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The impact of organizational position level and cultural flow direction on the relationship between cultural intelligence and expatriate cross-border adaptation

Ying Zhang (International Business School, Yunnan University of Finance and Economics, Kunming, China) (School of Management and Marketing, Charles Sturt University, Bathurst, Australia)
Yuran Li (Yunnan University of Finance and Economics, Kunming, China)
Mark Frost (School of Management and Marketing, Charles Sturt University, Bathurst, Australia)
Shiyu Rong (International Business School, Yunnan University of Finance and Economics, Kunming, China)
Rong Jiang (Yunnan University of Finance and Economics, Kunming, China)
Edwin T.C. Cheng (Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon, Hong Kong)

Cross Cultural & Strategic Management

ISSN: 2059-5794

Article publication date: 7 April 2021

Issue publication date: 29 April 2021

532

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the critical role played by cultural flow in fostering successful expatriate cross-border transitions.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors develop and test a model on the interplay among cultural intelligence, organizational position level, cultural flow direction and expatriate adaptation, using a data set of 387 expatriate on cross-border transitions along the Belt & Road area.

Findings

The authors find that both organizational position level and cultural flow moderate the relationship between cultural intelligence and expatriate adaptation, whereby the relationship is contingent on the interaction of organizational position status and assignment directions between high power distance and low power distance host environments.

Originality/value

Previous research has shown that higher levels of cultural intelligence are positively related to better expatriate adaptation. However, there is a lack of research on the effect of position difference and cultural flow on such relationship. Our study is among the first to examine how the interaction between cultural flow and organizational position level influences the cultural intelligence (CI) and cultural adjustment relationship in cross-cultural transitions.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This paper forms part of a special section “The Belt-and-Road Initiative in the New Era of Globalization: Unique Opportunities and Challenges to MNEs”, guest edited by Peter Ping Li, Peter J. Williamson, Abby Jingzi Zhou and Rosalie L. Tung.

The international collaborative research program with Charles Sturt University in Australia is acknowledged. Funding for this research was provided by National Natural Science Foundation of China under grants 71762033 and 71663058.

Citation

Zhang, Y., Li, Y., Frost, M., Rong, S., Jiang, R. and Cheng, E.T.C. (2021), "The impact of organizational position level and cultural flow direction on the relationship between cultural intelligence and expatriate cross-border adaptation", Cross Cultural & Strategic Management, Vol. 28 No. 2, pp. 332-367. https://doi.org/10.1108/CCSM-01-2020-0012

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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