Granting i-deals begets i-deal expectations: A qualitative study on repatriates

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Current research explores the role that international assignments (IA), as a form of i-deals initiated by the organization, play on repatriates’ perceived entitlement for continuation after their return to the host organization and their implications for their employment relationship.

Interviews were conducted with 60 employees and 14 HR managers, including observations and archival data from two Saudi Arabian organizations; Oil-Co and Chemo-Co.

From the findings it is evident that there were strong feelings of being “special” deemed by the repatriates as a positive aspect of being selected for IA. Further, findings showed that granting IA i-deal influenced employees’ feelings of entitlement to continued idiosyncratic treatment. In Oil-Co, after repatriation, individual’s unsuccessfully negotiated i-deals (i.e., special promotion track or exceptional career progression plan) which had detrimental effects for their repatriation, such as thoughts of quitting. In Chemo-Co, repatriates were more likely to successfully negotiate and obtain idiosyncratic arrangements (moving from technical track to managerial track) thus increasing perceptions of job satisfaction and affective commitment.

Research/Practical Implications
The present study provides interesting paths of how granting i-deals can backfire if not sufficiently managed.

The research findings presented here have been reported from data gathered at one point in time. Longitudinal research design can potentially provide deeper insight.

This is the first paper that offers useful directions about how granting i-deals, initiated by the organization, can create expectations about its management and the potential effects when these fail to be managed properly.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 18 May 2017
EventEuropean Association of Work and Organizational Psychology Congress 2017 - Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 17 May 201720 May 2017


ConferenceEuropean Association of Work and Organizational Psychology Congress 2017

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Granting i-deals begets i-deal expectations: A qualitative study on repatriates'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this