Purpose — The purpose of this chapter is to provide knowledge and insights gained into Canadian expatriates' perspectives of living and working in Indonesia and to enhance the reader's understanding of the lived experience of being immersed in another culture.
Methodology — A descriptive phenomenological qualitative method was employed, which uncovered paradoxes that were lived by Canadian expatriate managers.
Findings — The following paradoxes are presented using participants' words and lived experiences of the authors: powerful-powerless, understanding-not understanding, being supported-not supported, belonging-not belonging and freedom-restriction.
Research limitations — While the qualitative findings may not be ‘generalisable’ according to a quantitative viewpoint, they are certainly applicable to others' experiences as demonstrated by the authors' description of their own experiences.
Practical implications — Enhanced understanding of this lived experience will spark improved expatriation strategies and lead directly to significant improvement in the overall performance of international organisations because an effective expatriate will be more capable of facilitating the two-way sharing and blending of the local and exogenous knowledge, therefore fulfilling a key role in knowledge transfer.
Social implications –– The importance of being open to others' lived experiences and supporting others who are immersed in another culture has universal appeal from a social perspective.
Originality/value of chapter — This is a unique research chapter describing research findings and joining participants' words and experiences with the authors' experiences. As well it is hoped that readers will relate to the paradoxes.
Russell, R.C. and Aquino-Russell, C.E. (2011), "Chapter 9 Living and Working Between Two Worlds: Using Qualitative Phenomenological Findings to Enhance Understanding of Lived Experiences", Mariano, S., Mohamed, M. and Mohiuddin, Q. (Ed.) The Role of Expatriates in MNCs Knowledge Mobilization (International Business and Management, Vol. 27), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 177-192. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1876-066X(2011)0000027012
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