The impacts of structural configurations on expatriates’ organizational commitment and assignment completion intention

Riki Takeuchi, Jiatao Li, Hwayoung Kim, Jeffrey P. Shay

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review


Global employee mobility is a very important concern for multinational enterprises (MNEs), as such individuals are critical strategic human capital resources for MNEs. Ensuring that expatriates (one type of globally mobile employees) maintain high organizational commitment and assignment completion intentions (“attachment” to international posting) is a critical consideration for MNEs’ human resources management. However, we have a very limited understanding of how the configurations of structures (decentralization, formalization, and global knowledge integration) – practices set in place to control and coordinate foreign subsidiaries by MNEs – influence expatriates’ attachments during international assignments. We address this research question by adopting the structural contingency theory and extending it to examine the impact of structural configurations on expatriate managers’ outcomes. We develop and test a set of hypotheses using survey data obtained from 192 expatriate general managers employed by nine American global hotel chains. We find that these three structural characteristics create various configurations differing in their effectiveness in retaining expatriates’ attachment outcomes. Our findings highlight the importance of examining configurations of structural characteristics, which underscores the difficulties of managing expatriate managers for MNEs as well as providing further insights into the complexities associated with structural configurations necessary to manage them well.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of International Business Studies
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • Assignment completion intention
  • Expatriation
  • Foreign subsidiaries
  • Organizational commitment
  • Organizational structure
  • Structural contingency theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • General Business,Management and Accounting
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


Dive into the research topics of 'The impacts of structural configurations on expatriates’ organizational commitment and assignment completion intention'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this