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Great expectations: The moderating role of pre-departure opinion on the relationship between organizational justice and expatriates’ commitment and job satisfaction

Hanan Saber Almazrouei (College of Business and Economics, United Arab Emirates University, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates)
Robert Zacca (College of Business, Alfaisal University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia)
Joel M. Evans (Department of Management, Prince Mohammed Bin Salman College of Business and Entrepreneurship, King Abdullah Economic City, Saudi Arabia)
Mumin Dayan (College of Business and Economics, United Arab Emirates University, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates)

Journal of Global Mobility

ISSN: 2049-8799

Article publication date: 15 May 2018

Issue publication date: 31 May 2018

585

Abstract

Purpose

Organizational fairness has been shown to affect numerous employee outcomes, including organizational commitment and job satisfaction. The purpose of this paper is to explore whether an expatriate manager’s favorability toward accepting a foreign assignment affects the way they respond to subsequent treatment in the workplace, viewed in terms of organizational justice.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were gathered in two stages from 175 expatriate managers located in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). To test the authors’ predictions, the authors analyzed organizational commitment and job satisfaction as a function of organizational fairness (distributive and interpersonal) and pre-departure opinion.

Findings

The results suggest that expatriate managers who express a higher degree of favorability toward accepting a foreign assignment appear less reactive to changes in organizational fairness. Meanwhile, expatriate managers who express a lesser degree of favorability toward accepting the foreign assignment appear more sensitive to workplace fairness, such that when they feel treated unfairly, they demonstrate worse outcomes than those who were in favor of the assignment, and when they feel treated fairly, they demonstrate better outcomes than those who were in favor of the assignment. The net effect of pre-departure opinion appears to be an amplification of the relationship between subsequent fairness and outcomes.

Practical implications

Expatriate managers with a less favorable view of their assignment may harbor deep questions about whether they want to be in this new job capacity, and may therefore be more sensitive to how they are treated. Alternatively, people with a more favorable view of their assignment may have already decided they want to be in the new capacity, and so may be more robust to workplace treatment.

Originality/value

To the authors’ knowledge, this paper constitutes the first investigation of the effects of expatriate pre-departure opinion (i.e. favorability toward accepting a foreign assignment) on job satisfaction and commitment within the context of organizational justice. Furthermore, the UAE is a highly relevant context to study expatriate behavior.

Keywords

Citation

Almazrouei, H.S., Zacca, R., Evans, J.M. and Dayan, M. (2018), "Great expectations: The moderating role of pre-departure opinion on the relationship between organizational justice and expatriates’ commitment and job satisfaction", Journal of Global Mobility, Vol. 6 No. 2, pp. 178-193. https://doi.org/10.1108/JGM-07-2017-0031

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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