The positive effects of a protean career attitude for self‐initiated expatriates

Lan Cao (Institute for Strategic HR Management Research and Development, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Lüneburg, Germany)
Andreas Hirschi (Institute of Psychology, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland)
Jürgen Deller (Institute for Strategic HR Management Research and Development, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Lüneburg, Germany)

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436

Publication date: 15 February 2013

Abstract

Purpose

The authors sought to explain why and how protean career attitude might influence self‐initiated expatriates' (SIEs) experiences positively. A mediation model of cultural adjustment was proposed and empirically evaluated.

Design/methodology/approach

Data from 132 SIEs in Germany containing measures of protean career attitude, cultural adjustment, career satisfaction, life satisfaction, and intention to stay in the host country were analysed using path analysis with a bootstrap method.

Findings

Empirical results provide support for the authors' proposed model: the positive relations between protean career attitude and the three expatriation outcomes (career satisfaction, life satisfaction and intention to stay in the host country) were mediated by positive cross‐cultural adjustment of SIEs.

Research limitations/implications

All data were cross‐sectional from a single source. The sample size was small and included a large portion of Chinese participants. The study should be replicated with samples in other destination countries, and longitudinal research is suggested.

Practical implications

By fostering both a protean career attitude in skilled SIE employees and their cultural adjustment, corporations and receiving countries could be able to retain this international workforce better in times of talent shortage.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the scarce research on the conceptual relatedness of protean career attitude and SIEs, as well as to acknowledging the cultural diversity of the SIE population.

Keywords

Citation

Cao, L., Hirschi, A. and Deller, J. (2013), "The positive effects of a protean career attitude for self‐initiated expatriates", Career Development International, Vol. 18 No. 1, pp. 56-77. https://doi.org/10.1108/13620431311305953

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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