Title: 'Oh, the places you won't go as an LGBT expat!' A study of HRM's duty of care to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender expatriates in dangerous locations

Authors: Ruth McPhail; Yvonne McNulty

Addresses: Department of Employment Relations and Human Resources, Griffith University, Parklands Drive, Southport, QLD 4222, Australia ' School of Business, SIM University, 461 Clementi Road, 599491 Singapore

Abstract: This paper examines lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) expatriates' perceptions of HRM's duty of care for their well-being and safety in dangerous geographical locations. We use respondent data from 13 LGBT expatriates to examine both perceptions of, and the 'lived experience' in relation to, duty of care for LGBT expatriates. Using global talent management as a conceptual lens to frame the study, findings demonstrate that the 'comfort factor' is more important than the legal status of LGBT people in a particular host country when assessing the risk to LGBT expatriates in dangerous locations. While LGBT may be legally accepted, the social norms of the local culture are perceived as a more legitimate assessment of the threat to be expected in terms of discrimination and negative homophobic attention. Implications are outlined for selecting, training and preparing LGBT expatriates for deployment to dangerous locations.

Keywords: expatriates; LGBT expats; lesbian; gay; bisexual; transgender; duty of care; risk; dangerous locations; HRM; human resource management; global talent management; comfort factor; legal status; social norms; local culture; cultural norms; threat assessment; discrimination; homophobia.

DOI: 10.1504/EJIM.2015.072227

European Journal of International Management, 2015 Vol.9 No.6, pp.737 - 765

Available online: 05 Oct 2015 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article