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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2016

Ying Zhang and Edward Oczkowski

The expansion of the phenomenon of two-way flow expatriation due to the accelerated process of globalization has resulted in an increasing need for a better understanding…

Abstract

Purpose

The expansion of the phenomenon of two-way flow expatriation due to the accelerated process of globalization has resulted in an increasing need for a better understanding of cross-cultural transitions. Given the absence of convincing a priori theoretical explanations, as part of an inductive discovery process, the purpose of this paper is to examine the relationships between cultural intelligence (CQ), job position, and cross-cultural adjustment (CCA) for expatriates.

Design/methodology/approach

Explicit consideration is given to uncovering the potential importance of cultural distance asymmetry (CDA) effects. Structural equation modelling techniques are employed to analyse survey data from a two-flow sample of expatriates between Australia and China.

Findings

Results indicate that motivational CQ has a statistically significant effect on CCA. CDA is found to moderate the relationship between job positions and expatriate adjustment, such that the relationship depends on the direction of cultural flow between more and less authoritarian cultural contexts.

Originality/value

These findings discover and highlight the potential importance of identifying the direction of cultural flows of expatriation in understanding successful expatriates’ CCA.

Details

Cross Cultural & Strategic Management, vol. 23 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-5794

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Article
Publication date: 9 October 2017

Ying Zhang, Xialing Wei and Wei Zhou

This paper aims to examine the asymmetric effect of cultural distance on the relationship between cultural intelligence and expatriate adjustment through the mechanisms of…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the asymmetric effect of cultural distance on the relationship between cultural intelligence and expatriate adjustment through the mechanisms of conflict management styles.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper conceptualizes a model depicting the interplay between culture intelligence, conflict management styles, cultural flows and expatriate adjustment.

Findings

The authors argue that the integrating style aggravates the positive effects of cultural intelligence on expatriate adjustment, while the avoiding style may undermine such effects. There is also a possible moderating effect of cultural distance asymmetry on the relationship between cultural intelligence and expatriate adjustment such that, the positive influence of cultural intelligence on adjustment is reinforced when the expatriate is sent from a loose cultural environment to adjust to a tight cultural environment, and that the positive influence of cultural intelligence on adjustment is diminished when the expatriate is sent from a tight cultural environment to adjust to a loose cultural environment.

Originality/value

This paper explicates the mediating effect of conflict management styles and the moderating roles of cultural distance asymmetry on the relationship between cultural intelligence and expatriate adjustment. The authors suggest that the level of adjustment is contingent on the direction of cultural flows that the assignment operates in.

Details

International Journal of Conflict Management, vol. 28 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1044-4068

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Article
Publication date: 21 June 2013

Masoud Hemmasi and Meredith Downes

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between cultural distance and cross‐cultural adjustment. The authors address four hypotheses regarding this…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between cultural distance and cross‐cultural adjustment. The authors address four hypotheses regarding this relationship: the Cultural Distance Hypothesis; the Cultural Distance Paradox; the Null Hypothesis; and the Asymmetry Hypothesis, in an effort to reconcile the disparities found in the literature. Specifically, portions of the extant literature support a positive relationship, while others support the opposite. There is also some evidence that this relationship may vary depending on the direction of expatriate transfer. Finally, some of the research has failed to support any significant relationship between cultural distance and adjustment.

Design/methodology/approach

Survey data were collected from 125 expatriates (117 expatriates and eight repatriates), representing 36 nationalities and on assignment in 32 different countries. Multiple regression analyses were used to regress cultural distance on both general and work‐related adjustment. Cultural distance was first operationalized as a composite of the scores on Hofstede's cultural dimensions. Subsequently, distances for each of the dimensions were entered into the regression models.

Findings

The authors concur with the Cultural Distance Paradox that greater differences in individualism between home and host cultures facilitates work adjustment. Findings also support the Asymmetry Hypothesis that travel from individualistic societies to more collectivist ones results in greater adjustment than does travel in the opposite direction.

