Public thesis defense of Kamila MOULAÏ

LOURIM Louvain-La-Neuve, Mons

January 27, 2020

14:30 - 16:45


Salle Vaes


Doctoral Commission in Economics and Management Sciences


The Rector of UCLouvain and the Doctoral Commission in Economics and Management Sciences announce that Mrs Kamila MOULAÏ will publicly support her dissertation, for the title of Doctor in Economics and Management Sciences of UCLouvain.



Of Moves & Humans: Expatriation Journeys that Matter

A reconstruction of the intra-organizational emancipatory project of highly qualified Self-initiated Expatriate workers: From symbolic dynamics to identity-processes: An empirical qualitative approach



Self-initiated expatriates (SIEs), people who decide to expatriate without organisational support, are a valuable human resource for companies. Today, understanding these workers remains challenging for academic experts and management actors. Building upon both theoretical and empirical analyses, we identified the specific biases that have constrained the advancement of research in SIEs studies. In order to overcome these constraints, we dived into SIE's journeys through in-depth, semi-structured interviews. Our analyses lead to frame this autonomous form of expatriation as a departure from an organization, rather than a move to a specific destination. This radical shift in the way to investigate self-initiated expatriates enables us to grasp such mobility as an emancipatory journey. We found that the decision-making process is triggered by the revival of a promise of a congruent 'talent self-conception' that workers expect to find abroad. In our fourth essay, we theorize d expatriation as a process to epitomize how workers negotiate intra-personal tensions in their everyday organizational lives to overcome adaptation challenges. Altogether, our work brings new factors into the organizational logics of the attraction and retention processes of highly qualified workers.