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Pandemic stress and the role of resources in expatriate–local interaction adjustment: an extension of Berry’s model

Carol Reade (School of Global Innovation and Leadership,Lucas College and Graduate School of Business,San Jose State University, San Jose, California, USA)
Mark McKenna (School of Global Innovation and Leadership,Lucas College and Graduate School of Business,San Jose State University, San Jose, California, USA)

Journal of Global Mobility

ISSN: 2049-8799

Article publication date: 18 April 2022

Issue publication date: 6 May 2022

412

Abstract

Purpose

The literature on expatriation rarely considers environmental stressors beyond cultural differences or interaction adjustment from the standpoint of host country nationals (HCNs). The authors develop a typology of expatriate–HCN interaction adjustment in response to a call to investigate the conditions under which pandemic stress facilitates cohesion or division among culturally diverse colleagues.

Design/methodology/approach

The typology is based on Berry’s acculturation model, developed with conservation of resources theory and extended with the dual-concerns problem-solving framework from the conflict management literature.

Findings

The authors propose that expatriate and HCN perceptions of resource adequacy to cope with pandemic stress shape their choice of adjustment mode, and that contextual resources, including those provided by the organization, are critical. An Integration adjustment mode characterized by perceptions of adequate contextual resources and collaborative problem-solving is proposed to be most beneficial in the context of a pandemic to foster cohesion among culturally diverse colleagues, while a Separation mode characterized by perceptions of inadequate contextual resources and competitive problem-solving is proposed to foster division. Theoretical and practical contributions are provided.

Originality/value

The study takes a novel interdisciplinary approach to develop a contextualized typology of interaction adjustment between expatriates and HCNs. It contributes to the literature on managing multinational enterprise stakeholders in high-risk environments and offers insights into the formulation of international HRM policies and practices during a pandemic that are applicable to other high-risk contexts.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful to guest editor Benjamin Bader and the editorial team for their valuable support and guidance, and to the anonymous reviewers for their constructive feedback.

Citation

Reade, C. and McKenna, M. (2022), "Pandemic stress and the role of resources in expatriate–local interaction adjustment: an extension of Berry’s model", Journal of Global Mobility, Vol. 10 No. 2, pp. 265-285. https://doi.org/10.1108/JGM-03-2021-0032

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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