When Home Isn’t Home – A Study of Homesickness and Coping Strategies among Migrant Workers and Expatriates

  •  Dieu Hack-Polay    


This paper addresses, homesickness, an important issue in the area of international human resource management. It uses psychological and sociological literature to highlight the negative effects of homesickness on migrant workers and expatriates. These effects range from psychological disruptions to physical manifestations that affect the health and welfare of individuals and impact on work performance. The paper presents a model of coping strategies used by expatriates to deal with homesickness. This model is built on the empirical evidence collected. It concludes that there is significant amount of evidence found to substantiate that homesickness is an illness and detrimental to psychological and social well-being. It is crucial that further research is undertaken in this area as affecting expatriates because the size of the investment in expatriates commands that risks of failure are minimized.

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