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Article
Publication date: 7 September 2021

Hak Liong Chan, Dahlia Zawawi, Siew Imm Ng and Debbra Toria Anak Nipo

International assignments are an effective tool to develop employees' cultural competencies, yet expatriate failure rates remain high. This paper aims to examine salient…

Abstract

Purpose

International assignments are an effective tool to develop employees' cultural competencies, yet expatriate failure rates remain high. This paper aims to examine salient stakeholders' (i.e. organisations, host country nationals (HCNs) and spouses) support as antecedents of expatriates' work adjustment and task performance. It also explores work adjustment as a mediator between support and task performance.

Design/methodology/approach

Adopting the quantitative approach, survey data were collected from 112 expatriates who were married and based in organisations in Malaysia. Partial least squares-structural equation modelling was employed to analyse the data.

Findings

The findings validate the direct influences of perceived organisational support (POS) on work adjustment, HCN support on work adjustment, and spousal support on task performance. The indirect effect of HCN support on task performance through work adjustment was also established. When expatriates' work adjustment improves as a result of receiving HCN support, their task performance is enhanced.

Practical implications

This study evidences that expatriate-hiring firms should provide suitable support for expatriates when they work overseas. Local employees and spouses should likewise be tasked to help expatriates maximise their full potential in achieving successful performance in their assignments.

Originality/value

The contribution of this study is the exploration of the relationships between support, work adjustment and task performance among expatriates. It also adds to the limited knowledge on the role of specific stakeholders in the expatriate context.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

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Article
Publication date: 13 September 2013

Muhammad Awais Bhatti, Mohamed Mohamed Battour and Ahmed Rageh Ismail

The purpose of this study is to examine the mediating effects of expatriate adjustment (work, general and interaction) between individual (previous international…

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7641

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine the mediating effects of expatriate adjustment (work, general and interaction) between individual (previous international experience, self‐efficacy, social network and cultural sensitivity) and organizational factor (direct and indirect support) and job performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The data were collected from 201 expatriates working in Malaysia and analyse by using structural equation modelling (Amos‐16).

Findings

The results of the study indicated that expatriate adjustment (work, general and interaction) mediate the relationship between individual and organizational factors and expatriate performance (supervisor rated).

Research limitations/implications

The data were collected from the expatriates working in Malaysian universities. There can be differences between education industry and pure business organization in terms of working environment, selection process and management support. The respondents were citizens of different countries around the world which include Asia, Europe and Middle East. Even though Malaysia is a multicultural society and expatriates from any part of the world can find themselves in Malaysia, this research did not group the respondents in terms of their cultural differences and similarities with Malaysian culture.

Practical implications

The findings of this study suggest that human resource managers and MNC's management should provide direct and indirect support to the expatriates and their families in terms of language and cultural training, career development, logistical assistance, family mentoring, psychological counselling, job search, self‐development and social activities. Furthermore, recruitment managers and MNC's management should consider these factors before appointing any employee for international assignment. Finally, the findings of this research suggest that better expatriate performance help MNC's to perform better in their international operations which will ultimately improve the home and host country economic situation. The better performance of MNC's in their international operations through effective expatriate performance will encourage other domestic organizations to expand their operations globally.

Originality/value

Expatriate literature have highlighted many individual and organizational factors which affect expatriate job performance and adjustment but the role of some individual and organizational factors is still not clear and/or ignored by past researchers. For example, the role of direct and indirect support has not been well conceptualized in past studies. In addition, only a few studies have explained the importance of self‐efficacy, cultural sensitivity and social network in expatriate literature. Furthermore, role of previous international experience has generated conflicting results in past research.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 62 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

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Article
Publication date: 9 August 2013

Li‐Yueh Lee, Sou Veasna and Wann‐Yih Wu

This study aims to examine the significance of transformational leadership and social support for expatriate adjustment and performance. This study also extends relevant…

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4383

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the significance of transformational leadership and social support for expatriate adjustment and performance. This study also extends relevant literature on expatriate management to examine the relationships among transformational leadership, social support, expatriate adjustment, and expatriate performance through a mechanism taking into account the moderating roles of cultural intelligence and socialization experience.

