It has been widely acknowledged that knowledge is one of MNCs' most important resources, and that expatriates move some of this knowledge. Nevertheless, research on IHRM and expatriate management largely ignored this important notion. To fill this gap, in this conceptual paper we approach IHRM from a knowledge management and organizational learning perspective. Applying the concept of double-loop learning (Argyris, 1992), we focus on assignment objectives, which we distinguish according to the well-established conception of exploration versus exploitation. Based on this theoretically grounded framework, we demonstrate, in a second step, the benefit of crossing the two literatures and deduct concrete hypotheses for the selection of expatriates. Thereby, we do not only contribute to IHRM theory development and a more unified perspective, but also to explaining some of the incoherent findings in the literature as well as present practical implications.

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Noethen, Daniela; Bonache Pérez, Jaime Alfonso

Selecting expatriates for exploration and exploitation assignments: A theoretical analysis

It has been widely acknowledged that knowledge is one of MNCs' most important resources, and that expatriates move some of this knowledge. Nevertheless, research on IHRM and expatriate management largely ignored this important notion. To fill this gap, in this conceptual paper we approach IHRM from a knowledge management and organizational learning perspective. Applying the concept of double-loop learning (Argyris, 1992), we focus on assignment objectives, which we distinguish according to the well-established conception of exploration versus exploitation. Based on this theoretically grounded framework, we demonstrate, in a second step, the benefit of crossing the two literatures and deduct concrete hypotheses for the selection of expatriates. Thereby, we do not only contribute to IHRM theory development and a more unified perspective, but also to explaining some of the incoherent findings in the literature as well as present practical implications.
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Selecting expatriates for exploration and exploitation assignments: A theoretical analysis
Noethen, Daniela; Bonache Pérez, Jaime Alfonso
15th EURAM Annual Conference 2015
Kozminski University
Bruselas (Belgium), 17/06/2015 - 20/06/2015

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