ArticlePDF Available

Management of Culture Shock

CRIS Bulletin 2014/02
The rise of globalisation has led to many changes in the nature of how businesses operate including an increasing
number of long-term international assignments, which remains for many organisations a challenging problem to the
present day. The aim of this paper is, therefore, to provide readers with the general overview of the existing research
and ndings regarding the topic of cross-cultural adjustment of the expatriates leaving for a foreign assignment and
their suitable management procedure in regards to the most effective ways of how different aspects of cross-cultural
adjustment could be increased, and thus success of the expatriates in the foreign assignment maximised.
Download Date | 11/24/15 5:21 AM
CRIS Bulletin 2014/02
The nature of today's business environment is becoming more globalised and interconnected on the inter-
national level than ever before (Giddens, 1999; Friedman, 2005; Inkpen and Ramaswamy, 2006). On one
hand, this globalised business environment provides organisations with unparalleled opportunities, whereas
on the other hand, it also offers tremendous challenges due to a higher level of complexity, which results from
conditions of multiplicity, ambiguity, and interdependence (Lane, Maznevski, and Mendenhall, 2004). Within
many organisations, there can be seen increased multiculturalism and thus increased interaction between
employees of different cultures. The culture in the context of this discussion could be dened as follows:
Culture is an integrated system of learned behaviour patterns that are character-
istic of the members of any given society. Culture refers to the total way of life of
particular groups of people. It includes everything that a group of people thinks,
says, does, and makes - its systems of attitudes and feelings. Culture is learned and
transmitted from generation to generation (Kohls, 1996, p. 23).
To put it briey, culture could be understood as a shared meaning system (Fisher, 2009). It implies that the
environment, which is more prone towards increased interaction between employees of different cultures, is
more open to, and in some cases, directly requires an increasing number of short-term business trips to foreign
countries or even long-term foreign assignments. These international assignments are, however, very benecial
both for expatriates as well as for the organisations. According to the research done by Oddou and Mendenhall
(1991), foreign assignments increase expatriates global perspectives, increase the ability to communicate more
effectively with people from culturally diverse backgrounds, or better comprehend business trends.
Benets for the organisation that are arising from international assignments may include intersubsidiary
communication and coordination (Boyacigiller, 1991; and Rosenzweig, 1994) due to the corporate phi-
losophies and vision, which are likely to be transferred together with the expatriate. Similarly, Boyacigiller
(1991) argues that the use of expatriates can help the organisation to form links with host-country gov-
ernments, local businesses, or other interest groups. This form of connection is likely to provide the or-
ganisation with a competitive advantage over competition, especially when the organisation is the rst one
among competitors to make this form of connection, and thus likely to gain the 'rst mover advantage'.
For these reasons, it could be argued that the success of an expatriate in a foreign assignment increases an
organisation's overall efciency as well as protability.
However, due to the effect of globalisation, which increases the interconnectedness and interaction of dif-
ferent cultures, and thus seems to converge behaviour among countries, one might mistakenly come to the
conclusion that the effect of the difference of cultures is insignicant for an expatriate and thus negligible.
This kind of reasoning is, however, awed and Schneider and Barsoux (2002) argue that cultural differenc-
es are not disappearing in the process of globalisation, instead the problem may be in the inability to rec-
ognise the presence and the force of the culture. Similarly, the survey of 12,000 world managers done by
Harvard Business Review indicates that "the idea of a corporate global village where a common culture of
management unies the practice of business around the world is more dream than reality" (Kanter, 1991).
The success of international assignments is,
nevertheless, to a large extent affected both by
the native culture of an expatriate and the culture
to which an expatriate is assigned.
Download Date | 11/24/15 5:21 AM
CRIS Bulletin 2014/02
Thus, not only are there different national cultures in different countries that need to be taken into consid-
eration as they play a role in the success of an expatriate, but also different styles of management need to
be taken into account and applied to t the specic organisational culture which is always to some extent
inuenced by employees' national cultures. Similarly, the factors of the individual expatriates that are likely
to have an effect on the success of an assignment needs to be thoroughly evaluated. For these reasons,
there exists cross-cultural management, which could be understood as follows:
Cross-cultural management is the study of the behavior of people in organizations
located in cultures and nations around the world. It focuses on the description of
organizational behavior within countries and cultures, on the comparison of or-
ganizational behavior across countries and cultures, and, perhaps most importantly,
on the interaction of peoples from different countries working within the same
organization or within the same environment (Adler, 1983, p. 226).
However, the existing research indicates relatively large differences between the existing practices (or lack of
practices) of cross-cultural management by organisations and what is generally agreed to be the most suc-
cessful set of practices that maximise the success of an expatriate in a foreign assignment. The cost of largely
ignoring and not implementing such practices is certainly not negligible. Various studies have found that
between sixteen and forty percent of all expatriate managers who are given foreign assignments end these
assignments early due to their poor performance or their inability to adjust to the foreign environment (Black,
1988; Dunbar and Ehrlich, 1986) and as much as fty percent of those who do not return early function at
a low level of effectiveness (Copeland and Griggs, 1985). Black and Gregersen (1991, pp. 462-463) further
argue that "the cost of ineffective expatriates may well be higher than the costs of 'failed' expatriates". Failure,
therefore, could be also considered to include factors such as stresses, strains, and underperformance of the
expatriate, negative outcomes of repatriation, negative effects on the expatriate's family, the career prospects
of expatriate's partner, or negative view about the prospect of overseas postings in the future (Harzing, 1995).
Therefore, once the appropriate practices are implemented, the failure rate as well as the ineffectiveness
of the expatriates who are having difculties with adjustment could be lowered and thus related costs of
such failure or low efciency reduced. The following overview is thus a summary of the most important
theory necessary for understanding cross-cultural adjustment, and the practices the existing research found
effective in the maximisation of the success and effectiveness of foreign assignments.
When an expatriate is entering a new environment, there is always a certain degree of uncertainty about
what behavior is acceptable. According to Oberg (1960), such uncertainty is due to the loss of all familiar
signs and symbols of social intercourse (both in the work and non-work environment), most of which are
not carried out on the level of conscious awareness. The reason for not consciously carrying these cultural
signs and symbols, and thus not realising the loss of these culturally inherited habits, stems from the fact that
culture has a major role to play in the way an individual's psychology is shaped due to human ethnocentric
nature (Berry, et al., 1997). In other words, it is not only cultural differences as such that contribute to the
culture shock, but also each individual's psychology which is by default predetermined by our own culture to
unwittingly see and judge the outside world through the lenses of our own culture. Because particular beliefs,
perceptions, thoughts, and feelings (broadly called basic underlying assumptions) operate at an unconscious
level (Thomas, 2008); some degree of culture shock is, therefore, always inevitable. To get a better notion
of this complex idea, the core of the problem could be pointedly illustrated in a quote by Eagleton (2000),
"one's own way of life is simply human; it is other people who are ethnic, idiosyncratic, culturally peculiar."
Download Date | 11/24/15 5:21 AM
CRIS Bulletin 2014/02
This implies that even though an expatriate takes proactive measures both in the form of studying the
new environment in advance as well as in trying to perceive new environment non-judgmentally, the
individual will always face stress, uncertainty, and the differences of behavioural expectations, both due
to imperfect knowledge of the novel culture as well as an unawareness of their unconscious cultural
programming, resulting in some degree of culture shock.
The physical, psychological, and behavioural reactions caused by culture shock occurs when expatriate's
"cultural clues, the signs and symbols which guide social interaction, are stripped away" (Piet-Pelon and
Hornby, 1992, p. 2), and thus "the expatriate is not (fully) able to understand any type of feedback from the
novel environment due to the lack of (complete) knowledge of a novel culture" (Louis, 1980). The symp-
toms of culture shock can include homesickness, increased irritability, the feeling of helplessness, exagger-
ated concern over drinking water, food, and bedding, or excessive criticism of local customs or ways of
doing things (Oberg, 1960). The cross-cultural adjustment could be then understood and measured as the
degree of psychological comfort with different aspects of a new country (Black, 1988; Nicholson, 1984).