Design/methodology/approach

The sample was collected from 156 expatriate managers of Taiwanese multinational company (MNC) subsidiaries operating in China. Structural equation modeling (SEM) in AMOS 21 and hierarchical regression in SPSS 19 were used to test eight research hypotheses.

Findings

The SEM results indicated that transformational leadership and social support make significant contributions to expatriate adjustment and performance. The moderating roles of socialization experience and cultural intelligence were also confirmed in this study.

Originality/value

This study extends a theoretical model of transformational leadership and social support to examine expatriate adjustment and performance based on social learning and social exchange theories. Using a specific Chinese context, the current paper highlights the value and necessity of cross‐cultural adjustment for successful expatriation.

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Article
Publication date: 14 March 2016

Paula Caligiuri, Nataliya Baytalskaya and Mila B Lazarova

For decades, expatriate scholars have understood that the individual factors of cultural humility and ethnocentrism and the contextual factors of feedback and support…

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1302

Abstract

Purpose

For decades, expatriate scholars have understood that the individual factors of cultural humility and ethnocentrism and the contextual factors of feedback and support affect expatriates’ outcomes. The study, rooted in the observation that great advice and support are often ignored by expatriates, seeks to uncover why. Based in the humility literature, the authors test whether individual differences interact with support to affect expatriate performance. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors surveyed a matched sample of 62 expatriates and their supervisors from one multinational organization.

Findings

The study found that expatriates higher in cultural humility benefit more from the support and feedback offered in the host national work environment which, in turn, facilitates better supervisor ratings of performance. The authors also found that expatriates’ ethnocentrism has a direct negative influence on their ratings of performance.

Research limitations/implications

The findings in the study are focussed and robust, but tested within a single organization. That said, the authors believe the results have implications for expatriate selection and for ways to manage the host national environment to improve expatriate performance.

Originality/value

The study joins the research conversation on how expatriates’ individual differences interact with the environments in which they are placed to affect their success. This study also underscores the importance of humility in the global professional context.

Details

Journal of Global Mobility, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-8799

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Article
Publication date: 9 March 2015

Maike Andresen

– The purpose of this paper is to empirically examine job embeddedness as antecedent of job performance and organizational citizenship behaviors (OCBs) of expatriates.

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1690

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to empirically examine job embeddedness as antecedent of job performance and organizational citizenship behaviors (OCBs) of expatriates.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 194 expatriates from 39 nationalities were recruited through various expatriate organizations, which provided expatriate groups they had access to with a link to the online survey in English. To test the hypotheses, the author used bivariate analyses and multivariate regressions were calculated to control for alternative explanations.

Findings

As hypothesized, community embeddedness was positively related to job performance and both organizational embeddedness and community embeddedness were positively related to OCBs. Moreover, community embeddedness and organizational embeddedness showed to be positively related. In addition, organizational embeddedness partially mediated the positive relationship between community embeddedness and job performance for organizational expatriates (moderated mediation) as well as the positive relationship between community embeddedness and OCBs.

Originality/value

This is one of the first study to address the differential effects of organizational and community embeddedness on job performance in an expatriation context.

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Article
Publication date: 2 January 2014

Muhammad Awais Bhatti, Mohamed Mohamed Battour, Ahmed Rageh Ismail and Veera Pandiyan Sundram

Researchers have been focusing on the predictors of expatriates adjustment and job performance at different levels (individual level, organizational level, and societal…

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11021

Abstract

Purpose

Researchers have been focusing on the predictors of expatriates adjustment and job performance at different levels (individual level, organizational level, and societal level) but still some of the predictors have been ignored or unclear in the expatriate literature. The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of personality traits (big five) on expatriates adjustment and job performance.

Design/methodology/approach

In this regards, data were collected from 201 expatriates working in Malaysia and analyzed by using structural equation modelling with Amos 16.

