A race against time: training and support for short-term international assignments

Kieran M. Conroy*, Anthony McDonnell, Katrin Holzleitner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
1259 Downloads (Pure)


The purpose of this paper is to explore the specific forms of training and support that individuals on short-term international assignments (SIAs) receive. It further explores issues such as short notice prior to departure and how this impacts the type of training and support compared to what the extant literature on expatriates intimates. Scholars and practitioners both agree that the increasing deployment of individuals on SIAs presents significant challenges that have not yet been met with the development of appropriate organisational policies and practices.

Drawing on in-depth exploratory qualitative interviews with a sample of German assignees, the paper is abductive in nature with semi-structured interviews analysed through thematic based analysis. The data analysis identifies the need for more tailored training and support through formal and informal mechanisms, developed in pre-departure and post-arrival contexts.

The paper makes key contributions through providing much needed empirical evidence on the training and support short-term assignees receive and in so doing we identify specific forms of training and supports deemed relevant from the perspective of individuals on SIAs. Given the inherent time constraints for SIAs, the significance of informal support, in both pre-departure and post-arrival contexts is especially emphasised.

The paper is one of the first empirical pieces of work to explicitly consider the specific forms of training and support that SIAs consider important. The authors answer calls for greater consideration into the significance of developing a more tailored and strategic approach to managing SIAs as a specific form of an international assignee.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-315
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Global Mobility
Issue number3/4
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2018


  • Post-arrival
  • Pre-departure
  • Short-term international assignee
  • Support
  • Training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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