Oberg (1960) postulated that a degree of psychological comfort with a host country could be divided
on four phases: honeymoon, crisis (sometimes called also shock), recovery, and adjustment. Based on
these four phases the degree of adjustment could be assessed. The rst phase may last from a few days
up to six months depending on the circumstances. But generally researchers agree that the honeymoon
phase is relatively short (Gullahorn and Gullahorn, 1963; Harris 1979; Moran, 1989; and Torbiorn, 1982).
During this stage an individual is fascinated by the new environment (Adler, 1986). The second phase -
crisis - starts when an expatriate starts to cope with the real conditions of the foreign environment. Due
to the difculty of an individual adjusting to the foreign environment, one reacts as being hostile or even
aggressive towards the foreign environment. This negative attitude is then further exacerbated by the
indifference of host nationals towards the difculties of the expatriate due to the lack of understanding of
the expatriate's problem(s). It is usually at this stage when the success of an expatriate is decided. Oberg
(1960) argues that when an expatriate is able to overcome this stage, he/she is able to stay in the new en-
vironment. Conversely, however, when an expatriate is unable to overcome this stage, he/she leaves the
country before he/she reaches the nervous breakdown. This "breaking point" is on the cross-cultural ad-
justment timeline more clearly specied by Black (1988) who argues that the culture shock as such appears
specically between the second and the third stage "when the person has received the maximum amount
of negative feedback but as yet has very little idea as to what the appropriate behaviors are". In the third
phase an expatriate begins to be open to the new cultural environment although he/she can still experi-
ence some difculties. Lastly, in the fourth stage an expatriate completely accepts the foreign country and
its customs as another way of living and begins to enjoy them.
Various adaptation development models have attempted to describe degrees of the different stages of
cross-cultural adjustment. The most prominent from them are the "U-curve" by Lysgaard (1955) and "W-
curve" by Gullahorn and Gullahron (1963). U-curve describes the four phases of cross-cultural adjustment
as postulated by Oberg, whereas W-curve diverges from U-curve after the stage of culture shock, which is
followed only by initial adjustment from which the degree of adjustment is again decreased due to mental
isolation, which then denitely succeeds in a high level of adjustment due to the expatriate's acceptance
and integration into the new environment. For a better picture of the variances between the two curves,
the graphical depiction of the two curves could be seen on p. 67.
Download Date | 11/24/15 5:21 AM
CRIS Bulletin 2014/02
Figure 1: U-curve model by Lysgaard
Figure 2: W-curve model by Gullahorn and Gullahorn
Download Date | 11/24/15 5:21 AM
CRIS Bulletin 2014/02
However, although according to Dutton (2011) the existing research indicates that different stages of
cross-cultural adjustment are the real phenomenon, broadly empirically accurate, Churn (1982) argues
that the research support for the U-curve model is inconclusive. In addition, Ward et al. (2001) and Ward
et al. (1998, p. 290) went as far as rejecting the U-curve model of sojourner adjustment completely. Simi-
larly, Bernando (2006) and La Brack (2013) recommended, based on an exhaustive review on the validity
of the 'curves', to stop using the models, as they have not withstood critical empirical testing and research.
The rejection of adjustment curves could be based on the grounds of ndings such as of Churn (1982)
and Stening (1979), which indicate that the level of anxiety and the length of experienced anxiety are likely
to differ for individual expatriates. In addition, different patterns of adjustment have been also found
between work and non-work environment of expatriates, as well as between expatriates and their spouses
(Briody and Chrisman, 1991; Nicholson and Imaizumi, 1993).
These different patterns of adjustment between expatriates as well as their spouses could be explained by
the differences between various factors such as the ability to speak language, individual factors, foreign
work experience(s), expectations and requirements, demographic factors, the differences between job
and organisational factors (e.g. job level, cross-cultural training or lack thereof), and due to the differences
between environmental factors (e.g. cultural novelty, social support).
Importantly, although it might seem intuitively appealing, it should not be deduced from the curves that
the lower the amplitude of the curve the better the performance of an expatriate. The research done
by Thomas and Lazarova (2006) actually indicates the contrary. Specically that the highest-performing
expatriates usually experience the most severe culture shock and thus have the most difcult adjustment
process. Likewise, steep amplitude of the curve (or in other words the severe shock) should not be under-
stood as an indicator of high-performance in an expatriate as the steep curve is not a reason itself for high
performance, but merely a consequence of desirable attributes that enable expatriates to be effective in
a new environment (such as perceptual skills or others' orientation) which have a simultaneously negative
effect on the culture shock. Therefore, it could be argued that organisations should proactively help to
decrease an expatriate's culture shock, but not infer an expatriate's unsuitability for the foreign position
from the high aptitude of the cross-cultural curve.
Thus because the curve would differ in each individual, it implies that for ensuring the possibly the smooth-
est cultural transition of an expatriate the different aspects and stages of cross-cultural adjustment should
ideally be closely analysed as there might occur specic problems that would diverge from the specic
curve of adjustment. By doing so, identied problems can be proactively tackled in advance. Thus the
psychological discomfort of an expatriate could be further reduced and their chances in succeeding in the
foreign assignment would be maximised. Failing to recognise these nuances or more signicant differences
in behaviour between each expatriate would mean for an organisation to diverge from an optimal cross-
cultural management strategy and thus decrease in its efciency.
As already mentioned, the reduction of culture shock can be seen as the process of cross-cultural adjust-
ment (Black, 1988; Black and Gregersen, 1991; and Churn, 1982) where the cross-cultural adjustment
could be understood as the degree of psychological comfort with different aspects of a host country
(Black, 1988; Black et al., 1991; Oberg, 1960; and Nicholson, 1984). Aspects to which the degree of
psychological comfort could be related, however, among many researchers differ. Although it was
thought in the past that cross-cultural adjustment is one-dimensional phenomenon (Gullahorn and Gul-
lahorn, 1962; Oberg, 1960; and Torbiorn, 1982) where the degree of adjustment could be measured
Download Date | 11/24/15 5:21 AM
CRIS Bulletin 2014/02
by job satisfaction (Abe and Wiseman, 1983; Hammer, Gudykunst and Wiseman, 1978; and Torbiorn,
1982), life satisfaction (Cui and Van den Berg, 1991), ratings of depression (Armes and Ward, 1989),
or organisational commitment (Wanous and Lawler, 1972; and Reichers, 1985). More recent research
indicates that cross-cultural adjustment could be also understood as a multidimensional phenomenon
(Black, 1988; Black and Stephens, 1989).
According to this research, cross-cultural adjustment could be divided on three main dimensions or
sometimes referred as facets. The rst facet is connected to work adjustment. This facet includes adap-
tation to job roles and task as well as to novel work environment. The psychological uncertainty result-
ing from this facet of adjustment can be effectively reduced by similarities in various types of policies,
task requirements, and procedures between the parent company and host subsidiary to which the expa-
triate was assigned (Black et al., 1999). The second facet is called interaction adjustment and relates to
the level of comfort arising from the interaction with host nationals including both work and non-work
environments. The third facet is then called general adjustment and according to Black (1988), refers to
general adaptation to living in the particular novel culture. According to Black and Stephens (1989), this
facet includes various factors level of health care, cost of living, or housing conditions.
Generally it could be said that a degree of psychological comfort could be enhanced by learning about
appropriate, less appropriate, and inappropriate types of behaviour. Factors that generally facilitate cross-
cultural adjustment could be seen as those that reduce the degree of an expatriate's psychological dis-
comfort, whereas factors that increase the degree of an expatriate's psychological discomfort reduce the
ability to adjust (Black, 1988; Brett, 1980; and Church, 1982).
However, from the point of view of cross-cultural adjustment as being a multifaceted phenomenon, it
could be argued that it is important to take into account different facets of an expatriate's adjustment
and enhance an expatriate's appropriate types of behaviour in each specic facet of adjustment in order
to maximise the overall reduction of an expatriate's level of psychological discomfort. This argument is
supported by the ndings of Black (1988) who found that specic facets are very strongly related to the
general adjustment of an expatriate.
