Engineers selecting a country to work abroad: The critical factors to decide

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The decision to work abroad is influenced from a great number of factors, including cultural, social and psychological ones, which are also critical for a successful adjustment to the host country. The decision should be the outcome of a very delicate decision-making process, which, however, is currently not available as both literature and practice clearly indicate. This paper attempts to identify and analyze those factors with an impact on the selection of the country to work abroad in the case of engineers. An extensive literature review revealed all the factors related to the expatriation and relocation issues of an expatriate focusing rather on the socio-cultural and personal dimensions, than those of the working environment and job satisfaction, which are related to the job's description. Based on the findings of the literature review an international questionnaire survey for engineers was prepared and conducted aiming at: a) evaluating these factors, in terms of importance for the potential expatriate and b) deciding on their use in a formal methodology for the selection of a country to work abroad. The collected data were statistically analyzed and the correlations between the factors were investigated to identify those among them that are critical to include in a formal country selection process. A major finding of this research is that the field's literature highlights a different set of critical factors compared to those indicated by the questionnaire survey. Furthermore, a second important finding is that the critical factors present very loose correlations, which indicates that any model aiming at supporting the decision-making process for selecting the country to work abroad should introduce them very carefully. The two findings lead to the conclusion that a proper selection of the factors to incorporate into a country selection method process is required.




Xenidis, Y., & Gallou, M. (2014). Engineers selecting a country to work abroad: The critical factors to decide. In Procedia Engineering (Vol. 85, pp. 553–561). Elsevier Ltd.

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