1327.