In line with this logic, it could be argued that because the curves of adjustment unite different facets of
adjustment into one unifying curve; such a curve would be of very little help when trying to facilitate an
expatriate's adjustment by identifying root cause(s) of expatriate difculties in each facet of adjustment
as such information would not be obtainable from the curve. In other words, whereas the aptitude
of the curve would provide information about the expatriate's time and severity of the difculty with
adjustment, the curve would fall short in providing information about the extent to which these difcul-
ties can be attributed to each facet of adjustment. Arguably then, more an effective alternative could
be to use specic curve for the description of each facet of adjustment. By doing so, the problem(s) in
each particular facet would be more transparent, and thus proactive measures to reduce or completely
eliminate such problems could be more accurately and effectively applied.
The reduction of expatriate's difculties with adjusting relating to each specic facet of adjustment could
be done while being in the country and going through culture shock and different stages of cross-cultur-
al adjustment, which could be generally called in-country adjustment, and prior to entering the country
called anticipatory adjustment. The theory seems to agree that organisations can proactively accelerate
the process of cross-cultural adjustment of expatriates by implementing suitable selection mechanisms
and criteria (Black, 1988; Thomas, 1998), applying appropriate cross-cultural training (Worchel and
Mitchell, 1972), and using suitable organisational (Stroh et al., 1994; Torbiorn, 1982) and job factors
(Nicholson, 1984; Thomas, 1998; Tung, 1981).
Download Date | 11/24/15 5:21 AM
CRIS Bulletin 2014/02
The failure rate of expatriates is extraordinarily high even despite the fact that it is generally the more suc-
cessful domestic employees who are sent abroad (Tung, 1981). This rate of failure is primarily due to the
fact that often the same selection mechanisms and criteria are used for selecting both expatriates as well as
domestic employees with the identical or similar title. The primary decision criterion used by rms in se-
lecting employees for foreign assignments used to be technical competence (Bormann, 1986; Hays, 1971;
Howard, 1974; Ivancevich, 1969; Miller, 1975; Tung, 1981). Surprisingly, however, more recent research
indicates that very little has changed as technical competence and managerial performance in the domestic
setting still lead the list of selection criteria and other criteria that could play a signicant role in the ex-
patriate's performance and overall success in the foreign assignment, are still generally neglected (Ander-
son, 2005; Graf, 2004; Tye and Chen, 2005). However, the idea of not distinguishing between selection
practices of domestic employees and expatriates, by relying mainly on technical expertise and managerial
competence for both cases, is arguably not very well-founded as requirements for the performance for
expatriates and domestic employees are likely to differ (Lee, 2005) as well as factors affecting their success.
Firstly, domestic employees and foreign expatriate have different expectations and requirements about the
job position that organisations should during the selection process take into consideration. According to
Stahl, Miller, and Tung (2002) unlike with domestic employees, a signicant factor in the expatriate's deci-
sion to accept an overseas assignment is the enhancement of an international career, especially then, when it
comes to an expatriate's rst posting. Similarly, Tharenou (2003) agrees that individuals with high outcome
expectancies, but interestingly also with few family concerns such as the employment of the spouse or chil-
dren's schooling, would be more receptive to a foreign assignment. Not recognising these expectations and
requirements can lead to decreased satisfaction of an expatriate and thus increased probability of failure.
Secondly, when selecting potential candidates for a foreign assignments, an organisation needs to be aware
of the effect of novel environment on an expatriate. The main difference in the work environment is that
it will generally consist of more host nationals rather than compatriot expatriates. Therefore, the organisa-
tional culture of the expatriate will more reect a host culture than the expatriate's domestic culture (Louis,
1980) and an expatriate will have to adapt to such behaviours, norms, and values. It is important to note,
however, that not all the expatriates will experience the same level and length of anxiety during the cross-
cultural adjustment (Churn, 1982; Stening, 1979). Some expatriates may return home early, some may not
achieve the mastery stage in the new environment, whereas others may complete the foreign assignment
without really adjusting (Thomas, 2008). Therefore, organisations during the selection process should ide-
ally also concentrate on selecting candidates with specic abilities and skills that will decrease and shorten
the experienced level of anxiety with the new culture and thus maximise the probability of the success in
the foreign assignment.
These individual factors can be according to Mendenhall and Oddou (1985) divided on self-efcacy, re-
lational skills, and perceptual skills. The rst set of skills called self-efcacy or in other words self-oriented
skills are according to Mendenhall and Oddou (1985) and Bandura (1977) important as an expatriate pos-
sessing this skill has an ability to believe in oneself and one's ability to succeed in novel environment, despite
this new environment being for an expatriate very uncertain (Black et al., 1991). Therefore, possession of
this skill leads to learning new behaviors that better correspond to the expectations of the expatriate. This
in turn will decrease the level of uncertainty of the expatriate and thus facilitate a degree of adjustment.
The second set of skills called relational skills are important for the expatriate in order to provide informa-
tion about what is expected from him in the novel environment. According to Mendenhall and Oddou
(1985), the greater level of relational skills an expatriate possesses, the easier it is for him/her to commu-
nicate with host nationals. Logically, the more an expatriate communicates with host nationals, the more
Download Date | 11/24/15 5:21 AM
CRIS Bulletin 2014/02
information about types of appropriate behaviours in the novel environment he/she receives (Black et
al., 1991), and thus can adapt accordingly. This is because information received from this communication
reduces the uncertainty associated with the new environment. In fact, there could be found a positive
relationship between time spent with host nationals and the degree of general cross-cultural adjustment
(Black et al., 1991). The third set of skills that falls into category of individual factors are perceptual skills.
These skills help the expatriate to better understand and separate appropriate behaviours in the host
country from less appropriate or inappropriate ones (Black et al., 1991). It implies that by having a high
degree of perceptual skills, an expatriate can decrease the uncertainty connected to a novel environment.
To summarise individual factors, it could be said that candidates with a higher ability to manage psycho-
logical stress, communicate effectively, and a higher ability to establish personal relationships were more
likely to succeed in the foreign assignment. In addition to the consideration of expatriates' expectations
and requirements and individual factors, there are also other relevant factors that need to be taken into
consideration during the selection process in order to maximise the success of an expatriate, such as pre-
vious foreign work experience, ability to speak a foreign language, and demographic factors.
Previous foreign work experience was also found to be an important uncertainty reduction mechanism
(Dawis and Lofquist, 1984; Nicholson, 1984; Torbiorn, 1982). Interestingly, however, according to Black
(1988), an expatriate's previous foreign work experience is only positively related to work adjustment for
expatriates, but not to general adjustment. This nding could be, however, considered to be in a disagree-
ment with the ndings of Dunbar (1992) which found that expatriates with previous work experience
are more likely to use appropriate intercultural behaviours (which are arguably also helpful in facilitating
general adjustment). Torbiorn (1982) also found that the length of previous foreign work experience
seems to have no effect on current foreign adjustment, whereas other studies indicated that the amount
of previous foreign experience is positively related to adjustment as well as to job satisfaction (Naumann,
1993; Parker and McEvoy, 1993; Taukechi and Hannon, 1996). The research of Black and Gregersen
(1990) even argues that previous foreign experience can be negatively related to particular attitudes of
expatriates, such as the amount of discretion that expatriates feel they have in performing their jobs.
Therefore, the existing research suggests that the intuitively appealing notion that previous foreign ex-
perience is straightforwardly positively related to all facets of adjustment as well as to the success of all
expatriates equally is perhaps an oversimplication. Based on the ndings, it could be argued that similarly
as there are differences between expatriates in experienced degrees and lengths of adjustment to the new
environment, there could be also found differences between expatriates in benets that previous foreign
work experience(s) has given to them, either due to different abilities of expatriates to learn and benet
from the experience or due to the differences in the characters and lengths of foreign work experience
between each individual candidate.
Another relevant factor for expatriate success is considered by many researchers to be the ability to speak
a foreign language. There has been found a positive relationship between foreign language uency and
the degree of interaction with host nationals, and to a smaller extent with adjustment, satisfaction, and
commitment (Church, 1982; Thomas and Fitzimmons, 2008). It could be also argued that the ability
to speak a foreign language slightly increases an expatriate's performance as there was found a moder-
ate relationship between foreign language uency and expatriate performance (Mol et al., 2005). The
positive effects of the knowledge of a foreign language are often (at least partly) attributed to benets
of so-called social currency (the ability of expatriates to make conversation about everyday things such
as weather, local restaurants, or ways of commuting), which can, according to Brein and David (1971),
facilitate expatriates' interaction with host nationals.
