Developing areas may be better off recruiting their expatriates from within the developing rather than industrialised world, and we sought to assess preferences among organisations in one developing country, Tanzania. Ninety-six Bachelors of Commerce attending the University of Dar-es-Salaam indicated how local personnel managers would rank-order East African expatriates. Western expatriates, and fellow Tanzanians, as job candidates for a range of professional posts. Despite all candidates being described as equally well-trained, presentable, costly to employ, and relocatable, estimated preferences varied significantly across employee nationality; with East African but not Western expatriates tending to be less preferred than fellow Tanzanians. Such inverse resonance with expatriates from neighbouring countries is partly attributed to collectivistic values and colonial history, a combination that may recur and require management in developing areas elsewhere. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.