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Article
Publication date: 25 October 2019

David S.A. Guttormsen and Anne Marie Francesco

The purpose of this paper is to examine how low status expatriates (lower position, younger, female) are positioned differently compared to high status expatriates (higher…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how low status expatriates (lower position, younger, female) are positioned differently compared to high status expatriates (higher position, older, male) in terms of experiencing various types of success.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on 424 responses from business expatriates working within multinational corporations operating in Asia, the study tests whether low status expatriates experience higher personal success while high status expatriates see more organization-related success.

Findings

The results demonstrate that expatriates with different status-related characteristics might experience success during an international assignment differently. Additionally, our results reveal the relevance of avoiding treating success as a single variable and of investigating the actual experiences acquired while working abroad to better appreciate how expatriates experience success differently.

Originality/value

The extant literature offers a limited understanding of expatriate success as the phenomenon has often been conceptualized in relatively simple terms, i.e., the completion of the international assignment contract. Our study offers an alternative view. Measuring success using a single outcome variable does not fully capture the experience. Success can be perceived in different ways, and different types of success are associated with different types of characteristics.

Details

Journal of Global Mobility: The Home of Expatriate Management Research, vol. 7 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-8799

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Article
Publication date: 12 December 2016

Paul van der Laken, Marloes van Engen, Marc van Veldhoven and Jaap Paauwe

The purpose of this paper is to review empirical research on the relationship between organization-based social support and the success of international assignments (IAs).

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review empirical research on the relationship between organization-based social support and the success of international assignments (IAs).

Design/methodology/approach

Four search engines were used to obtain empirical studies relating organization-based social support to success criteria. Studies were compared based on type of theoretical foundation, criteria of success, source of social support and study design.

Findings

The reviewed studies draw on three theoretical paradigms – based on stress, social capital and relational exchange. The results demonstrate that expatriates receive social support from multiple organization-based sources and that these sources’ proximity to the expatriate influences the relationship between social support and success. Regarding geographical proximity, sources in the home and host countries fulfil different supportive functions and therefore stimulate different success criteria. Additionally, the success criteria stimulated by organizational support depend on the type of supportive practices offered. The impact of support from organizational members is further influenced by their hierarchical proximity to the expatriate, with supervisory support relating most strongly to success. In addition to proximity, characteristics of the expatriating employee and the assignment (e.g. expatriate motivation and assignment hardship) influence the value of social support. Finally, social support relates most strongly to expatriates’ satisfaction, commitment, and adjustment and these frequently mediate its effect on expatriates’ retention and performance.

Research limitations/implications

Although only organization-based sources were considered, this review demonstrates that a multidimensional perspective is warranted when examining the effects of social support during IAs.

Practical implications

This review provides insights into the ways organizations could and should assist (self-initiated) expatriates when aiming for specific outcomes.

Originality/value

This in-depth examination of social support in the work environment of expatriates combines several theoretical paradigms and investigates multiple criteria of success.

Details

Journal of Global Mobility: The Home of Expatriate Management Research, vol. 4 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-8799

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Article
Publication date: 17 October 2019

Tami France, Lize Booysen and Carol Baron

In this world of global interconnectedness, women continue to develop cross-cultural careers and their experiences impact global scholarship and practice. The purpose of…

Abstract

Purpose

In this world of global interconnectedness, women continue to develop cross-cultural careers and their experiences impact global scholarship and practice. The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationships, resources and characteristics that support female expatriate success, with specific focus on the role of mentor/coach relationships. The sample included 102 women from the USA, Canada, Australia and the UK working or formerly working in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau or Taiwan.

Design/methodology/approach

This three phase sequential mixed-methods exploratory research study included 10 one-on-one semi-structured interviews, 102 survey respondents and 3 facilitated focus groups attended by nine professional women.

Findings

This research offers evidence that resiliency-based characteristics must be cultivated and developed to support expatriate cross-cultural success. These characteristics can be cultivated through relying on multiple relationships, such as mentors, coaches, host country liaisons, expatriate colleagues, friends and family as well as by supporting and mentoring others. These characteristics can also be developed through specific cultural experiences, knowledge and skill building resources, as well as developing an informed view of self and identity clarity through reflective activities.

Originality/value

Based on the overall findings, a cross-cultural professional success model was designed and implications for scholarship, organizational effectiveness and cross-cultural leadership practice are presented.

Details

Cross Cultural & Strategic Management, vol. 26 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-5794

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Article
Publication date: 14 September 2015

Raija Salomaa

– The purpose of this paper is to investigate factors impacting successful coaching of expatriates.

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2042

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate factors impacting successful coaching of expatriates.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were gathered from 25 semi-structured interviews of coached expatriates, coaches and HR professionals. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis was used to analyze and interpret the data.

Findings

Altogether, 16 factors impacting expatriate coaching success were identified. They were categorized with respect to the four-quadrant framework of Wilber. The findings suggest, for example, that coaching success is impacted by: from the coach and coachee as individuals perspective, international experience of the coach; from the coaching relationship perspective, coaching language and managerial leadership style; from the behaviors, processes, models and techniques perspective, a clear contract with objectives and evaluation, and challenging behavior of the coach; and from the systems perspective, organizational support.

Practical implications

Coaching processes, tools and techniques should be adapted to the needs and situation of the assignee. It would be beneficial if organizations ensured that their coaches are internationally experienced and that their managerial leadership style supports coaching. Coaching should be clearly defined and contracted with goals and evaluation. Coaching tools and techniques suitable for international coaching should be added to coach-training programs.

Originality/value

Given the paucity of expatriate coaching research, and the fact that expatriation continues to be a key component of the international management field, this paper contributes to coaching and expatriate research by identifying factors that give expatriate coaching success and by analyzing and presenting them using Wilber’s systemic four-quadrant framework.

Details

Journal of Global Mobility, vol. 3 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-8799

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Article
Publication date: 17 July 2020

Yanghua Zhou

The purpose of this study is to address the research gap and quantitatively examine how the psychological contracts (PCs) between Japanese expatriates and Japanese…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to address the research gap and quantitatively examine how the psychological contracts (PCs) between Japanese expatriates and Japanese multinational corporations (MNCs) influence the expatriation success of both Japanese expatriates and Japanese MNCs.

Design/methodology/approach

This study constitutes exploratory research, using a quantitative analysis as the main research method and a qualitative approach as a complement. A questionnaire survey was conducted, and data from 100 Japanese expatriate respondents were analyzed.

Findings

The results indicate that the fulfillment of PCs is indeed important for expatriation success. The age factor of expatriates also has significant impact on expatriation success. There is no complementary relationship between the fulfillment of Japanese expatriates and MNCs.

Research limitations/implications

Other organization variables may also be considered. Future research could also examine organizations' perceptions of Japanese expatriates' fulfillment of PCs. It is necessary for developing advanced methods to conduct increasingly precise research and provide improved methodological contributions.

Practical implications

The efforts of both individual expatriates and MNCs are therefore indispensable to achieve successful expatriation. Attention should be paid to the training and development of younger expatriates.

Originality/value

This study allows the author to address the gap in studies regarding the expatriation success of both Japanese MNCs and expatriates from the perspective of PCs. This study has created a scale to measure the expatriation success. This study explores the interaction effect of the fulfillment of PCs by expatriates and MNCs, which has not been addressed in the literature on expatriation success.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 42 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

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Article
Publication date: 14 December 2015

S. Kubra Canhilal, Rachel Gabel Shemueli and Simon Dolan

The purpose of this paper is to explore the relative most important antecedent factors related to success in international assignment (IA) in specific context such as…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the relative most important antecedent factors related to success in international assignment (IA) in specific context such as Peru. It reviews the full range of individual, organizational and contextual factors associated with success in IA as well as discusses the importance of context in expatriate research. Combined with limited interviews, synthesis is offered and the most relevant determinant factors are identified.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a qualitative approach based on semi-structured interviews with 45 participants who currently hold IA positions or have broad experience in overseas positions. The interviews were conducted in the English and Spanish languages. A priori coding system classification technique based on a content analysis methodology was administrated for the purpose of analyzing and codifying the interviews.