Download Date | 11/24/15 5:21 AM
CRIS Bulletin 2014/02
However, another explanation could be that the ability to speak is not the primary reason for the expatriate
success, but that it could rather be the willingness to communicate that leads to a higher degree of interac-
tion, and the knowledge of the language then merely enables such communication. In such a case, foreign
language uency would be by itself an insufcient factor predicting success unless it was combined with the
expatriate's willingness to communicate. This explanation could be supported by several empirical studies
that found the ability to a speak foreign language by itself as an ineffective predictor of the success of an
expatriate (Benson, 1978). Therefore, it could be concluded that organisations should during selection
process not only concentrate on the foreign language uency, but also on the expatriate's willingness to
communicate in a novel environment and the importance of these factors could be assessed in regards to
the character of the assignment such as required intercultural interaction.
In order for a selection mechanism to be successful, organisations should also consider demographic char-
acteristics of expatriates such as age, educational level, length of time an expatriate has worked for an
employer, or the existence of spouse, or eventually family, as these factors have been found to play both
positive and negative roles in the success of a foreign assignment. The following is the summary of the
research ndings done by Thomas (1998). It was found that age has both positive and negative effects on
particular aspects of foreign assignment. On one hand, there was a positive correlation between the age
and organisational commitment, job satisfaction, and work adjustment. On the other hand, however, there
was found a negative correlation between the age and general satisfaction, willingness to relocate, and in-
tent to leave. Similarly, the length of time a potential expatriate has worked for their employer was found
to be positively correlated to job satisfaction, but negatively correlated to intent to leave. The ndings also
indicate that educational level positively correlates with general adjustment and interaction adjustment,
but negatively correlates with job satisfaction, work adjustment, and commitment to the organisation.
Eventually, the selection process should also take into account factors such as the existence of a spouse
or eventually family of a potential expatriate that would be leaving with an expatriate as their inability to
adjust is the number one reason for the expatriate's inability to succeed in the transition (Hays, 1971;
Torbion, 1982; Tung, 1981). The extensive study of expatriates of various nationalities by Arthur and
Bennet (1995) indicates that expatriates themselves are also well aware of this issue as they identied
family situation as the most important characteristic relating to success in the overseas assignment. On
the other hand, however, if an adjustment of a spouse is successful it can increase an expatriate's work
performance and job satisfaction (Thomas, 1998).
It could be argued that in order to reduce the spouse's inability to adjust, and thus simultaneously minimise
the most likely reason for the expatriate failure, organisations should include in the selection process also
factors inuencing the spouse's or family's ability to adjust. Therefore, the above described selection cri-
teria should not only apply to an expatriate, but also to their spouse and other members of the family who
are entering the new environment with an expatriate. Obviously then the above described criteria should
not be applied uniformly to all the members of the family, but rather relevant criteria should be tailored
to t each specic member of the family, such as expectations and requirements about job position would
be largely irrelevant for a spouse unless he/she will work in the novel environment, whereas individual fac-
tors such as self-efcacy might be even more important to him/her than for an expatriate as he/she will
be more likely isolated in the novel environment and thus his/her ability to believe in succeeding in the
new, uncertain environment may play a more crucial role in the adjustment than in the adjustment of an
expatriate. Once the relevant criteria relating to a spouse or family is thoroughly applied the chosen family
members will arguably have better ability to adjust to a new environment than family members of a can-
didate who are lacking skills that selection criteria found relevant. As a result the spouse's or family's high
ability to adjust would be then negatively correlated with the expatriate's intent to leave (Thomas, 1998);
therefore, the success of an expatriate will be further increased.
Download Date | 11/24/15 5:21 AM
CRIS Bulletin 2014/02
To summarise selection mechanism and criteria, the existing research indicates that organisations still gen-
erally use the same selection mechanisms and criteria (consisting of technical competence and managerial
performance) for selecting both expatriates and domestic employees. This goes contrary to the plethora
of existing research pointing out other factors that have a signicant benecial effects on the expatri-
ate's performance and overall success in the foreign assignment and which should thus be included in the
selection criteria as well. These factors include an expatriate's expectations and requirements, individual
factors, previous foreign work experience(s), foreign language uency, and demographic factors. Further-
more, because the spouse's inability to adjust is the number one reason for the expatriate's failure in the
assignment, it is argued that described selection criteria should not be limited only to an expatriate, but
should also include spouse and family. In such a case, however, relevant criteria need to be tailored to
each specic member of a family, rather than applied uniformly. It is essential that all the above-described
factors are not underestimated and are properly considered during the selection process, as they are the
rst important precondition for the subsequent success of an expatriate. Also, it is necessary to consider
these factors at this stage, as they cannot be (e.g. previous foreign work experience), or can hardly be (e.g.
foreign language uency) positively inuenced to a signicant extent by subsequent cross-cultural train-
ing. Although selection mechanism and criteria are limited in its nature, they should be considered as an
important acquirement of control of factors that lie beyond the control of cross-cultural training (which is
further described below) but, nevertheless, play a signicant role in the success of an expatriate.
Similarly, as in the case of selection mechanism and criteria, although the positive effects of cross-cul-
tural training are well known and agreed by different studies (e.g. Beffus, 1988; Black and Mendenhall,
1990; Brislin, MacNab and Nayani, 2008), organisations often fail to provide training whether it be due
to insufcient time prior to expatriate departure, or simply due to a lack of belief in the effectiveness
of such training (Enderwick and Hodson, 1993; Tung, 1981). Nevertheless, the theory seems to agree
that the organisation should not only apply appropriate selection mechanisms and criteria to decrease
expatriate failures and inefciencies, but also proactively accelerate the process of cross-cultural adjust-
ment by understanding and implementing appropriate cross-cultural training as the research supports
the conclusion that there is a positive relationship between cross-cultural training and cross-cultural
adjustment (Befus, 1988; Early, 1987; Gudykunst et al., 1977; Mitchel et al., 1972; O'Brien, Fiedler and
Hewett, 1970; Steinkalk and Taft, 1979; Worchel and Mitchell, 1972). Similarly, there could be found
a positive relationship between cross-cultural training and cross-cultural skill development (Black and
Mendenhall, 1990) and cross-cultural training and performance (Earley, 1987; Katz, 1977; Leey 1985,
1986; McDaniel, McDaniel and McDaniel, 1988; Nayar et al., 1968; O'Brien, et al., 1970; Randolph,
Landis and Tzeng, 1977; Salisbury, 1971; Worchel and Mitchell, 1972). However, cross-cultural training
has an impact on an expatriate's performance only to the extent that that performance has a culturally
related component, which nevertheless studies found in most cases (Black and Mendenhall, 1990) as
there are mostly expatriates working with other employees of different cultures and within a novel en-
vironment. Finally, there is also a positive relationship between cross-cultural training and subsequent
success in foreign assignments (Brein and David, 1971; Church, 1982; Mendenhall and Oddou, 1985).
Based on these ndings and on meta analysis of Deshpande and Viswesvaran (1992) and of Morris and
Robie (2001), it could be concluded that the empirical evidence supports the idea that cross-cultural
training has a positive impact on cross-cultural effectiveness. In other words, cross-cultural training
limits some risks of an expatriate's failure. This failure, Harzing (1995) argues, could be also considered
to include factors such as stresses, strains, and underperformance of the expatriate, or a negative view
about the prospect of overseas postings in the future.
Download Date | 11/24/15 5:21 AM
CRIS Bulletin 2014/02
As there is no research indicating otherwise, it could be argued that the research uniformly indicates
that cross-cultural training reduces the degree of psychological comfort with different aspects of a host
country, or in other words, cross-cultural training positively inuences expatriates' cross-cultural adjust-
ment. But although cross-cultural training seems to be in general effective, different aspects of such
training need to be understood and taken into consideration, because as it was described more in detail
above, cross-cultural adjustment is considered by some to be a multifaceted construct (Black, 1988;
Black and Stephens, 1989) with expatriates adjusting to work, to interaction with host nationals, and to
general environment (Black and Stephens, 1989). All of these factors determine the extent of success of
the expatriate's cross-cultural adjustment and thus his or her success in a foreign assignment.
