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The Perspective of Host Country Nationals in Socializing Expatriates:The Importance of Foreign-Local Relations

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Abstract

Failure to adapt is one of the most often cited reasons for the premature return of expatriate assignees. This chapter reviews and builds on research that suggests that the expatriate socialization process involves multiple stakeholders. We review the state of the expatriate socialization literature and introduce recent theoretical developments on the process of expatriate socialization by adopting the host country national’s (HCN) perspective, and propose that HCNs have a potentially important role as socializing agents for expatriates. Drawing on social identity and justice theories, we identify relevant social cognitions and organizational practice that influence HCN coworkers’ decision to play this role – providing social support and sharing information with expatriates. A broader definition of expatriate success that includes the outcomes of HCNs is also proposed. We conclude by highlighting new theoretical perspectives and research directions for developing our understanding of the expatriate socialization processes.
... AEs ackowledged the difficulty of getting close to locals yet highlighted the importance of this relationship with host-country nationals in their work performance, in solving problems, and as a support system in general as suggested by previous studies (Peltokorpi, 2020;Toh et al., 2012). Moreover, they stressed the importance of their corporate network in the home country. ...
Chapter
Expatriation has been a topic of much research recently. The important role expatriates play in the internationalisation of an organisation and the resultant effects of such a work experience on the expatriates themselves, have fuelled the interest in this domain. This edited volume serves to provide fresh and timely insights into four areas, covering the individual, over the organisational, to the macro-level. First, the career paths of the expatriates, which not only garners them the career capital they may be able to utilise later in their career but also, the impacts of such an experience on their longer-term career success are in focus. The second block concerns the expatriation phase itself. A critical look is taken into the expatriates’ identity and how it changes over time. Moreover, it discusses factors influencing the expatriates’ well-being, embeddedness, and socio-cultural integration during their time abroad. Third, some key global mobility management challenges that organisations face, when managing expatriation, are introduced —such as flexible language management and how to become an international employer. Finally, insights are provided into the role of the host country policies – more specifically hostile environment and migration policies – on expatriate attitudes and behaviour, which has received less attention in previous research. All four areas are finally brought together to present a rich overview of future research questions that shall stimulate researchers and practitioners in their further deliberations. The chapters are based on selected results from the respective research subprojects of the Early Stage Researchers of the Horizon 2020 Global Mobility of Employees (GLOMO) project. This project was funded under the European Union’s Research and Innovation Programme H2020 in the framework of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Grant Agreement No 765355.
... International human resources managers have identified expatriates' adjustment to their new situations as an area of concern (Fee et al., 2013;Ren et al., 2014;Zhang & Dodgson, 2007). Although socializing and helping the expatriates acclimate to their new country is not typically part of the HCN job description (Toh et al., 2012), HCN staff are instrumental in facilitating expatriates' adjustment in a new location (Mahajan, 2011;Mahajan & De Silva, 2014;Toh & DeNisi, 2005). HCN staff can assist with adjusting to life in a new country, discovering the community's cultural norms, communicating the written and unwritten rules in and outside the workplace, finding accommodations, navigating utility bills, shopping, transportation, and other essentials (Toh & DeNisi, 2005). ...
Thesis
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As the global international school industry grows, more host-country national (HCN) teachers work alongside expatriate teachers in international schools. In up to 32% of international schools, expatriate teachers receive higher salaries than the local teaching staff for the same work, a phenomenon known as a split salary. Despite the prevalence, there has been very little research on split salaries in international schools from the perspectives of HCN teachers. This qualitative phenomenological study filled the gap by exploring the research question, What are the lived work experiences and perceptions of HCN teachers employed in international schools utilizing a split-salary scale? Rawls’ theory of justice as fairness served as the theoretical framework to answer the research question. Ten HCN participants took part in one-on-one, semistructured interviews. The collected interview data underwent software transcription and hand analysis to identify standard codes and themes that emerged from the data, with the themes and subthemes generated inductively. Three key themes emerged—power, othering, and the cost of compromise—as HCN teachers struggled to reconcile working in an environment that implicitly suggests they will never be good enough. This research can inform administrators and school owners that international schools should no longer be bastions of privilege. Using a purely competitive business approach to staffing does not align with international school missions.
