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The view from the field: A case study of the expatriate boundary-spanning role

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  • Johnson, Karen L.
  • Duxbury, Linda
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    Abstract

    Research suggests growing interest in the boundary-spanning role played by expatriates in supporting organizational learning and adaptation in uncertain environments. However, efforts to examine this role have relied on conceptual frameworks that have not been empirically grounded. This exploratory case study of 79 expatriates in the field applies a qualitative methodology to elaborate and extend current conceptualizations of the boundary role to the work of the expatriate. Findings suggest that interpersonal relationships may be the cornerstones of the role and the enablers of other cross-boundary resource exchanges.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of World Business.

    Volume (Year): 45 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 1 (January)
    Pages: 29-40

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:worbus:v:45:y:2010:i:1:p:29-40

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    Related research

    Keywords: Expatriate assignment Expatriate performance Boundary-spanning Role theory Organizational adaptation Case study research;

    References

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    1. Steve Lovett & Lee C Simmons & Raja Kali, 1999. "Guanxi Versus the Market: Ethics and Efficiency," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 30(2), pages 231-247, June.
    2. Jackson, Susan E. & Schuler, Randall S., 1985. "A meta-analysis and conceptual critique of research on role ambiguity and role conflict in work settings," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 16-78, August.
    3. