Academic journal article International Journal of Employment Studies

A Managerial Analysis of Labour Mobility: Evidence from the Case of Greece

Academic journal article International Journal of Employment Studies

A Managerial Analysis of Labour Mobility: Evidence from the Case of Greece

Article excerpt


In recent years, the number of people seeking work outside the borders of their country has increased. This phenomenon is particularly intense in Greece due to the country's economic fiscal crisis. In May 2010, the country asked the EU, the ECB and the IMF to support its loan obligations. The economic concurrence resulted in executive wage cuts and a rise in employment. These reasons have motivated increasing numbers of people (skilled and unskilled workers) to look for jobs overseas.

This research examines whether young Greek employees consider themselves citizens of the world (ie do they have a high labour mobility trait). Specifically, it will determine the level of interest in an international career for them as well as the reasons for accepting or turning the opportunity down.

In addition, this study investigated the influence of personality characteristics of someone whose intention it was to work abroad. Although personality could be thought to be an important factor affecting the willingness to work abroad, this factor has been rather neglected in international bibliographies (Lavonen, 2010). Konopaske, Robie and Ivancevich (2009) proposed that the global dimensions of the big five personality characteristics should be examined as valid predictors of employees' global assignment and willingness for international relocation. In addition, the limited number of studies on this issue referred to executives coming from Western Europe or North America (Suutari & Valimaa, 2002). Therefore, the question is whether the conclusions of these studies apply to the Greek reality. The difficulty in adopting them lies in the fact that the Greek culture is different from the culture of these countries. In the light of the above limited findings and suggestions, this empirical survey seeks to fill this gap in the literature, building a more holistic approach that incorporates the big five personality traits directly on receptivity to international career.

Furthermore, apart from personality characteristics, this survey shall investigate the impact of personal background factors (cultural acceptance, travel orientation, family relationships and language acceptance) to employees' intention to work abroad.

   The paper is organised as follows. The following section presents a
   review of previous studies and proposes the research hypotheses.
   The third section shows the research methodology, and the fourth
   section reports the results of the study. The fifth section
   presents the conclusion and some practical implications.


The decision of someone to work abroad is influenced not only by personal background factors and personality characteristics (micro level) but also may be influenced by national culture dimensions (macro level). The literature review had supported the inter-relational aspects of individual personality with national culture (Goldberg et al, 2006; Migliore, 2011). The understanding of this relationship helps to avoid the stereotyping trap and recognise the individual diversity of people, as well as the influence of national culture on their behaviour. Thus, national culture was taken into consideration to enlighten the relationship between the employee personality and their receptivity to international career.

Different authors may have different views on culture, but few of them can deny that culture is an important force in determining people's attitudes and behaviours. Employees' understanding of work, their approach to it, and their perceptions towards motivational practices are factors most directly influenced by the values and norms of their nations. Although one may argue that national specific factors can prompt an employer to adopt a particular management practice, its acceptance and effectiveness appears to depend upon its congruency with cultural factors (Raghuram, London & Larsen, 2001). …

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