Discretion as a double-edged sword in global work: The perils of international business travel

Stefan Jooss, Kieran M. Conroy, Anthony McDonnell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


International business travelers (IBTs) have become omnipresent in multinational enterprises, and yet we know little on how they manage the inherent complexities of their global work. Through a qualitative research design, our study reveals a perturbing job demands-resources mismatch faced by these individuals. IBTs are afforded substantial discretion with respect to how they carry out their global work and this discretion enables engagement in a series of job crafting actions. The job crafting actions we identify in this study inadvertently intensified rather than eased the demands-resources mismatch that IBTs confronted. Our study advances job crafting theory through unpacking the potentially dysfunctional nature of job crafting in a global work context. In doing so, we challenge much of the extant literature which tends to overwhelmingly focus on the positive impact of job crafting actions. Our findings lead us to call for greater organizational oversight and configuration of support structures for IBTs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)664-682
Number of pages19
JournalHuman Resource Management Journal
Issue number3
Early online date18 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - 09 Jul 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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