Practical implications

Based on the Cultural Distance Paradox, firms may be well‐advised to direct their expatriate training efforts toward those assignments where the home and host cultures are presumably similar, as there may be a tendency to take adjustment for granted and therefore forgo cross‐cultural training. Similar efforts should be made to ease transfers to locations where the culture is more individualistic than that of the parent country.

Originality/value

Rather than fixate on one set of findings from the literature, this study considers all four of the possible relationships between cultural distance and adjustment, as found or suggested in previous research. This comprehensive approach should advance our understanding of cultural distance as a complex construct, with a role that cannot be consistently defined across all situations. This represents a departure from the need to assign static roles to variables that may be dynamic in nature.

Details

Journal of Global Mobility: The Home of Expatriate Management Research, vol. 1 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-8799

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Article
Publication date: 7 April 2021

Ying Zhang, Yuran Li, Mark Frost, Shiyu Rong, Rong Jiang and Edwin T.C. Cheng

This paper aims to examine the critical role played by cultural flow in fostering successful expatriate cross-border transitions.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the critical role played by cultural flow in fostering successful expatriate cross-border transitions.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors develop and test a model on the interplay among cultural intelligence, organizational position level, cultural flow direction and expatriate adaptation, using a data set of 387 expatriate on cross-border transitions along the Belt & Road area.

Findings

The authors find that both organizational position level and cultural flow moderate the relationship between cultural intelligence and expatriate adaptation, whereby the relationship is contingent on the interaction of organizational position status and assignment directions between high power distance and low power distance host environments.

Originality/value

Previous research has shown that higher levels of cultural intelligence are positively related to better expatriate adaptation. However, there is a lack of research on the effect of position difference and cultural flow on such relationship. Our study is among the first to examine how the interaction between cultural flow and organizational position level influences the cultural intelligence (CI) and cultural adjustment relationship in cross-cultural transitions.

Details

Cross Cultural & Strategic Management, vol. 28 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-5794

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 12 September 2016

Steve McKenna and Julia Richardson

The purpose of this paper is to offer an ontological and methodological alternative to the functionalist paradigm which currently dominates study of the self-initiated…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to offer an ontological and methodological alternative to the functionalist paradigm which currently dominates study of the self-initiated expatriate (SIE). It argues conceptually, and with a practical example, that actor-network theory (ANT) offers an alternative way forward. While the functionalist study of SIE seeks to generate knowledge of value to organizations, ANT seeks to produce practical knowledge from the viewpoint of the SIE(s).

Design/methodology/approach

The paper critiques the dominant functionalist approach to the study of SIE through ANT. A case history of a geographically mobile professional is offered to support the use of ANT as an ontological and methodological alternative in this field.

Findings

By following the actors through their own stories of mobility the authors argue that it is possible to offer alternative ways of investigating and understanding mobility. In particular, actors enact mobility in unique ways as they move and are, therefore, not easily categorized and in singular classifications, such as the “SIE.”

Originality/value

The study of SIE is an important emerging field of expatriate research. It is currently dominated by the functionalist paradigm. The paper offers an alternative ontological and methodological approach to the study of this field through the use of ANT. In this sense the authors challenge the developing dominant discourse of functionalism currently driving research on this topic.

Details

Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal, vol. 11 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5648

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 5 December 2019

Hajer Khedher and Muhammad Ali Asadullah

This paper aims to explore the lived experiences of Tunisian self-initiated expatriates (SIEs) for social and organizational support that they experienced during their…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the lived experiences of Tunisian self-initiated expatriates (SIEs) for social and organizational support that they experienced during their international expatriation assignment in a host country.

Design/methodology/approach

This study is a qualitative research. The data were collected from Tunisian Expatriates through semi-structured interviews.

Findings

This study has revealed diverse some interesting insights about the lived experiences of Tunisian SIEs about the support which they received from their family members, social network and members of the host-country organization. This study has also introduced a scale that can be used for measuring the level of social and organizational support received by SIEs.

Practical implications

This study has offered some implications for the researchers and professionals to advance research and practice to regulate the lived experiences of SIEs.

Originality/value

This study has highlighted the lived experiences of SIEs for social and organizational support in the Tunisian context representing the collectivist Muslim society.

