MNC considerations in identifying and managing LGB expatriate stigmatization

Miriam Moeller, Jane Maley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) expatriates are rightfully sceptical, and at times fearful, of international assignment experiences, owing to the sometimes hostile reception at assignment locations as a result of their sexual orientation. The authors argue that this hostility arises from a perceived incompatibility in values between the host country and LGB expatriates. Dissonance between the two value systems leaves LGB expatriates seemingly powerless to self‐manage imposed stigmas inside and outside the workplace at international assignment locations. The authors suggest that it is essential for the multinational corporation (MNC) to help manage these stigmas by implementing human resource management (HRM) practices and policies that recognize the needs of traditional and non‐traditional expatriates as substantially different. Using organizational legitimacy theory, the authors assert that MNCs’ strategic actions should entail a set of distinct practices and policies for LGB expatriates as a way to strive for acceptance within the LGB expatriate community and beyond. Managing value congruence in this manner ensures greater willingness of the LGB talent pool to undertake international career opportunities and is likely to result in better assignment experiences and outcomes. Outcomes of LGB stigmatization are discussed and suggestions are put forward on the MNC's role in supporting LGB expatriates and their families. Propositions relative to support are offered.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-342
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Management Reviews
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018
Externally publishedYes


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