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When learning is not enough: A process model of expatriate adjustment as cultural cognitive dissonance reduction

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  • Maertz Jr., Carl P.
  • Hassan, Ahmad
  • Magnusson, Peter
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    Abstract

    Although considerable organizational research exists on the topic of expatriate adjustment and early departure, little has focused on the actual psychological processes causing change in adjustment outcomes. Specifically, researchers have not focused on cognitive dissonance that arises from adopting or condoning culturally expected behaviors that are inconsistent with the expatriate's own values or attitudes. We propose that dissonance experiences and the methods used for dissonance reduction influence expatriates' adjustment outcomes and, in turn, their tendency for early departure. We further specify key situational and individual difference constructs that regulate these causal relationships. Along with a greater understanding of cross-cultural adjustment, the current model suggests new directions for expatriate research and management.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6WP2-4T0NGCW-1/2/cdab84dbb279154aa71cf59c09c53b32
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.

    Volume (Year): 108 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 1 (January)
    Pages: 66-78

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jobhdp:v:108:y:2009:i:1:p:66-78

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/obhdp

    Related research

    Keywords: Expatriate management Expatriate adjustment Expatriate withdrawal Cognitive dissonance Cross-cultural adjustment process;

    References

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    1. J Stewart Black & Hal B Gregersen, 1991. "The Other Half of the Picture: Antecedents of Spouse Cross-Cultural Adjustment," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 22(3), pages 461-477, September.
    2. Margaret A Shaffer & David A Harrison & K Matthew Gilley, 1999. "Dimensions, Determinants, and Differences in the Expatriate Adjustment Process," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 30(3), pages 557-581, September.
    3. Bruce Kogut & Harbir Singh, 1988. "The Effect of National Culture on the Choice of Entry Mode," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 19(3), pages 411-432, September.
    4. J Stewart Black & Mark Mendenhall, 1991. "The U-Curve Adjustment Hypothesis Revisited: A Review and Theoretical Framework," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 22(2), pages 225-247, June.
    5. J Stewart Black, 1988. "Work Role Transitions: A Study of American Expatriate Managers in Japan," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 19(2), pages 277-294, June.
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