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The flexpatriate psychological contract: a literature review and  future research agenda

Pate, Judy; Scullion, Hugh


Judy Pate


Since the 1980s, research on international assignments (IA) has principally focused on traditional long-term expatriates. However, due to pressures to reduce long-term expatriate assignments and the emergence of a portfolio of more flexible staffing options, there has recently been a growing focus on the deployment of alternative forms of IA. This paper focuses on one form of alternative IA, flexpatriation, where employees undertake frequent international business trips without relocating. More specifically, we critically examine the flexpatriate employment relationship by applying psychological contract theory to yield insight into both the employer and the employee perspectives, which has been neglected in previous research. The article also examines some of the key HR challenges in managing flexpatriates and contributes to both the IHRM and psychological contract literature by presenting an agenda for future research in this area.


Pate, J., & Scullion, H. (2018). The flexpatriate psychological contract: a literature review and  future research agenda. The international journal of human resource management, 29(8), 1402-1425.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 15, 2016
Online Publication Date Oct 19, 2016
Publication Date Apr 28, 2018
Deposit Date Dec 19, 2018
Print ISSN 0958-5192
Electronic ISSN 1466-4399
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 29
Issue 8
Article Number 2
Pages 1402-1425
Keywords Flexpatriate psychological contract
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