Overseas and abroad


by Jess Nickels ('21)

Marshall Pattie, professor of business management.

SUMMARY: Professor and researcher, Marshall Pattie, shares his decade of experience.

When Marshall Pattie, professor of business management and this year’s Madison Scholar Award recipient, first began researching, he didn’t expect to become an expert on expatriates. While attending the University of Texas at Arlington, Pattie’s mentor asked if he’d be willing to assist with a research project. “It actually happened by accident and convenience,” he recalled.

“In the end, the data we collected was my dissertation data,” said Pattie.

An expatriate is someone who leaves their home country to live or work in a different country, often temporarily. Pattie explained that expatriation research first came to light in the 1960’s and really gained momentum by the 90’s. “I was in the early stages of that literature. My performance paper was only the third or fourth in the field that actually measured performance,” Pattie said.

Over the past decade and a half he has authored 20 published papers, half on the topic of expatriates. Through the years, Pattie has explored topics like self-initiated expatriates, job performance and the relationships between an expatriate worker and their home-country supervisor.

Even after years of researching, Pattie still encounters data that surprises him. He said, “One of my expatriate publications found that the home supervisor did impact performance of the expatriate overseas. If they had a strong relationship with their home supervisor, then their performance overseas was better, even though that person wasn’t managing them. I found that quite surprising, but it makes sense because they need to come home to that supervisor and they want a job when they come back.”

In terms of why expatriation studies are relevant to our society, Pattie said, “the U.S. is the only industrialized country still growing in population and so the strategy around the world is to attract better talent. If you can take a country’s best people and bring them to your country to work, the advantage is yours. The transfer of effective workers across the world has become a focus.”

Pattie was recognized for his dedicated research at this year’s College of Business Faculty and Staff Awards ceremony. He was awarded the Provost’s Madison Scholar Award. Winners of this award are nominated by their colleagues and exemplify excellence in scholarly achievement in their respective disciplines.

The College of Business Madison Scholar Presentation will take place on October 28 at 1 p.m. in Hartman Hall, where Pattie will present his paper “What Makes them Move Abroad? Expatriate Careers and Pathways.”

Back to Top

Published: Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Last Updated: Thursday, November 2, 2023

Related Articles