Surprisingly, however, despite the agreed positive effects of cross-cultural training on the effectiveness
on expatriates, there is relatively little known about the effects of different training types (Thomas,
2008). Black and Mendenhall (1989) argue that by drawing on social learning theory for guidance by
Bandura (1997), specic training methods should be applied to each specic expatriate based on the
difculty of his or her particular situation (such as degree of cultural novelty, required intercultural
interaction, or job novelty). Training methods could be then divided based on the degree of required
participation on factual (e.g. books, lectures), analytical (e.g. culture assimilators, classroom language
training) and experiential (e.g. eld trips, role playing, and interactive language training) from which
analytical is the least participative and experimental the most. According to this theory then, the more
demanding the situation is for an expatriate, the more participative cross-cultural training should be ap-
plied. Applying an experiential method in the most demanding situations seems reasonable, especially
in the light of the ndings of Brislin et al. (2008) who found experiential training to have the best results.
Similarly, as in the case of the type of training, there is also some uncertainty regarding the appropriate
timing of training (Thomas, 2008). Grove and Torsion (1985) argue that in-country training is likely to
be more effective after the arrival to the novel environment, when expatriates have a corresponding
frame of reference as well as the highest motivations to learn. The existing limited research generally
supports the idea of in-country training as being more effective than pre-departure training (Eschebach
et al., 2001; Feldman and Bolino, 1999; Selmer, 2001).
However, the existing research indicates that pre-departure training should not be completely disre-
garded. This is due to the ndings indicating that pre-departure training provides an expatriate with
accurate information which lead to realistic expectations (Caligiuri et al., 2001; Meglino and DeNisi,
1963), which were consequently found to be positively related to positive outcomes such as to all facets
of expatriate adjustment (Black, 1990) and job satisfaction (Feldman and Thompson, 1993; Stroh et al.,
1994). Thus pre-departure training is important in a way that it leads to pre-departure knowledge about
the host country so an expatriate can reduce the uncertainty of the new environment by anticipating
environmental differences (Gullahorn and Bullhorn, 1963).
Although cross-cultural training of the expatriate seems to be effective, such training should not apply
only to an individual expatriate, as they often are not isolated individuals without spouses or families
(Harvey, 1985). Furthermore, despite the important effect of expatriate's cross-cultural training on
cross-cultural adjustment, the failure of an expatriate to living and working in an overseas environment
is not the most common reason for the expatriate's inability to succeed in the transition (Tung, 1981).
As it was already mentioned above, it is, perhaps paradoxically, the expatriate's family, or spouse's in-
ability to adjust which is the number one reason for the expatriate's inability to succeed in the transition
when the expatriate is leaving with the family or spouse (Hays, 1971; Torbion, 1982; Tung, 1981). This
is due to the ndings of previous research which indicates that "the adjustment of the spouse is highly
correlated to the adjustment of the expatriate and the adjustment of the spouse and the expatriate are
Download Date | 11/24/15 5:21 AM
CRIS Bulletin 2014/02
positively related to the expatriate's intention to stay in the overseas assignment" (Black, 1989). As there
is problem with a spouse's or family's inability to adjust and also there exists evidence suggesting that
cross-cultural training facilitates cross-cultural adjustment (Black and Mendenhall, 1990), it could be
argued that when an expatriate is leaving for an assignment with a spouse or family, cross cultural train-
ing should also include them, as an expatriate's spouse or family's ability to adjust to the changes of new
environment has signicant impact on the expatriate's transition at work (Black, 1988).
However, if the family's or spouse's adjustment is indeed related to an expatriate's adjustment, it is cru-
cial to understand specic factors accelerating their adjustment and thus adapt cross-cultural training
accordingly. Black and Stephens (1989) argue that whereas expatriates adjust to work environment,
general environment, and interaction environment, spouses adjust only to interacting with host nation-
als and to the general foreign environment. Therefore, an expatriate's training should focus on all facets
of adjustment, whereas a spouse's or family's cross-cultural training should concentrate only to interac-
tion adjustment and general adjustment.
The review so far has only described those ways of how an organisation can reduce an expatriate's psy-
chological discomfort with a host culture that could be implemented prior to entering to a novel environ-
ment although they have an effect on an expatriate's in-country adjustment. Firstly, it was discussed that
an organisation needs to implement specic selection procedures that will choose from the candidates
those expatriates that have specic characteristics that will make them most likely to succeed in the foreign
assignment. Secondly, it was explained that these chosen expatriates, with the highest preconditions to
succeed, need to undergo cross-cultural training possibly with their families or spouses (though cross-
cultural training will differ between the expatriate and spouse, or family to concentrate on specic needs).
Download Date | 11/24/15 5:21 AM
CRIS Bulletin 2014/02
However, although the selection process combined with appropriate pre-departure training is important in
order to minimise psychological stress arising from a novel environment, Xia (2009) argues that by doing
so culture shock will not be completely avoided and moreover the period after entering the novel environ-
ment is more crucial for the expatriate when it comes to cross-cultural adjustment as the expatriate needs
to transform gained knowledge from cross-cultural training into practice (Cushner, 1994). Therefore, it is
reasonable to argue that in-country adjustment should be also carefully considered and planned by organi-
sations when sending its employees on foreign assignments.
Once an expatriate has arrived to the novel country and works in the new environment, there could be
various factors that can speed up, slow down, or even completely prevent the expatriate from adjusting
to the novel environment, despite previous successful selection process and cross-cultural training which
is usually more general in nature and thus have mostly positive effects on non-work factors. Therefore,
several other factors (or some aspects of these factors) are important to consider by an organisation
once the expatriate arrived to the novel environment as these factors can either further facilitate or in-
hibit adjustment of an expatriate. Factors with such a potential could be considered to fall in the category
of job factors and organisational factors. From the point of view of job factors, there could be found
particular job factors that have the potential to facilitate work adjustment. Role clarity is, for example,
important for an expatriate as the existing research indicates that it reduces the amount of uncertainty
connected to the work situation (Black, 1998; Nicholson, 1984; Pinder and Schroeder, 1987); therefore,
it facilitates adjustment at work (Nicholson, 1984). Karasek (1979) and Kahn et al. (1964) argue that
role exibility, another job factor, makes the transition easier as it enables expatriates to make the role
more controllable, predictable, and familiar.
Some job related factors were also found to inhibit an expatriate's adjustment. These include role novelty
(Burr 1972; George 1980; Minkler and Biller 1979; Pinder and Schroeder, 1987) which could be dened
as the difference between previous role and new role, role ambiguity (Harvey 1982; Pinder and Schroeder,
1987), role conict (Kahn et al., 1964), the amount of ambiguity (Thomas, 1998) and role overload (Kahn
et al., 1964; Karasek, 1979; Tung, 1981). Interestingly, although the inuence of job factors mainly affect
the expatriate work adjustment in the foreign assignment, there were also found some spillover effects
of job factors on other facets of adjustment (Thomas, 1998). Thus, the proactive measures taken by an
organisation to enhance positive job factors (i.e. factors that have the potential to facilitate adjustment)
and reduce negative job factors (i.e. factors that are considered to inhibit adjustment) will decrease the
expatriate's failure mainly due to enhancing his or her work adjustment (Black, 1990), but partly also due
to the positive effect of work adjustment on other facets of adjustment.
When it comes to organisational factors, organisational culture novelty is expected to increase the uncer-
tainty connected to the work environment (Churn, 1982; Mendenhall and Oddou, 1985). Logically then,
the greater the difference between the expatriate's original organisational culture compared to the organi-
sational culture to which an expatriate has been assigned, the more difcult the international adjustment
for an expatriate would be (Black et al., 1991). The uncertainty arising from the organisational culture
novelty could be reduced by social support from co-workers and possibly superiors from the novel envi-
ronment that would provide an expatriate with information relating to the description of acceptable, less
acceptable, or unacceptable behaviours in the new organisational setting (Pinder and Schroeder, 1987). In
a similar vein, a parent company can facilitate the adjustment of an expatriate by remaining in contact with
an expatriate by various ways, such as by visits to headquarters, or by some form of distant communication,
as the amount of contact with a parent company was found to be positively related to some of facets of
expatriate adjustment (Black, 1990).
