This paper applies a generalized exchange perspective to examine how and when reintegration in headquarters (HQ) facilitates repatriate knowledge transfer (RKT). Specifically, we theorize how the preparatory stage for repatriation – when expatriates are still abroad – enhances reintegration in HQ upon repatriation and subsequently RKT via interpersonal and career-related pathways. For the former, we hypothesize that communication frequency with HQ actors before re-entry enhances RKT via reintegration. We also hypothesize that communication frequency with HQ actors before re-entry improves trust in HQ actors, which, in turn, strengthens the positive effect of reintegration on RKT. For the second pathway, we hypothesize that career and repatriate support before re-entry increases RKT via reintegration. We also hypothesize that career and repatriate support before re-entry enhances career satisfaction upon re-entry, which, in turn, strengthens the positive effect of reintegration on RKT. Time-lagged data from 129 assignees and their HQ supervisors support most of our hypotheses.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We are grateful for the constructive guidance and comments of General Editor Jonathan Doh and the three anonymous reviewers. We also thank Anne Burmeister for her helpful comments on an earlier draft of this paper. Open access funding enabled and organized by ProjektDEAL.
© 2022 The Authors. Journal of Management Studies published by Society for the Advancement of Management Studies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Business and International Management
- Strategy and Management
- Management of Technology and Innovation