Thursday 28th & Friday 29th, May 2015


  • Akram Al Ariss, Toulouse Business School
  • Sophie d’Armagnac, Toulouse Business School
  • Liisa Mäkelä, University of Vaasa, Department of Management
  • Vesa Suutari, University of Vaasa, Department of Management

Support :

  • Yvette Allan 
  • Laurence Danjou

Overview :

56 academics from around the globe came to Toulouse for the conference from countries as far as America, China, India, Australia and the United Arab Emirates. There were 30 presentations on a range of topics from Expatriation in Emerging Markets to Experiences of Female Self-Initiated Expatriates and SIE Trends. We also welcomed 3 consultants working in the field who included Karen Oppermann-Calvet (Head of International Operations Expertise and International Payroll France, AIRBUS Group), Wendy Kendall (Consultant Global Talent Management Specialist, Wickland-Westcott, UK) and Natalie Koeppe (HR Manager APAC, China).

A Gala Dinner was held at a fine dining restaurant so that delegates could sample some of the wonderful southern French local cuisine. A trip was also arranged to La Cite in Carcassonne so that delegates could further explore the local region and culture. Both of these outings were a great success.

The main theme to emerge from the conference was the value that self-initiated expatriates bring to their companies and more broadly, to the economies of the countries they join. Given the time and resources required for their integration into the workplace, the question that was asked was ‘to what extent is it useful for companies to invest in hiring self-initiated expatriates?’ Knowing the possibility of a quick repatriation, the question was also addressed by professionals in the round table dedicated to their reflection, pointing out the need of return on investment. A second common point addressed by participants is the need for a stronger theoretical basis from the broader field of social studies and management studies when we address self-initiated expatriation issues. Personal factors are interesting and useful but we need to more tightly link our research field with the fields of international management, organizational studies, cross-cultural management, business ethics, strategic management, and global talent management to contribute more efficiently to the debates in management studies.

Testimonials :

“It was a great opportunity to meet like-minded people, exchange ideas and engage with stimulating discussions!”
“I enjoyed the overall atmosphere. Great place for networking with wonderful people!”
“Great location, weather, city – lovely friendly and sociable and encouraging conference. Great to see a mix of seasoned academics and early career participants.”
“Very well organised conference, with diverse and interesting presentations. The welcome and curtesy shown by the organising staff was second to none.”
“I really enjoyed the human aspects and the very friendly atmosphere. Very pleasant and at the same time stimulating for our research. The welcome and care levels were exemplary.”
“The size of the presentation rooms was perfect. It contributed to the very cosy atmosphere. I think the format of the entire conference was just great and it will be a pleasure to come back to TBS.”

Academic support of the conference  :

The journal Career Development International supports the TBS conference, with Akram Al Ariss, associate editor.

Access to the journal ›


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