Purpose – This paper proposes a methodology for governing expatriate assignments in the context of corporate‐level objectives. Design/methodology/approach – The approach taken is to envisage expatriate managerial assignments within the theoretical framework of agency theory and the knowledge‐based view of the firm. The paper begins with the view that knowledge acquisition and integration is a primary goal for most expatriate assignments. The relationship between expatriate managers and multinational corporation (MNC) headquarters from an agency perspective are considered and the notion of a “knowledge contract” as a means of governing that relationship is discussed. Four corporate‐level international strategies available to MNCs (global, international, transnational, and multidomestic) are then examined and the extent of agency problems under each strategy is discussed. Findings – The paper makes specific predictions about the type of knowledge contract that is most likely to address agency problems for each corporate strategy. Originality/value – This research extends agency theory by introducing the knowledge contract as a means of managing agency concerns. This offers a broader range of contract alternatives, moving researchers beyond traditional agency theoretic prescriptions. The research also contributes to the literature on expatriate management by integrating assignment success with research on corporate‐level international strategy. Few authors have recognized organizational strategy as an important unit of study in international human resource management. Doing so, however, has yielded a unique set of contingency relationships that would otherwise be obscured.
Management Decision – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 10, 2007
Keywords: Expatriates; International business; Corporate strategy; Knowledge management
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera