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The paradox role of extraversion in the cross-cultural adjustment process of Asian expatriates

Authors Rafiq A, Saleem S, Bashir M, Ali A

Received 23 October 2018

Accepted for publication 15 February 2019

Published 18 March 2019 Volume 2019:12 Pages 179—194


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Einar Thorsteinsson

Asia Rafiq,1 Sharjeel Saleem,1 Mohsin Bashir,1 Arfan Ali2

1Lyallpur Business School (Division of Management), Government College University, Faisalabad, Pakistan; 2Department of Public Administration, Government College University, Faisalabad, Pakistan

Background: The purpose of this study is to present a broad-brush picture based on empirical evidence on the role of hindrance stressors, motivation, and cultural novelty in expatriate adjustment. Drawing on trait activation theory, this study examines the moderating role of extraversion in enhancing cultural adjustment to achieve positive work engagement and organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) by expatriates.
Methods: We gathered data using a sample of 458 eastern expatriates with current international assignments in different countries around the world. They completed questionnaires sent to them using online platforms for expatriates.
Results: The results reveal that hindrance stressors and intrapersonal motivation significantly predict adjustment. Adjustment plays a partially mediating role in achieving OCB and expatriate work engagement. However, this work engagement is stronger when adjustment is used as a mediating factor. Surprisingly, our results provided paradox role of extraversion in predicting adjustment which was somewhat in contradiction to our hypothesized direction of moderating effect.
Conclusion: Our research puts forward strategies for international business organizations when assigning business expatriates, especially in novel cultures. Our research provides valuable information about expatriates’ context for international organizations planning for the accomplishment of their assignments in distant cultures.

Keywords: expatriates, work engagement, cultural novelty, extraversion, adjustment, trait activation theory

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