Social support abroad: How do self-initiated expatriates gain support through their social networks?

Annamária Kubovcikova, Marian van Bakel

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


On arrival, expatriates need to establish new social ties in order to succeed in the host country. In this study, we are investigating the social networks of self-initiated expatriates, focusing on the process of how they source social support. Building on information seeking theory, we have created a model connecting specific characteristics of network members (host country knowledge, employment status and host country origin) with the frequency of contact and support they provide. The model was tested through multilevel mediation analysis on 165 expatriates and their 575 network members. We contribute to the existing knowledge on expatriate networks by a theoretically driven categorization of network members and a detailed empirical analysis on the level of a relationship/tie. Our results show that expatriates rely on different network members for different types of support. Practical implications include the use of mentors to facilitate expatriate access to higher status individuals who can offer important support.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101894
JournalInternational Business Review
Issue number1
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022


  • Expatriation
  • Global Mobility
  • HCN
  • Multilevel
  • Social support
  • Global mobility


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