Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Business Administration

First Advisor's Name

Mary Ann Von Glinow

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee chair

Second Advisor's Name

Ochieng F. Walumbwa

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Third Advisor's Name

Hock-Peng Sin

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Karlene C. Cousins

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member


Expatriates, Psychological contracts, Human resource management, Moderators, Contextual factors

Date of Defense



As a business becomes dependent on knowledge and intellectual capabilities, human resource management is undoubtedly a key driver of an organization’s success. In the same vein, the importance of managing human resources for the multinational enterprise (MNE) cannot be overstated (Dowling, 1999; Hiltrop, 1999; Tung, 1984). Since a large number of MNEs depend on expatriates to run their global operations despite their relatively high costs, it is essential for MNEs to develop a better understanding of expatriate management. In this regard, the psychological contract has received recent attention as an underlying mechanism for managing expatriates. However, existing psychological contract studies have paid little heed to the unique contexts of expatriate employment relationships (Ng & Feldman, 2009; Lub, Bal, Blomme, & Schalk, 2016), which are different from domestic employment relationships. Expatriates are often exposed to more complex environments than their domestic counterparts, such as different cultures. Moreover, expatriate contracts usually involve multiple parties and are directed by various interests (Kraimer & Wayne, 2004; Mendenhall & Oddou, 1985). Therefore, the current understanding of psychological contracts in the expatriation context is not well understood. This could potentially hinder the ability to manage expatriates on international assignments. Using social exchange theory and equity theory, this dissertation seeks to explore expatriates’ psychological contracts in the multi-contextual nature of expatriation. More particularly, this dissertation aims to examine the effects of psychological contract violations on attitudinal outcomes in the expatriation context and also discover potential moderators of that relationship at the individual, organizational, and national levels. Using an expatriate sample, this dissertation employs two questionnaires within a two-week interval. The findings of this dissertation contribute to a clearer understanding of expatriate management by answering essential questions of what impact perceived psychological contract violations have on expatriate attitudes and how individual, organizational, and national factors influence the effects of perceived psychological contract violations.





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