Transfer from expatriate to local contracts: a multiple case study of an unexpected career transition Academic Article uri icon


  • 2019, 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. The transfer of company-assigned expatriate employees from balance sheet expatriate contracts to local contracts is an alternative international assignment compensation strategy increasingly adopted by global corporations. Despite its growing popularity, there is a significant lack of research on the impact (both professional and personal) of transferring employees from expatriate to local contracts. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to investigate this emerging international HR trend, with specific focus on exploring the experiences of career transition of company-assigned long-term expatriates (delayed localization) to local contracts at multinational organizations located in Sweden and America. Eight individual cases were analyzed. Findings revealed that localization was an unexpected career transition, a negative type of career shock, characterized by limited support from employers, mentors, and local colleagues. The findings further indicated that localization was a type of career transition rather different from other previous career transitions experienced by participants; it represented a major career and life transition. Based on the findings, we proposed HRD interventions to assist expatriates during the transition from expatriate to local contracts. Areas for future research are also suggested.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 0.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Nery-Kjerfve, T., & Wang, J.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Nery-Kjerfve, Tania||Wang, Jia

publication date

  • May 2019