Understanding the early career self-initiated expatriation

A review and directions for future research





literature review, early career self-initiated expatriate , future agenda, multiparadigm literature review, functionalist approach , constructivist approach , interpretivist approach


While the literature on self-initiated expatriation (SIE) is well-established in management, no systematic investigation has yet been conducted to explore the specificities of early career expatriation. This review article aims to identify and analyse publications that uniquely focus on self-initiated expatriates, who decide to start their career abroad, either with little or no prior work experience. After identifying relevant publications in this specific research field, the authors discuss the personal career motivations and behaviours of early career self-initiated expatriates and the relevance of this phenomenon for the global workforce. The contributions of this article are twofold. First, they integrate the relevant research findings from recent decades on early career self-initiated expatriates. Second, they provide information about managing early career SIEs and propose a future research agenda to address the knowledge gap identified in this review and apply the findings to practice.


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Author Biographies

Xueyan Li, Corvinus University of Budapest; Anhui University of Chinese Medicine

PhD student

Henriett Primecz, Johannes Kepler University


Anna Laura Paget, Johannes Kepler University

Msc student


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How to Cite

Li, X., Primecz, H., & Paget, A. L. (2023). Understanding the early career self-initiated expatriation: A review and directions for future research. Vezetéstudomány Budapest Management Review, 54(5), 18–30. https://doi.org/10.14267/VEZTUD.2023.05.02