BACKGROUND : The topic of repatriation turnover as a major source of concern for repatriates
and their multinational enterprise has been covered extensively in the literature over the years,
with the literature showing that between 15% and 38% of repatriated expatriates leave the
employment of their multinational enterprise within the first year after repatriation. However,
no such study has focused on the repatriation of South African expatriates.
AIM : The primary aim of this study was to determine if there is a correlation between the
repatriation practices of South African multinational enterprises and their repatriation turnover
rates. The secondary aim of the study was to determine why repatriated employees leave the
employment of South African multinational enterprises.
METHOD : This quantitative study surveyed 41 expatriate managers of South African
multinational enterprises, with the Mann-Whitney U test and Spearman’s correlation
coefficient being used to test for correlations between the repatriation practices of South African
multinational enterprises and their repatriation turnover rates.
RESULTS : The results revealed positive correlations between appointing a mentor to an
expatriate to assist with the repatriation process, conducting an orientation programme prior
to repatriation and supporting the expatriate with various initiatives during repatriation
and lower repatriation turnover rates. Meanwhile a negative correlation was found between
when a multinational enterprise starts with an orientation programme prior to repatriation
and repatriation turnover rates.
CONCLUSION : These findings provide valuable insights for South African multinational
enterprises into practices they can employ to reduce their repatriation turnover rates.