Download Date | 11/24/15 5:21 AM
CRIS Bulletin 2014/02
This research overview presents numerous benets international assignments bring to both expatriates as
well as organisations. However, it also indicates cross-cultural adjustment of expatriates to be a complex long-
term process accompanied by different physical, psychological, and behavioural reactions. Such reactions
were found to be a result of increased uncertainty about the accepted behaviour in a novel environment and
its effects on an expatriate's psychology. These effects were found to be in the initial stage generally positive;
however, the psychological uncertainty was found to gradually lead to the stage of so-called culture shock,
which an expatriate can overcome and get to the stage called adjustment and subsequently to the stage of
mastery. Although these stages were attempted to be described by various adaptation development models,
they have not withstood critical empirical testing and thus are argued to be either inconclusive or suggested
to be completely rejected. In order to minimise costs connected with an expatriate's failure to adjust to novel
environment, or his low level of effectiveness due to a complete inability to adjust, different methods facilitat-
ing expatriates cross-cultural adjustment were proposed. Firstly, these methods concentrated on the selec-
tion process consisting of criteria such as expectations and requirements, individual factors, previous foreign
work experience, ability to speak foreign language demographic characteristics, and the existence of a spouse
or family. Subsequently, various effects of cross-cultural training and its appropriate use on an expatriate and
family were discussed. Lastly, factors inuencing the expatriate and the spouse after arrival to the novel envi-
ronment were analysed concentrating specically on job factors and organisational factors.
The above-described procedures can, however, only serve as a rough outline to cross-cultural management
despite being empirically supported by the research done in different countries. It is crucial to understand
that this is due to the fact that each country is in some ways different from any other country, and thus
unique. Therefore, this uniqueness of an expatriate's home country and novel country which an expatriate
is entering would always to some extend affect the expatriate. Based on inductive reasoning it is because of
this uniqueness of every country that the theories describing more generally cross-cultural adjustment and its
management cannot be taken for certain (unless the theory is specically derived from and supported by the
empirical evidence of the expatriate's home country and the novel country that an expatriate is entering). but
can only be considered as probable on the two specic cultures. Similarly, described procedures should be
tailored in a way to reect specic requirements and characteristics of each individual assignment.
Another factor falling into organisational factors that organisations should consider is providing an expatri-
ate and possibly also his family or spouse with logistical support such as housing, grocery stores, schools, etc.
This recommendation is based on the ndings indicating that logistical support has a potential to reduce
uncertainty relating to such issues (Copeland and Griggs, 1985; Tung, 1988) and thus have a positive effect
on interaction and general adjustment (Torbiorn, 1982). Certain types of logistical support would be then
especially determinant of spouse adjustment as inadequate living conditions would likely create uncertainty,
especially when the spouse would tend to spend a signicant amount of their time engaged in such activities
(Harvey, 1985). Such company assistance was found to be positively correlated to an expatriate job sat-
isfaction (Stroh et al., 1994), and limited research also indicates such support to be a notable predictor of
a psychological adjustment of a spouse (DeCieari et al., 1991). Obviously then the research indicates that
because there are likely to be differences in expatriates' family situations, gender of an expatriate (Caligiuri
and Lazarova, 2002), or work situation of a spouse (Harvey, 1997), the organisational support needs to be
tailored to t specic support requirements of each expatriate and family rather than to be applied universally.
Download Date | 11/24/15 5:21 AM
CRIS Bulletin 2014/02
Abe, H. and Wiseman, R., L. (1983) 'A Cross Cultural Conrmation of the Dimensions of Intercultural Effectiveness',
International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 7, pp. 5-67.
Adler, N.J. (1983) 'Cross-Cultural Management Research: The Ostrich and the Trend', Academy of Management Review,
8(2), pp. 226-232.
Adler, N.J. (1986) International Dimensions of Organizational Behavior. Boston: PSW-Kent.
Anderson, B.A. (2005) 'Expatriate selection: Good management or good luck?', International Journal of Human Resource
Management, 16, pp. 56-57.
Armes, K., and Ward, C. (1989) "Cross Cultural Transition and Sojourner Adjustment in Singapore', Journal of Social
Psychology, 129(2) pp. 273-275.
Bandura, A. (1997) Social Learning Theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Befus, C.P. (1988) 'A multilevel treatment approach for culture shock experienced by sojourners', International Journal of
Intercultural Relations, 12, pp. 381-400.
Benson, P.G. (1978) 'Measuring cross-cultural adjustment: The problem of criteria', International Journal of Intercultural
Relations, 2(1), pp. 21-37.
Bernardo, K. (2006) The U-Curve of Adjustment: A Study in the Evolution and Evaluation of a 50-year old Model. Bedfordshire,
UK: Luton Business School.
Berry, J.W., Dasen, P.R. and Saraswathi, T.S. (1997) Handbook of Cross Cultural Psychology, 2nd. edn. USA: Allyn & Bacon.
Black, J.S. (1988) 'Work Role Transitions: A Study of American Expatriate Managers in Japan', Journal of International
Business Studies, 19(2), pp. 277-294.
Black, J.S. (1989) 'The Inuence of the Spouse on American Expatriate Adjustment and Intent to Stay in Pacic Rim
Overseas Assignment', Journal of Management, 15(4), pp. 529-544.
Black, J.S. and Gregersen, H.B. (1991) 'The Other Half of the Picture: Antecedents of Spouse Cross-Cultural
Adjustment', Journal of International Business Studies, 22(3), pp. 461-477.
Black, J.S., Gregersen, H.B. and Stroh, L.K. (1999) Globalizing People Through International Assignments. Reading, MA:
Addison Wesley.
Black, J. S. and Mendenhall, M. (1990) 'Cross-Cultural Training Effectiveness: A Review and a Theoretical Framework
for Future Research', Academy of Management Review, 15(1), pp. 113-136.
Black, J. S., Mendenhall, M. and Oddou, G.R. (1991) 'Towards a Comprehensive Model of International Adjustment:
An Integration of Multiple Theoretical Perspectives', Academy of Management Review, 15(1), pp. 113-136.
Black, J.S. and Stephens, G.K. (1989) 'The Inuence of the Spouse on American Expatriate Adjustment in Overseas
Assignment', Journal of Management, 15, pp. 529-544.
Blaikie, N. (1993) Approaches to Social Enquiry. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Borman, W.A. (1968) 'The problem with expatriate personnel and their selection in international enterprises',
Management International Review, 8(4-5), pp. 37-48.
Boyacigiller, N. (1991) International Human Resource Management. Boston: PWS-Kent.
Brack, L.B. (2013) Theory Reections: Cultural Adaptations, Culture Shock and the "Curves of Adjustment". Available at: http://le/_/theory_connections_adjustment.pdf (Accessed: 1 November 2013).
Brein, D. and David K.H. (1971) 'Intercultural communication and the adjustment of the sojourner', Psychological
Bulletin, 76, pp. 215-230.
Brett, J. (1980) 'The Effect of Job Transfers on Employees and their Families', in Current Concerns in Occupational Stress.
New York: Wiley, pp. 99-136.
Briody, E.K. and Chrisman, J.B. (1991) 'Cultural adaptation on overseas assignments', Human Organization, 50(3), pp. 264-282.
Brislin, R., MacNab, B. and Nayani, F. (2008) 'Cross-cultural training: Applications and research'. In Smith, P.B., Peterson,
M.F. and Thomas D.C. Handbook of cross-cultural management research. pp.397-410. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Download Date | 11/24/15 5:21 AM
CRIS Bulletin 2014/02
Caligiuri, P. and Lazarova, M. (2002) 'A model for the inuence of social interaction and social support on female
expatriates' cross-cultural adjustment', International Journal of Human Resource Management, 13, pp. 761-772.
Caligiuri, P., Phillips, J., Lazarova, M., Tarique, I. and Burgi, P. (2001) 'The theory of met expectations applied to expatriate
adjustment: The role of cross-cultural training', International journal of Human Resource Management, 12, pp. 357-372.
Churn, A.T. (1982) 'Sojourner Adjustment', Psychological Bulletin, 91(3), pp. 540-572.
Copeland, L. and Griggs, L. (1985) Going International, New York: Random House.
