Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Leadership

Committee Chair/Advisor

Hans Klar

Committee Member

Frederick Buskey

Committee Member

Michelle Boettcher

Committee Member

Noelle Paufler


The purpose of this study was to investigate the factors that affect expatriate teacher retention. The research aimed to identify the factors that contribute to expatriate teacher adaptation and retention in cross-cultural settings. As the demand for expatriate teachers has increased with the growth of international schools, retaining them has become a persistent challenge. The scarcity of literature on expatriate teacher retention, combined with high turnover rates and an expanding demand for such teachers, highlights the need for further research in this area. Therefore, this study aimed to fill this gap by exploring the factors that impact expatriate teacher retention and ultimately provide valuable insights to improve support for expatriate teachers in cross-cultural settings.

The study investigated the factors that influence expatriate teachers' decisions to renew their contracts at the end of their term. The research findings revealed that expatriate teachers with higher levels of intercultural competence were more likely to adapt to new environments and foster positive relationships with students, colleagues, and the local community. These positive experiences increased their motivation to stay at their current school and renew their contracts. Moreover, the study identified the importance of organizational conditions and leadership factors in shaping expatriate teachers' retention decisions. Therefore, the research emphasizes the significance of intercultural competence, organizational support, and leadership in promoting expatriate teacher retention in cross-cultural settings.

The researcher utilized both quantitative and qualitative assessment methods to comprehensively investigate the phenomenon in the context of teacher retention in cross-cultural settings. In addition to this, the researcher conducted in-depth interviews with the participants to gain a deeper understanding of their personal experiences and perceptions. The findings of this study indicate that intercultural competence plays a pivotal role in retaining teachers in cross-cultural settings. Furthermore, the study highlights the significance of organizational conditions and leadership factors in shaping expatriates' decisions to remain at a school. To enhance support for expatriate teachers in adapting to cross-cultural environments and improving retention rates, further research in these areas is crucial. However, it is essential to exercise caution when extrapolating the results of this study to other expatriates in cross-cultural settings, as wider generalizations necessitate additional research.



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