On the Pitfalls of Tried and Tested Methods – The Case of Expatriate Adjustment Research

Organisation Studies

Speaker:Dr Thomas Hippler, Essex Business School
Date: Wednesday 23 November 2016
Time: 14:30 - 16:30
Location: Streatham Court C

Further details

Using the study of expatriate adjustment as an example, this seminar will explore how a lack of critical reflection on tried and trusted models and practices in expatriate management research can stifle theoretical progress and undermine the credibility of our knowledge base with detrimental knock-on effects for corporate policy and global mobility practitioners. Since the late 1980s/early 1990s, the study of expatriate adjustment has almost exclusively relied on a single conceptualisation and a single instrumentation. This seminar will challenge both on conceptual as well as psychometric grounds, drawing on three separate empirical studies. An alternative instrument is proposed and guidance for future research in this area is provided.  Working on the assumption that similar problems exist in other research areas, it is hoped that members of the audience may feel tempted to cast a similarly critical look over long-established practices in their chosen fields. 

Thomas Hippler is a Senior Lecturer in International Management at the University of Essex (UK). His research interests are in the area of global mobility management, with his current research activities focusing on international assignments and expatriate adjustment. Questions relating to conceptual and methodological considerations in expatriate adjustment research are at the core of his present work. Other interests relate to the motives for seeking or accepting global mobility opportunities. Prior to joining the University of Essex, Thomas held faculty positions in human resource management and international business at Swansea University (UK) and Queen’s University Belfast (UK). His work has been published in Human Resource Management (US), the International Journal of Human Resource Management, and others. His book (with Arno Haslberger and Chris Brewster) Managing Performance Abroad: A New Model for Understanding Expatriate Adjustment (Routledge Studies in Human Resource Development) was published in 2014. Thomas is a member of the Academy of Management, Academy of International Business and the International Academy of Intercultural Research. He is Associate Editor of the Journal of Global Mobility and serves on the Editorial Review Boards of the Journal of International Business Studies and the Journal of Managerial Psychology. Thomas holds a PhD in International Human Resource Management from the University of Limerick (Ireland).