Failure experience: talented self-initiated expatriates in South Korean chaebol firms

HyunMi Park, Andy Coleman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Self-initiated expatriates research has been decreased after the emergence of talent management field when it comes to the international human resource management research trend in the past 50 years. Although there are scholarly inquiries to combine self-initiated expatriates and talent management literature for a better understanding of global mobile, it has not been developed and empirically applied yet. This research conducted 55 semi-structured interviews in South Korea, with talented self-initiated expatriates and local co-workers in chaebol's keyeol firms having participated. The findings reveal that talented self-initiated expatriates from developed countries challenged by chaebol's peculiar corporate governance system and strong ties of its keyeol firms within the chaebol, in terms of their future career development, and less internationalised working culture. Also, tensions between talented self-initiated expatriates and local employees in an exclusive talent management environment were shown, however, chaebol overcome the conflict via shifted new talent management strategy with young foreign talent.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-187
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Journal of Cultural Management
Issue number2
Early online date12 Nov 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Nov 2022


  • self-initiated expatriates
  • SIEs
  • talent management
  • chaebol
  • keyeol
  • South Korea
  • exclusiveness
  • confucianism
  • collectivism
  • fairness
  • isolation


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