Cui, G. and Van den Berg, S. (1991) 'Testing the Construct Validity of Intercultural Effectiveness', International Journal of
Intercultural Relations, 15, pp. 227-241.
Cushner, K. (1994) Training for the global executive. London: Sage Publications.
Dawis, R.V. and Lofquist, L.H. (1984) A Psychological Theory of Work Adjustment. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
DeCieri, H., Downing, P.J. and Taylor K.F. (1991) 'The psychological impact of expatriate relocation on partners',
International Journal of Human Resource Management, 2(3), pp. 337-414.
Desphande, S.P. and Viswesvaran, C. (1992) 'Is cross-cultural training of expatriate managers effective: A meta-analysis',
International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 16, pp. 295-310.
Dunbar, E. (1992) 'Adjustment and satisfaction of expatriate U.S. personnel', International Journal of Intercultural Relations,
18, pp. 277-291.
Dunbar, E. and Ehrlich, M. (1986) International Practices, Selection, Training, and Managing International Staff: A Survey
Report, Project on International Human Resource. New York: Colombia University, Teachers College.
Eagleton, T. (2000) The idea of culture. Oxford: Blackwell.
Earley, P.C. (1987) 'Intercultural training for managers: A comparison for documentary and interpersonal methods',
Academy of Management Journals, 30, pp. 685- 698.
Enderwick, P. and Hodgson, D. (1993) 'Expatriate management practices of New Zealand business', International Journal
of Human Resource Management, 4, pp. 407-423.
Eschbach, D.M., Parker, G.E. and Stoeberl, P.A. (2001) 'American repatriate employees' retrospective assessments of
the effects of cross-cultural training on their adaptation to international assignments', International Journal of Human
Resource Management, 12, pp. 270- 287.
Feldman, D.C. and Bolino, M.C. (1999) 'The impact of on-site mentoring on expatriate socialization: A structural
equation modeling approach', International Journal of Human Resource Management, 10, pp. 54-71.
Feldman, D.C. and Thompson, H.B. (1993) 'Expatriation, repatriation and domestic geographical location: an empirical
investigation of adjustment to new job assignments', Journal of International Business Studies, 24(2), pp. 507-529.
Fisher, R. (2009) 'Where is Culture in Cross Cultural Research? An Outline of a Multilevel Research Process for
Measuring Culture as a Shared Meaning System', International Journal of Cross Cultural Management, 9(1), pp. 25-49.
Friedman, T.L. (2005) The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twentieth Century. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux.
George, L. (1980) Role transition in later life. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Giddens, A. (1999) Runaway World: How Globalization is Reshaping Our Lives. London: Prole Books.
Graf, A. (2004) 'Expatriate selection: An empirical study identifying signicant skill proles', Thunderbird International
Business Review, 46, pp. 667-685.
Grove, C.L. and Torbiorn, I. (1985) 'A new conceptualisation of intercultural adjustment and goals of training',
International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 9, pp. 205-233.
Gudykunst, W.B., Hammer, M.R. and Wiseman, R.L. (1977) 'An analysis of an integrated approach to cross cultural
training', International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 1, pp. 99-110.
Gullahorn, J.T. and Gullahorn J.E. (1963) 'An extension of the U-curve hypothesis', Journal of Social Issues, 19, pp. 33-47.
Harris, P. (1979) 'The Unhappy World of the Expatriate', International Management, July, pp. 49-50.
Hays, R.D. (1971) 'Ascribed behavioral determinants of success-failure among U.S. expatriate managers', Journal of
International Business Studies, 2(1), pp. 40-46.
Download Date | 11/24/15 5:21 AM
CRIS Bulletin 2014/02
Harvey, M.C. (1985) 'The Executive Family: an Overlooked Variable in International Assignments', Columbia Journal of
World Business, Spring, pp. 84-92.
Harvey, M.C. (1997) 'Dual career expatriates: Expectations, adjustment and satisfaction with international relocation',
Journal of International Business Studies, 28, pp. 627-658.
Harzing, A.W.K. (1995) 'The persistent myth of high expatriate failure rate', The International Journal of Human Resource
Management, 6(2), pp. 457-474.
Hays, R.D. (1971) 'Ascribed Behavioral Determinates of Success-failure among U.S. Expatriate Managers', Journal of
International Business Studies, 2, pp. 40-46.
Howard, C.G. (1974) 'Model for the design of a selection program for multinational executives', Public Personnel
Management, March-April, pp. 138-145.
Inkpen, A. and Ramaswamy, K. (2006) Global Strategy: Creating and Sustaining Advantage across Borders. London: Oxford
University Press.
Ivancevich, J.M. (1969) 'Selection of American managers for overseas assignments', Personnel Journal, March, pp. 189-193.
Kahn, R.L., Wolfe, D.M., Quin, R.P. and Snoek, J.D. (1964) Organizational Stress. New York: Waley.
Kanter, R.M. (1991) 'Transcending business boundaries: 12,000 world managers view change', Harvard Business Review,
May/June, pp. 151-164.
Karasek, R. (1979) 'Job demands, job decision latitude, and mental strain: Implication for job redesign, Administrative
Science Quarterly, 2, pp. 215-308.
Katz, J. (1977) 'The Effects of a Systematic Training Program on the Attitudes and Behaviors of White People',
International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 1, pp. 77-89.
Kohls, L.R. (1996) Survival Kit for Overseas Living, Maine: Intercultural Press.
Lane, H., Maznewski, M. and Mendehall, M. (2004) 'Globalization: Hercules Meets Budhha.' The Blackwell Handbook of
Global Management: a Guide to Managing Complexity. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.
Lee, H.W. (2005) 'The factors inuencing expatriates', Journal of American Academy of Business, 6(2), pp. 273-278.
Leey, H. (1985) 'Impact on Cross-Cultural Training on black and White Mental Health Professionals', International
Journal of Intercultural Relations, 9, pp. 305-318.
Louis, M.R. (1980) 'Surprise and Sense Making: What Newcomers Experience in Entering Unfamiliar Organizational
Setting', Administrative Science Quarterly, 25, pp. 226-251.
Lysgaard, S. (1995) 'Adjustment in a Foreign Society: Norwegian Fulbright Grantees Visiting United States.' International
Social Science Bulletin, 7, pp. 45-51.
McDaniel, C.O., McDaniel, N.C. and McDaniel, A.K. (1988) 'Transferability of Multicultural Education from Training to
Practice', International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 12, pp. 19-33.
Meglino, B.M. and DeNisi, A. (1987) 'Realistic job previews: Some thoughts on their more effective use in managing
the ow of human resources', Human Resource Planning, 10, pp. 157-167.
Mendenhall, M. and Oddou, G. (1985) 'The dimensions of expatriate acculturation', Academy of Management Review, 10,
pp. 39-47.
Miller, E.L. (1975) 'The job satisfaction of expatriate American managers: A function of regional location and previous
work experience', Journal of International Business Studies, 6(2), pp. 65-73.
Minkler, M. and Biller, R.P. (1979) 'Role Shock', Human Relations, 32, pp. 125-140.
Mitchell, T., R., Dossett, D., Fiedler, F. and Triandis, H. (1972) 'Cultural training: Validation evidence for the cultural
assimilator, International Journal of Psychology, 7, pp. 97-104.
Mol, S.T., Born, M.P., Willemsen, M.E., and Van der Molen, H.T. (2005) 'Predicting expatriate job performance for
selection purposes: A quantitative review', Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 33(5), pp. 590-620.
Moran, R.T. (1989) Managing Cross Cultural Differences. Houston, TX: Gulf Publishing.
Morris, M. and Robbie, C. (2001) 'A meta-analysis of the effects of cross-cultural training on expatriate performance
and adjustment', International Journal of Training and Development, 5(2), pp. 112-125.
Download Date | 11/24/15 5:21 AM
CRIS Bulletin 2014/02
Naumann, E. (1993) 'Organizational predictors of expatriate job satisfaction', Journal of International Business Studies. 24, pp. 61-80.
Nicholson, N. (1984) 'A Theory of Work Role Transition', Administrative Science Quarterly, 29, pp. 172-191.
Nicholson, N., and Imaizumi, A. (1993) 'The adjustment of Japanese expatriates to living and working in Britain', British
Journal of Management, 4, pp. 119-134.
