A practical perspective on repatriate knowledge transfer: The influence of organizational support practices

Burmeister, Anne; Deller, Jürgen (2016). A practical perspective on repatriate knowledge transfer: The influence of organizational support practices. Journal of global mobility, 4(1), pp. 68-87. Emerald 10.1108/JGM-09-2015-0041

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Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to identify organizational support practices that facilitate repatriate knowledge transfer (RKT) in order to overcome the lack of strategic utilization of repatriate knowledge. Design/methodology/approach: In Study 1, 134 repatriates responded to an online questionnaire and evaluated the organizational support that their organizations provided to facilitate RKT. In Study 2, 22 repatriates and human resource managers were interviewed. Interviewees were asked to assess to which extent the use of seven high-performance work practices – selection and staffing, training, career development, job design, performance appraisal, compensation and rewards, and internal communication – before, during, and after international assignments facilitated RKT. They also explained how these practices were implemented in their organizations. Findings: The results of Study 1 showed that organizations primarily provide administrative repatriation support, while more strategic and knowledge transfer-related support is missing. Study 2 indicated that certain support practices are more important for the utilization of repatriate knowledge than others. Knowledge-related debriefing sessions after repatriation and targeted internal communication mechanisms were seen as important enablers of RKT. In contrast, selection and financial rewards were not seen as relevant facilitators of RKT. Originality/value: Research on RKT reports that organizations still lack the right tools to harvest repatriate knowledge. This study indicates which organizational support practices appear to be most important for the facilitation of RKT, and provides some guidance regarding their implementation.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Work and Organisational Psychology

UniBE Contributor:

Burmeister, Anne


100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology








Anne Burmeister

Date Deposited:

12 Jun 2018 11:09

Last Modified:

23 Oct 2019 02:28

Publisher DOI:






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