Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/31027
Appears in Collections:Management, Work and Organisation eTheses
Title: Working in dangerous contexts: Advancing the conceptual and empirical approach to work in hostile environments
Author(s): Faeth, Pia Charlotte
Supervisor(s): Walsh, Michael
Kittler, Markus
Keywords: hostile environments
expatriates
JD-R
burnout
work engagement
Issue Date: 20-Dec-2019
Publisher: University of Stirling
Citation: Faeth and Kittler (2017). How do you fear? Examining expatriates’ perception of danger and its consequences. Journal of Global Mobility: The Home of Expatriate Management Research, 5 (4), 391-417.
Abstract: Recent international political and economic developments have led to an increased number of expatriates being assigned to environments characterised as hostile. While expatriation itself already has a long-standing reputation of being a stressful event, the still very limited literature on expatriation in hostile environments (HEs) shows consensus that assignments in hostile regions pose additional stressors that go beyond the need to adjust to a new culture, leading to increased stress for the individual. Increased stress is a phenomenon that is often associated with severe health outcomes such as burnout – a topic that is also relatively new on the expatriate research agenda. This thesis discusses whether expatriates working in hostile, arguably highly stressful, environments are particularly at risk for the development of burnout. It further aims to identify context-relevant factors potentially responsible for the development of burnout and conversely work engagement as its conceptual opposite. Insights are based on a systematic literature review and two empirical studies applying the Job Demands-Resource (JD-R) model (Demerouti et al., 2001) to expatriation in HEs. In-depth interviews with 42 expatriates assigned to HEs, revealed a set of general and HE-specific job and personal demands and resources that form the basis of a context-specific application of the JD-R model for HEs. The proposed model was tested in the subsequent quantitative study, drawing on survey data from 178 expatriates assigned to HEs. Findings imply that particularly high workload, work-life conflicts, cultural novelty, perceived organisational support, job satisfaction and support networks are critical predictors of work related outcomes. Results also suggest that the fear of crime or victimisation seems to be absent, and that expatriates are challenged by and seek support from similar sources as their counterparts in low-risk countries. The studies contribute to the young debate on hostile environments and global mobility, as well as disclosing interesting avenues for future research. This thesis also offers valuable insights for international HR-practitioners discussing HE assignment policies and practices, as well as stress management interventions.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/31027

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