Repatriation and the Psychological Contract: A Saudi Arabian Comparative Study
This research explores repatriates’ perceptions of their psychological contract pre- and post-international assignment, upon return to Saudi Arabia. As international assignments can last several years, expectations are likely to change, to the extent that repatriates perceive a gap between their expectations and organizational obligations upon their return. The paper draws on findings from two case studies. These revealed significant differences across the two organizations indicating that human resource policies and practices, as well as informal organizational norms, specifically associated with the expatriation and repatriation process, can have a profound impact on repatriates’ perceptions of whether their psychological contracts have been fulfilled or breached upon their return. The findings also demonstrate the importance of well-defined, explicit HR policies and practices, particularly regarding career development/promotion, if repatriates are to perceive that their psychological contract has been fulfilled upon their return.