The motivation for repeated mobility in highly-skilled Germans
AuthorBelin, Jelena Rena
AffiliationSchool of Languages and Linguistics
Document TypePhD thesis
Access StatusOpen Access
© 2018 Dr. Jelena Rena Belin
This thesis is an explorative study of the phenomenon of repeated mobility in highly-skilled Germans. Repeated mobility consists of a series of international mobility episodes over long periods of time. The thesis explores the motivations for repeated mobility, answering the question: What is the motivation for repeated mobility in highly qualified Germans and which factors influence it? It contributes to two fields of study: research on highly-skilled mobility in the context of international management and research on German migration. The study identifies three types of motivations: self-realisation, career and balancing relationships. It demonstrates that throughout the life course these motivations change, resulting for most participants in a mobility history with a number of different motivations at different times in their lives. The thesis uses life course theory as an analytical lens. It identifies two types of changes that happen in participants’ lives: normative transitions that are expected and predictable and that cause relatively little disruption. Turning points on the other hand represent important cross-roads in participants’ lives in which their perceptions, identities and relationships to their host countries change. The thesis identifies multiple factors impacting on motivational changes throughout the life course. These include life events across different life trajectories (such as career or family). The way individuals experience their mobilities also impacts on their motivation to engage in further mobility. Participants are most impacted by changes in the personal relationship realm. They experience a number of turning points in the contexts of entering a relationship, having children and having a divorce. Mobility experience impacts participants’ motivation by creating a meta-motivation to engage in further mobility. Coping mechanisms that participants develop in repeated mobility support this meta-motivation. The thesis’ contribution lies in the development of a dynamic model for repeated mobility that takes into account structural and individual factors of mobility motivation.
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