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Expatriate Cultural Identity Negotiation Strategies: A Dynamic Framework *

Intercultural Management in Practice

ISBN: 978-1-83982-827-0, eISBN: 978-1-83982-826-3

Publication date: 16 August 2021


In response to the somewhat paradoxical combination of increasing diversity in the global workforce and the resurgence of nationalism in an era of global mobility, this chapter aims to uncover how employees on international assignments respond to exposure to new cultures. Specifically, the study aims to explicate the underlying psychological mechanisms linking expatriates' monocultural, multicultural, global, and cosmopolitan identity negotiation strategies with their responses toward the host culture by drawing upon exclusionary and integrative reactions theory in cross-cultural psychology. This conceptual chapter draws on the perspective of exclusionary versus integrative reactions toward foreign cultures – a perspective rooted in cross-cultural psychology research – to categorize expatriates' responses toward the host culture. More specifically, the study elaborates how two primary activators of expatriates' responses toward the host culture – the salience of home-culture identity and a cultural learning mindset – explain the relationship between cultural identity negotiation strategies and expatriates' exclusionary and integrative responses. The following metaphors for these different types of cultural identity negotiation strategies are introduced: “ostrich” (monocultural strategy), “frog” (multicultural strategy), “bird” (global strategy), and “lizard” (cosmopolitan strategy). The proposed dynamic framework of cultural identity negotiation strategies illustrates the sophisticated nature of expatriates' responses to new cultures. This chapter also emphasizes that cross-cultural training tempering expatriates' exclusionary reactions and encouraging integrative reactions is crucial for more effective expatriation in a multicultural work environment.



Li, C., Zhang, L.E. and Harzing, A.-W. (2021), "Expatriate Cultural Identity Negotiation Strategies: A Dynamic Framework * ", Chavan, M. and Taksa, L. (Ed.) Intercultural Management in Practice, Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 131-140.



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