In the Line of Fire: managing expatriates in hostile environments
KeywordsHostile environments, expatriates, international human resource management, risk, insurers, relocation specialists, protection
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AbstractThis study explores best practice in the preparation and protection of strategic HRs deployed by Multinational corporations (MNCs) in hostile environments. By building on the literature from the areas of strategic and IHRM, expatriation, as well as risk and crisis management, the limitations and gaps of the extant research are highlighted. This provides a foundation for our investigation through a series of in-depth interviews with corporate executives, and insurers and relocation specialists with professional expertise in protecting and supporting HRs. This represents the first time such a detailed picture of the partnerships between MNCs and the specialists, required to deliver preparation and protection in hostile environments, has been depicted in the IHRM literature. The findings identify the challenges MNCs face when protecting their HRs and highlights the importance of specialist expertise, knowledge, and management. A framework for managing HRs within international hostile environments is subsequently developed offering an opportunity to systematically consider some of the ethical and strategic issues associated with the contemporary challenges of international mobility.