... In particular, the research proposes that when investigating the effectiveness of the expatriates' CQ for obtaining worker support in the host country, it is necessary to consider certain personal characteristics in conjunction with the cultural characteristics of the host country's citizens. From a social identity perspective (Toh et al., 2012), certain personal characteristics of the expatriates, which are valued by the host country's culture, may facilitate their acceptance. By finding social support from local coworkers easily, expatriates should lessen their reliance on CQ for cross-cultural relationship development. ...
Article
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Grounded in the conservation of resources (COR) theory, this research investigates the role of cultural intelligence (CQ) on the level of burnout experienced by Chinese expatriates working in Thailand. In particular, in light of the collectivist characteristics of Thai culture, the study proposes that coworker support of host country nationals (HCN) is the mediator that explains the association between CQ and burnout. Moreover, given the feminine and power distance characteristics of Thai culture, this research explores whether the effect of CQ on HCN coworker support is moderated by gender and job position of Chinese expatriates. Survey data was gathered from 413 Chinese expatriates working for 15 Chinese subsidiaries in Thailand. Partial least squares structural equation modeling was used for data analysis. The analysis supports the mediating effect of HCN coworker support on the link between CQ and burnout. Moreover, moderating effect analysis indicates that the positive association between CQ and HCN coworker support is stronger for male Chinese expatriates and those in lower job positions.
... Fair treatment inspires HCNs to be cooperative and social categorization assists them to gain insight into the expatriate co-workers' needs. Toh, DeNisi, and Leonardelli (2012) propose that HCNs would be more predisposed to make available valuable information needed in facilitating expatriates' adjustment to the host culture only when fair treatment and social categorization are highly acknowledged. Besides, HCNs were also found to have unreservedly shared information with expatriate co-workers because they perceived their companies' authorities as fair (Leonardelli & Toh, 2011). ...
Article
This study investigates host country nationals’ (HCNs) attitudes towards expatriates and their implications for willingness to co-work and offer social support. Survey data from 211 HCNs indicate that attitudes of HCNs directly influence their willingness to provide social support to expatriate employees in host subsidiaries. The results of the study also reveal that HCNs’ attitudes are positively related to the willingness of host employees to co-work with expatriates. Implications of our findings for research and practice are presented.
... Mais encore une fois, ces travaux ne permettent pas de comprendre les enchaînements et articulation entre les activités de socialisation mises en oeuvre respectivement par l'organisation et ses membres, et par les nouveaux entrants.Si le développement important des recherches longitudinales sur la socialisation organisationnelle constitue une amélioration notable des connaissances temporelles du phénomène, il offre une représentation limitée des aspects processuels de la socialisation organisationnelle(Vancouver et al., 2010b). Les designs quantitatifs de ces recherches ne permettent pas de plonger au coeur des processus à l'oeuvre, c'est à dire d'étudier la continuité, l'interdépendance et l'enchaînement des actions de socialisation et des mécanismes qui les sous-tendent(Jokisaari & Nurmi, 2012;Toh, DeNisi, & Leonardelli, 2012;Wanberg & Y. Choi, ...
Thesis
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L’étude de la socialisation organisationnelle renvoie à des enjeux théoriques importants en sciences de gestion puisqu’il s’agit d’étudier un processus qui permet à l’entreprise de se refonder, de se transformer ou au contraire de se maintenir sur certaines de ses frontières (culturelles, réglementaires, identitaire ou institutionnelles) (Battilana, 2018; Bauer, Morrison, Callister, & Ferris, 1998; Daudigeos & Valiorgue, 2018; Van Maanen, 1976). La socialisation organisationnelle constitue ainsi un enjeu critique pour la stabilité et la performance des organisations (Ellis, Bauer, & Erdogan, 2015) et renvoie à un domaine de recherche important au croisement du management et des théories des organisations (Wanberg, 2012). Ce domaine de recherche est largement investi depuis la fin des années 1960 et se développe à un rythme de publication soutenu jusqu’à aujourd’hui. Malgré cet engouement et l’importance des connaissances élaborées au cours des soixante dernières années, elles présentent trois lacunes importantes qui constituent les fondements de notre programme de recherche. 1/ Développer et contextualiser les connaissances des activités de socialisation des organisations et de leurs membres. 2/ Développer les connaissances processuelles sur la socialisation organisationnelle. 3/ Développer les connaissances sur les enjeux organisationnels et politiques de la socialisation organisationnelle.
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