Details

European Journal of Training and Development, vol. 44 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-9012

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2003

Georgios I. Zekos

Aim of the present monograph is the economic analysis of the role of MNEs regarding globalisation and digital economy and in parallel there is a reference and examination…

Abstract

Aim of the present monograph is the economic analysis of the role of MNEs regarding globalisation and digital economy and in parallel there is a reference and examination of some legal aspects concerning MNEs, cyberspace and e‐commerce as the means of expression of the digital economy. The whole effort of the author is focused on the examination of various aspects of MNEs and their impact upon globalisation and vice versa and how and if we are moving towards a global digital economy.

Details

Managerial Law, vol. 45 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0558

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2005

Charles M. Vance and Yongsun Paik

Aims to examine within the theoretical construct of absorptive capacity several forms of host country national (HCN) learning, leading to improved productivity in the…

Abstract

Purpose

Aims to examine within the theoretical construct of absorptive capacity several forms of host country national (HCN) learning, leading to improved productivity in the foreign operation, and ultimately yielding more effective knowledge generation and flow throughout the multinational corporation (MNC).

Design/methodology/approach

Used open‐ended exploratory field interviews with 51 host country human resource and middle managers in 49 different MNC foreign subsidiaries with headquarters in six different countries. Learning needs in three major employee levels of operative, supervisory/middle management, and upper management were examined. Notes from the interviews were recorded by hand and combined and analyzed for evidence of potentially beneficial forms of HCN learning using procedures of domain and theme analysis in taxonomy development.

Findings

A total of 12 categories of potentially beneficial forms of HCN learning were identified and discussed relative to their contributions to increased absorptive capacity. These forms of learning included such areas as new employee orientation and entry job skills, MNC predominant language, MNC home country cross‐cultural awareness, supervision and technical operations management skills, expatriate coaching and liaison skills, and MNC strategy and culture.

Research limitations/implications

Provides helpful insights on absorptive capacity to promote further theory development, as well as practical guidance for future HCN training to enhance the effective transfer of management knowledge and practice.

Originality/value

Past research in international management has had a predominant focus on expatriates, failing to identify important contributions that can be made by host country nationals to promote the effective transfer of knowledge throughout the multinational organization.

Details

Journal of Managerial Psychology, vol. 20 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-3946

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 2 August 2018

Heidi Wechtler

The purpose of this paper is to examine the motives of female childless self-initiated expatriates (SIEs) in deciding to work abroad, so far under-researched.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the motives of female childless self-initiated expatriates (SIEs) in deciding to work abroad, so far under-researched.

Design/methodology/approach

The study departs from prior research in using a new methodological approach, i.e. the analysis of online diaries (blogs) to explore the motives of a specific population to relocate.

Findings

The emergent model of motivations is based upon four main dimensions that emerged from the socially constructed experience of these single childless female SIEs: escape as main motivation, confrontation to reality, identity reconstruction and purpose of expatriation.

Originality/value

The findings reveal new elements of motivations to move abroad such as the complete absence of the notion of career from the blog posts, replaced, however, by a feminist and existentialist reflection.

Details

Career Development International, vol. 23 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1362-0436

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 30 June 2004

David A Harrison, Margaret A Shaffer and Purnima Bhaskar-Shrinivas

We review 25 years of research on expatriate experiences concentrating on expatriate adjustment as a central construct, and relying on a general stressor-stress-strain…

Abstract

We review 25 years of research on expatriate experiences concentrating on expatriate adjustment as a central construct, and relying on a general stressor-stress-strain framework. First, we consider who expatriates are, why their experiences differ from domestic employees, and what adjustment is. Conceptualizing (mal)adjustment in terms of stress, we next review the stressors and strains associated with it. Consolidating the wide range of antecedents (anticipatory and in-country) that have been studied to date, we note major patterns of effects and their implications for how HR managers can facilitate adjustment. Although relatively less research has focused on the consequences of adjustment, enough evidence exists to establish a bottom-line impact of poor adjustment on performance. To stimulate future efforts to understand the experiences of expatriates, we discuss the challenges and opportunities of continuing down this road of research.

Details

Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-103-3

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