The impact of individual performance on organizational success and its implications for the management of expatriates Articles uri icon

publication date

  • August 2014

start page

  • 1960

end page

  • 1977


  • 14


  • 25

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0958-5192

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1466-4399


  • In this paper, we present a new but simple typology of international assignments that can help guide the management of expatriates. Applying a well-known job typology by Jacobs, D. (1981, 'Toward a Theory of Mobility and Behavior in Organizations: An Inquiry into the Consequences of Some Relationships Between Individual Performance and Organizational Success,' American Journal of Sociology, 87, 684-707) and Baron, J.N., and Kreps, D.M. (1999, Strategic Human Resources: Frameworks for General Managers, New York: Wiley) to the international arena, we distinguish between star and guardian assignments. The essence of this distinction lies in a difference regarding a crucial relationship: the link between expatriate performance and organizational success. Drawing on two well-known case studies, we analyze the essential characteristics of and differences between star and guardian assignments, and deduct concrete consequences for the employment of specific human resource management policies along the expatriate cycle. The paper concludes with a discussion of theoretical and practical implications.


  • star and guardian jobs; transnational organizations; workforce differentiation; expatriate performance; international assignments; subsidiary performance; executive-compensation; knowledge transfer; career; experiences; assignments; adjustment; strategy; rewards; support