Findings

The findings of this study indicated that personality traits (big five) which include extroversion, openness to experience, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and neuroticism positively influence expatriate adjustment which further influence expatriate performance rated by peers. In other words, expatriates adjustment (work, interaction, and general) mediate the relationship between big five personality traits (extroversion, openness to experience, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and neuroticism) and expatriates job performance (task, relationship building, and overall performance).

Research limitations/implications

The findings of this study will help the researchers to further understand the importance of personality traits required for successful completion of international assignment. Furthermore, the findings also suggest human resource professionals to consider these personality traits before selecting an individual for international assignment. Finally, future research directions have been proposed.

Originality/value

Literature on expatriate adjustment and job performance is still at developing stage. This paper shed light on the individual characteristics which work as predictors for expatriates adjustment and job performance.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 33 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2003

Peter Woods

The cross‐cultural and practical challenge of evaluating the management performance of Australian and Singaporean expatriates has received little research attention. This…

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7460

Abstract

The cross‐cultural and practical challenge of evaluating the management performance of Australian and Singaporean expatriates has received little research attention. This paper explores critical perceptions of performance management by analysing the results of structured interviews with Australian and Singaporean expatriate managers and human resource professionals. Contrary to initial expectations, a slight majority of respondents were satisfied overall with the fairness and accuracy of expatriate performance management practices. Their proposals for more effective performance management are analysed, focussing on the efficacy of involving multiple, cross‐cultural raters in performance appraisal. The cultural differences between Australian and Singaporean expatriates are also explored. The findings of this research provide important direction for the development of culturally sensitive international human resource management practices.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 24 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

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Article
Publication date: 6 June 2016

Zhaohong Lin and Zhe Zhao

The purpose of this paper is to comprehensively explore the dimensions of Chinese culture and further investigate the underlying mechanisms via which the Chinese culture…

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2276

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to comprehensively explore the dimensions of Chinese culture and further investigate the underlying mechanisms via which the Chinese culture, in various dimensions, affect the overseas performance of Chinese multinational enterprises (CMNE) expatriates. Along with the awakening of China, not only CMNEs but also the Chinese culture have infiltrated the world market. The uniqueness of Chinese culture has attracted considerable attention of a majority of practitioners, while relevant research on how it affects CMNE expatriatesperformance sounds rare. In contrast to domestic employees, the performance of CMNE expatriates is more likely to be influenced by Chinese culture because of the potential cross-border cultural conflicts between the home and host countries. Additionally, the impact of Chinese culture on CMNE expatriatesperformance may vary according to different cultural dimensions.

Design/methodology/approach

Comparative case study is adopted for this research. After sufficient literature review and interviews with human resource (HR) staff, this paper structured the research, and then conducted 30 in-depth interviews with Chinese expatriates from both state-owned enterprises and private-owned enterprises.

Findings

This paper identifies that the Chinese culture do affect CMNE expatriates performance; however, the degree of its effect diversifies according to different cultural dimensions, namely, individual-level culture including Reniqng, Mianzi and social-level culture including power distance, Guanxi, Yinyang, Hexie and collectivism.

Research limitations/implications

A limitation of this study is that the sample is not big enough and empirical tests are needed to validate or refute the model. Nevertheless, due to the fact that it is still during the period of initial study, the conceptual development raised by this paper would help us to gain good insights from these important and unexplored areas of national culture, which is being thought to affect performance in CMNEs.

Practical implications

Through reviewing the relevant literature and deeply analyzing Chinese culture, this paper attempts to help young Chinese MNEs to build up and/or improve performance appraisal method and system according to the unique Chinese culture, and to supply a theoretical support for HR personnel to make related policies for the sake of improving expatriate performance overseas.

Social implications

This paper is the first attempt to dig and explore the whole picture, and refine the dimensions of Chinese culture from individual level and social level. It aims to lay a foundation for the research related to Chinese culture, and to some extent, supply a theoretical support to motivate more researchers to explore more ways to improve the performance of expatriates from young CMNEs.

