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Appears in Collections:Management, Work and Organisation Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: How do you fear? Examining expatriates' perception of danger and its consequences
Author(s): Faeth, Pia Charlotte
Kittler, Markus
Keywords: Well-being
Expatriate management
Issue Date: 2017
Citation: Faeth PC & Kittler M (2017) How do you fear? Examining expatriates' perception of danger and its consequences. Journal of Global Mobility, 5 (4), pp. 391-417.
Abstract: Purpose  The purpose of this paper is to investigate the differing perceptions of fear of expatriates operating in terror-exposed Nairobi and the high-crime environment of Johannesburg and its impact on stress and well-being. It illustrates how expatriates cope with the challenges associated with these two regions.   Design/methodology/approach  Following an interpretative and inductive research approach, qualitative content analyses were conducted using evidence from in-depth interviews with 12 expatriates in senior management or officer positions within a large global organisation, with respondents based in South Africa and Kenya.  Findings  Data suggest that expatriates in the more terrorism-exposed context perceive fear less strongly than expatriates in environments categorised by high degrees of conventional crime. Fear seems to relate to physical well-being via restricted freedom of movement, but there is little evidence that fear affects mental well-being. The study finds that respondents in terror-exposed Nairobi tend to engage more in avoidance-oriented coping strategies, whereas their counterparts in the high-crime environment of Johannesburg predominantly rely on problem-focused coping.   Practical implications  The qualitative design allows practitioners to better understand expatriates’ perceptions of fear, its consequences for stress, and well-being and potential coping strategies expatriates employ. It discusses a set of practical recommendations focussing on the deployment of expatriates assigned to dangerous locations.   Originality/value  This study develops a distinction between terror and conventional crime and contributes with practical insights for assignments into dangerous work environments. The geographic lens of the study provides an in-depth look at expatriation challenges in an arguably neglected regional context.
DOI Link: 10.1108/JGM-11-2016-0063
Rights: © Copyright 2017 Emerald Publishing Limited. This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Journal of Global Mobility following peer review. The version of record, How do you fear? Examining expatriates’ perception of danger and its consequences, Pia Charlotte Faeth and Markus G. Kittler, Journal of Global Mobility: The Home of Expatriate Management Research 2017 5:4, 391-417, is available online at: This article is deposited under the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial International Licence 4.0 (CC BY-NC 4.0). Any reuse is allowed in accordance with the terms outlined by the licence ( To reuse the AAM for commercial purposes, permission should be sought by contacting

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