HCBE Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)


H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship


Barbara R Dastoor

Committee Member

Mike Bendixen

Committee Member

Ruth Clarke


This dissertation explores the underresearched topic of the motivation of non-profit organizational (NPO) workers for accepting international assignments (IAs). In the literature review, the motivation and reasons for working and living outside the home country by multinational corporate expatriates, international migrants, and long-term international volunteers are summarized. With the reasons for expatriation distilled from the literature, a self-determination theory (SDT) approach, and open-ended questions, the motivations for NPO workers to accept IAs are factor analyzed and triangulated using data from a sample of more than 140 Christian mission and humanitarian workers originating from 25 countries and representing 48 sending organizations.

Four NPO worker motivation profiles are tentatively identified and described using cluster analysis of the SDT motivations and Kruskal-Wallis analysis of the reasons of accepting an IA, individual cultural values, organizational commitment, and demographic variables. The NPO worker cluster groups include the Caring Internationalist, the Self-Directed Careerist, the Obedient Soldier, and the Movement-Immersed Worker.

The findings hold implications for international human resource managers toward the effective recruitment, selection, training and development, career management, and support and encouragement of NPO expatriates with the goal of an increase in the incidence of expatriation assignment success.

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