Oberg, K. (1960) 'Cultural Shock: Adjustment to New Cultural Environments', Practical Anthropology, 7, pp. 177-182.
O'Brien, G.E., Fiedler, F.E. and Hewett, T. (1970) The effects of programmed culture training upon the performance of
volunteer medical teams', Human Relations, 24, pp. 209-231.
Parker, B. and McEvoy, G.M. (1993) 'Initial examination of a model of intercultural adjustment', International Journal of
Intercultural Relations. 17, pp. 355-379.
Piet-Pelon, N.J. and Hornby, B. (1992) Women's Guide to Overseas Living. 2nd edn. Yarmouth: Intercultural Press.
Pinder, C.C. and Schroeder, K.G. (1987) 'Time to prociency following job transfers', Academy of Management Journal,
30(2), pp. 336-353.
Randolph, G., Landis, D. and Tzeng, O.C. (1977) 'The Effects of Time and Practice upon Culture Assimilator Training',
International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 1, pp. 105-119.
Reichers, A.E. (1985) 'A Review and Reconceptualization of Organizational Commitment', Academy of Management
Review, 10, pp. 465-476.
Rosenzweig, P.M. (1994) 'A Review and Reconceptualization of Organizational Commitment', Academy of Management
Review, 10, pp. 465-476.
Schneider, S.C. and Barsoux, J.L. (2002) Managing Across Cultures, 2nd edn. USA: Prentice Hall.
Selmer, J. (2001) 'Expatriate selection: Back to basics?', International Journal of Human Resource Management, 12, pp. 1219-1233.
Stahl, G.K., Miller, E. and Tung, R. (2002) 'Toward the boundary less career: A closer look at the career concept and the
perceived implications for an international assignment', Journal of World Business, 37, pp. 216-227.
Steinkalk, E. and Taft, R. (1979) 'The effects of a planed cultural experience on the attitudes and behaviors of the
participants', International Journal of Human Relations, 3, pp. 187-197.
Stening, G.W. (1979) 'Problems of Cross-Cultural Contact: A Literature Review', International Journal of Intercultural
Relations, 3, pp. 269-313.
Stroh, L.K., Dennis, L.E. and Cramer T.C. (1994) 'Predictors of expatriate adjustment', International Journal of
Organisational Analysis, 2, pp. 176-192.
Takeuchi, R. and Hannon, J.M. (1996) The antecedents of adjustment for Japanese expatriates in the United States. Banff,
Canada: The Academy of International Business.
Torbiorn, I. (1982) Living Abroad. New York: Wiley.
Tharenou, P. (2003) 'The initial development of receptivity to working abroad: Self-initiated international work
opportunities in young graduate employees', Journal of Occupational and Organisational Psychology, 76, pp. 489-508.
Thomas, D.C. and Fitzsimmons, S.R. (2008) 'Cross-cultural skills and abilities: From communication competence to
cultural intelligence', in Smith, P.B., Peterson, M.F. and Thomas D.C. (eds.) Handbook of cross-cultural management research
9. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, pp. 201-218.
Thomas, D.C. and Lazarova, M.B. (2006) 'Expatriate adjustment and performance: A critical review', in Stahl, G.H. and
Bjorkman, I. (eds.) Handbook of research in international human resource management. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, pp.
Thomas, D.C. (1998) 'The expatriate experience: A critical review and synthesis', Advances in International Comparative
Management, 12, pp. 237-273.
Tung, R.L. (1981) 'Selection and training of personnel for overseas assignments', Columbia Journal of World business, 16, pp. 68-78.
Tung, R.L. (1981) 'Selecting and Training Procedures of U.S., European, and Japanese Multinational Corporations',
California Management Review, 25, pp. 57-81.
Tye, M.G. and Chen, P.Y. (2005) 'Selection of expatriates: Decision making models used by HR professionals', Human
Resource Planning, 28(4), pp. 15-20.
Download Date | 11/24/15 5:21 AM
CRIS Bulletin 2014/02
Wanous, J.P. and Lawler, E.E. (1972) 'Measurement and Meaning in Job Satisfaction', Journal of Applied Psychology, 56,
pp. 95-105.
Ward, C., Bochner, S. and Furnham, A. (2001) The Psychology of Culture Shock. 2nd edn. Philadelphia, PA: Routledge.
Worchel, S. and Mitchell, T.R. (1972) 'An evaluation of the effectiveness of the culture assimilator in Thailand and
Greece', Journal of Applied Psychology, 56, pp. 472-479.
Xia, J. (2009) 'Analysis of Impact of Culture Shock on Individual Psychology', International Journal of Psychological Studies,
1(2), pp. 97-101.
Download Date | 11/24/15 5:21 AM
... Because it is important that sojourners adapt quickly and well so that they can function effectively many organisations attempt to prepare them for working in the new culture and dealing with culture shock (Cohen, 2007;Furnham, 2011;Ward, Bochner, & Furnham, 2001). The cost to any business of sending staff to work abroad means that they have become very interested in the "management" of culture shock which they know inevitably occurs (Kocak, 2014). Indeed, Human Resource experts are very interested in what sort of people make effective expatriate leaders (Engle, Dimitriadi, & Sadrieh, 2012;Lauring, Selmer & Kubovcikova, 2017). ...
... Academic papers with the concept in the title are published regularly from many disciplines including sociology (Akarowha, 2018), clinical psychology (Cupsa, 2018), cross-cultural psychology (Chen, Lin, & Sawangpattanakul, 2011;Goldstein & Keller, 2015), management and organizational behavior (Kocak, 2014;Meisel, 2012); tourism (Moufakkir, 2013) and refugee studies (Slonin-Nevo & Regev, 2015). The literature has also begun to look at neglected groups like the spouses of sojourning people (De Verthelyn, 1995). ...
Communicating and interacting in culturally diverse settings can be demanding, inducing challenges and risks alike. Based on a variety of factors, individuals tend to respond differently when dealing with culturally contradictory encounters: Some persons may ignore cultural differences, some fail to manage them by choosing to not act at all, and some may interact in a proficient way by identifying and leveraging these differences. Recent research work on acculturation offers an important empirically based and practically useful framework to facilitate the comprehension of the processes and the impact of cross-cultural migration and cultural transition.
Full-text available
This study explores the effects of culture shock on emotional labor, job satisfaction, and the turnover intentions of service employees. It further examines the moderating role of perceived managerial support on the relationships between culture shock, emotional labor, and job satisfaction. Questionnaires were distributed among foreign employees working in 36 hotels in Macao. The data that emerged from the 254 respondents were employed to test the research framework. Results suggest that culture shock has positive impacts emotional labor but negative impacts on job satisfaction. Moreover, the relationship between culture shock and foreign employee turnover intentions is mediated by emotional labor and job satisfaction. Perceived managerial support played a critical role in lessening culture shock’s effect on job satisfaction.
Is there any relationship between the differences in perceived deficiencies in need fulfillment and previous international work experience and regional location of the manager's present assignment? This paper investigates this question and, specifically, presents the result of a study designed to extend and enlarge upon the previous research concerned with the need satisfaction of Americans who are assigned to international managerial positions. Data was collected by means of a Porter need satisfaction questionnaire. The sample of respondents consisted of 141 upper middle staff personnel employed by 4 large American multinational companies. The subjects were assigned to foreign subsidiaries located in Europe and Latin America. The results of this study indicate that regional location and prior international work experience influence perceived need satisfactions of overseas managers. In Europe, experienced managers were more satisfied than their inexperienced colleagues. Converse experienced managers in Latin America were less satisfied than their inexperienced counterparts. It is suggested that jobs in different parts of the world may be viewed differently by managers on the basis of their previous international work experience and career aspirations, as well as the control exerted by the parent company over its foreign subsidiaries.
Culture shock tends to be an occupational disease of people who have been suddenly transplanted abroad. Like most ailments, it has its own symptoms, cause, and cure. Many missionaries have suffered from it. Some never recovered, and left their field. Some live in a constant state of such shock. Many recover beautifully. As will be clear from the implications of Dr. Oberg's article, the state of culture shock in which a Christian lives will have great bearing on his temperament and witness.