Originality/value

This paper presents the whole frame of Chinese culture and from an integral Chinese perspective digs the Chinese cultural dimensions from individual level and social level for the first time. According to the social cognitive theory, this paper provides a firm foundation for scholars to understand Chinese culture as well as to analyze the related relationship with performance, and for CMNEs to develop and utilize the effect of national culture to improve the performance of expatriates overseas. So far, the research on Chinese culture and the effect of national culture overseas have not yet been well considered.

Details

Chinese Management Studies, vol. 10 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-614X

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Article
Publication date: 13 November 2017

Murali Sambasivan, Morvarid Sadoughi and Pouyan Esmaeilzadeh

The fundamental question addressed in this research is: How do cultural intelligence, personality traits of expatriates, spousal support and cultural adjustment of…

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2108

Abstract

Purpose

The fundamental question addressed in this research is: How do cultural intelligence, personality traits of expatriates, spousal support and cultural adjustment of expatriates impact their performance? The answer to the question is important to ensure that expatriation is successful. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

The integrated framework linking the factors was formulated and tested among the 139 expatriates employed by multinational corporations (MNC) in Malaysia. A questionnaire was developed and distributed. The framework was validated using structural equation modeling technique.

Findings

Based on the analysis, the important findings are: cultural empathy and social initiatives (personality traits) of expatriates, cultural intelligence and spousal support enhance cultural adjustment of expatriates; spousal support, cultural empathy and social initiatives influence the cultural intelligence of the expatriates; and cultural intelligence and spousal support impact the performance of expatriates.

Research limitations/implications

This study selected the expatriates working in MNCs and residing in Malaysia for six months and above.

Originality/value

This integrated view helps us understand the mechanism that leads to an expatriate’s perceived performance. Generally, researchers use “Big Five” to capture the personality traits. This research has used the construct and its dimensions that are relevant for studies on expatriation.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 66 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

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Article
Publication date: 19 July 2013

Muhammad Awais Bhatti, Sharan Kaur and Mohamed Mohamed Battour

Researchers have been focusing on the predictors of expatriates' adjustment and job performance at different levels (individual level, organizational level and societal…

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3727

Abstract

Purpose

Researchers have been focusing on the predictors of expatriates' adjustment and job performance at different levels (individual level, organizational level and societal level), but still some of the predictors have been ignored or unclear in the expatriate literature. The purpose of this paper is to develop a comprehensive framework in order to better understand the role of individual factors in expatriate adjustment and job performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The review of past research is used to develop a conceptual framework.

Findings

This conceptual paper provides theoretical ground for individual factors which include Big Five, self‐efficacy, previous international experience, cultural sensitivity and social network and proposes that expatriate adjustment (work, general and interaction adjustment) mediates the relationship between individual factors (personality traits (Big Five), self‐efficacy, previous international experience, cultural sensitivity and social network) and expatriate job performance (rated by peer and supervisor).

Practical implications

This paper also provides practical implications for the managers and professionals involved in expatriates' selection, training and performance management. This paper suggests that managers involved in selection of candidates for international assignment should consider personality traits, level of self‐efficacy, previous international experience, social network and cultural sensitivity at the time of selection of candidates for international assignment. Furthermore, managers should design pre‐departure training programs in a way that enhances candidates' self‐efficacy level, overcomes cultural sensitivity, and motivates them to expand social network. Finally, managers should explain to the candidates how they can use their personal skills and knowledge to gain work, general and interactions adjustment in order to achieve job tasks.

Originality/value

The proposed framework is developed based on the past theoretical review in order to cover the gap and contribute to the body of knowledge in expatriate literature. Based on the proposed framework, this paper invites researchers to empirically test the suggested propositions in order to further strengthen and develop understanding about individual factors including Big Five and other expatriates' adjustment and job performance predictors.

Details

European Journal of Training and Development, vol. 37 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-9012

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