Fast-tracking expatriate development: the unique learning environments of international volunteer placements

Publisher:
Routledge
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
International Journal Of Human Resource Management, 2011, 22 (3), pp. 530 - 552
Issue Date:
2011-01
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International volunteering has traditionally been viewed as a pursuit that, while admirable, provided little benefit for the volunteer beyond altruistic satisfaction. Yet several recent studies suggest that an international volunteer placement can fast-track the development of valuable global skills and capabilities. To date, no research has offered a systematic explanation for this. This article presents a framework that outlines the unique mechanisms of international volunteer placements that contribute to them being fertile learning environments for expatriates. In doing so, it draws on evidence from a longitudinal study of the learning experiences of a sample of international volunteers from Australia and New Zealand.
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