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Exploring the potential effects of expatriate adjustment direction

Ying Zhang (International Business School, Yunnan University of Finance & Economics, Kunming, China AND School of Management and Marketing, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, Australia.)
Edward Oczkowski (School of Accounting and Finance, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, Australia.)

Cross Cultural & Strategic Management

ISSN: 2059-5794

Article publication date: 1 February 2016

Abstract

Purpose

The expansion of the phenomenon of two-way flow expatriation due to the accelerated process of globalization has resulted in an increasing need for a better understanding of cross-cultural transitions. Given the absence of convincing a priori theoretical explanations, as part of an inductive discovery process, the purpose of this paper is to examine the relationships between cultural intelligence (CQ), job position, and cross-cultural adjustment (CCA) for expatriates.

Design/methodology/approach

Explicit consideration is given to uncovering the potential importance of cultural distance asymmetry (CDA) effects. Structural equation modelling techniques are employed to analyse survey data from a two-flow sample of expatriates between Australia and China.

Findings

Results indicate that motivational CQ has a statistically significant effect on CCA. CDA is found to moderate the relationship between job positions and expatriate adjustment, such that the relationship depends on the direction of cultural flow between more and less authoritarian cultural contexts.

Originality/value

These findings discover and highlight the potential importance of identifying the direction of cultural flows of expatriation in understanding successful expatriates’ CCA.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Funding for this research was provided by International Postgraduate Research Scholarship, Charles Sturt University, Australia, and Program of Research on the Model and Mechanism of Decision-making of Sustainable Innovation Opportunity for Innovative Enterprises from National Natural Science Foundation, China (No. 71262016). The assistance of Professor Yunlong Duan and Dr Alan Fish is gratefully acknowledged. Comments from an associate editor and two anonymous reviewers are also acknowledged.

Citation

Zhang, Y. and Oczkowski, E. (2016), "Exploring the potential effects of expatriate adjustment direction", Cross Cultural & Strategic Management, Vol. 23 No. 1, pp. 158-183. https://doi.org/10.1108/CCSM-05-2015-0062

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited