Understanding re-expatriation intentions among overseas returnees – an emerging economy perspective

Nga Ho, Pi-Shen Seet, Janice Jones

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    22 Citations (Scopus)


    This study investigates the reasons why returnees in an emerging economy, Vietnam, who have studied and/or worked abroad, and who have returned to their home country, intend to re-expatriate on their own initiative. We combine pull–push theory with the theory of planned behaviour (TPB) to explain the re-expatriation intentions of returnees. Using path analysis on a sample of 290 Vietnamese returnees, we find three pull–push factors associated with home and host countries that have a significant impact on returnees’ intention to re-expatriate: (1) dissatisfaction with career and life in their home country, (2) reverse culture shock and (3) expected career, family and quality-of-life outcomes from re-expatriation. For the TPB, we find that attitudes toward re-expatriation and subjective norms affect returnees’ intention to re-expatriate. Further, these factors either fully or partially mediate the role of pull–push factors on intention to re-expatriate. The study adds to the limited number of empirical studies on self-initiated re-expatriation and brain circulation of returnees in emerging economies.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1938-1966
    Number of pages29
    JournalInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
    Issue number17
    Publication statusPublished - 24 Sep 2016


    • brain circulation
    • emerging economies
    • re-entry experiences
    • re-expatriation
    • returnees
    • self-initiated expatriates


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