Findings

The findings reveal that a combination of individual, organizational and contextual antecedent factors are relevant for explaining success in IA. However, only nine of the 32 factors were found to be the most determinant to success. In particular, cross-cultural competencies, spouse adjustment, motivational issues, time on assignment, emotional competencies, previous international experience, language fluency and social relational skills, as well as contextual cultural differences and organizational recruitment and selection practices, were found to be the most associated to success in IA. The relative importance of the antecedents are discussed related to the context.

Research limitations/implications

Because of the nature of qualitative design, a single factor may affect the interpretation and generalization of the findings. In addition, the ample and broad conceptualizations and definitions of the antecedent factors examined from different viewpoints may cause theoretical overlapping and cross-over definition biases, which may result in misleading findings. Therefore, the authors encourage future research to continue examining the full range of antecedent factors employing different methodological approaches by integrating context in a more systematic manner.

Practical implications

The paper reviews the implications for IA selection design and process implementation, cross-cultural training and development.

Originality/value

To begin with, this paper fills a need to study the antecedents of IA success and determine their relevance. In particular, and to the best of the knowledge, this is one of the few studies that include multi-level perspective: individual, organizational and contextual factors. This comprehensive approach aids in better understanding of the role and relevance of the respective antecedent factors that leads to success in IA with an aim to integrate context in the equation. Second, the sample consists of expatriates in particularly in Peru which gives information about adjustment of expatriates in Peru.

Details

Journal of Global Mobility, vol. 3 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-8799

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Article
Publication date: 3 May 2021

Reimara Valk

The purpose of this paper is to explore the human capital (HC) expatriates require and develop during an international assignment (IA) to work effectively and live…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the human capital (HC) expatriates require and develop during an international assignment (IA) to work effectively and live contentedly in a host country.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative research entailing interviews with 78 expatriates and repatriates across the globe, investigating the competencies they developed and the HC they gained during their IAs.

Findings

Five interrelated competence clusters were derived: cultural competence (CC); interpersonal competence; intrapersonal competence; global business competence; global leadership competence, each containing competencies crucial for expatriate success.

Research limitations/implications

This study relied on self-reports by expatriates and repatriates. Future research should also include senior/line managers and chief human resource officers from a range of organizations across the world to gather their assessments on the competencies and HC of expatriates and repatriates.

Practical implications

Line/HR managers can use the designed “Expatriate/Repatriate Human Capital model” to assess an individual's overall readiness and capacity to perform effectively in a foreign country and culture and consecutively identify and select the right candidates to undertake IAs.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the literature by presenting a HC model called the “Expatriate and Repatriate Human Capital Model; the body of competence”. The model identifies and defines the competencies/knowledge, skills, abilities and other characteristics (KSAOs) required for intercultural effectiveness and expatriate success and serves as a tool for the selection, training, development and performance evaluation of expatriates and repatriates, in order to aid the accomplishment of individual and organizational objectives.

Details

Journal of Global Mobility: The Home of Expatriate Management Research, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-8799

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Expatriate Leaders of International Development Projects
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-631-0

Abstract

Details

Breaking the Zero-Sum Game
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-186-7

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Article
Publication date: 22 June 2010

Chenyi Qin and Yehuda Baruch

The purpose of this paper is to explore the significance of cross‐cultural training and career attitudes for expatriation career move in the context of China, whether…

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7053

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the significance of cross‐cultural training and career attitudes for expatriation career move in the context of China, whether cross‐cultural training is perceived necessary, and the consequence of providing such cross‐cultural training.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from 82 expatriates from a Chinese firm, some of whom were expatriated to a foreign country and others who were expatriated from foreign countries to China.

Findings

Expatriates adjusted well, and having a protean career attitude was a decisive factor. While the impact of cross‐cultural training prior to departure was not statistically significant, it was well received and considered important.

Research limitations/implications

A limitation is the limited sample size. Implications are presented for conducting cross‐cultural training.

Practical implications

Developing cross‐cultural training programs could add value to the firm and its people.

Originality/value

Using a particular Chinese firm the paper highlights the value and necessity of cross‐cultural training for successful expatriation.

Details

Career Development International, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1362-0436

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