Inderscience Publishers

Self–initiated expatriate faculty in the UAE: balancing the profession and financial rewards

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This study examines the importance of financial rewards on expatriation and its relationship to professional roles and behaviours amongst self–initiated expatriate faculty. Survey data obtained from 364 expatriate faculty in the UAE is analysed. Bluedorn's (1982) staying or leaving index (SLI), as a predictor for actual intention to leave, is contrasted with their motivations to stay or leave the host country. The findings show how respondents perceive salary as a key motivator to stay in the host country along with voice in decision making and contractual employment. While perceived low salary levels have a significant impact on the intention to leave we could not find evidence for salary having a direct influence on professional behaviours. Beyond re–affirming the importance of salary, only voice in decision making and contractual employment seem to be of serious consequence to expatriate academics in their decision to leave the host country. This demonstrates the complexity of the interplay between professional characteristics and financial rewards.

Keywords: expatriation, self–initiated expatriates, globalisation, higher education, professional behaviour, academia, UAE, United Arab Emirates, expats, financial rewards, salary levels, expatriate academics

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