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Determinants of work role transition outcomes of Filipinos in Singapore

Vivien Supangco (Virata School of Business, University of the Philippines, Quezon City, Philippines)
Wolfgang Mayrhofer (The Interdisciplinary Group of Management and Organisational Behaviour, WU Vienna (Vienna University of Economics and Business), Vienna, Austria)

Journal of Global Mobility

ISSN: 2049-8799

Article publication date: 2 December 2014




The purpose of this paper is to address the following questions: what factors affect work role transition outcomes of Filipino employees in Singapore? What is the influence of type of expatriation on work role transition outcomes? Two outcomes of interest are work adjustment and job satisfaction.


An e-mail containing the link to a web-based structured questionnaire was sent to Filipinos working in local and multinational organizations in Singapore, who were also encouraged to forward the link to other Filipinos working in Singapore. The number of respondents totals 106. We used regression analysis to address the research question.


Work adjustment and job satisfaction do not share common factors, indicating differences in their dynamics. Work adjustment is singly explained by the individual factor: the self-efficacy beliefs of the global employees. It is not influenced by the content and context of work but by the disposition of the individual alone. On the other hand, job satisfaction is explained by job factors (role discretion and role conflict) and organizational or job context factors (supervisory support and perceived organizational support). It is not explained by self-efficacy belief. Both work role adjustment and job satisfaction are not influenced by whether or not the global employee is company assigned or self-initiated.

Research limitations/implications

Given the nonprobabilistic sampling employed, results of the study, in a strict sense, apply only to the individuals who participated in the survey. In addition, cross-sectional nature of the study also limits inference on causality.

Practical implications

The null results of gender, marital status, and age imply that these are not good indicators of success and are not a good basis for selection. However, one important dimension to consider in recruitment is self-efficacy belief. Managers also need to nurture self-efficacy of existing employees by enabling them to experience success and for the managers to consciously develop and maintain high self-efficacy belief themselves to serve as role model of employees. Moreover, organizations can enhance and manage job satisfaction by providing support from both the supervisor and the organization, and designing jobs that provide role discretion and less role conflict. In addition, the null result of type of expatriation suggests that pre-departure support erodes through time such that companies that send employees to foreign subsidiaries must continue to provide support beyond the pre-departure phase and highlight the role of host country operations in providing job content and context conducive to job satisfaction.


This study furthers the understanding of work role transition outcomes of people from Asia and the developing world who work in countries other than their own. It also broadens our perspective of work role transition by looking at two outcomes: work adjustment and job satisfaction. Moreover, this study provides an important contribution to the literature by examining the differences in outcomes of company assigned and self-initiated global employees.



Vivien Supangco is grateful to the Austrian Agency for International Cooperation in Education and Research (OeAD-GmbH), Center for International Cooperation and Mobility (ICM), for the research exchange in Vienna, Austria, in 2011 and to Evelyn Ulpindo, Ida David, and Nelson Sy for assistance in data collection and processing.


Supangco, V. and Mayrhofer, W. (2014), "Determinants of work role transition outcomes of Filipinos in Singapore", Journal of Global Mobility, Vol. 2 No. 3, pp. 317-342.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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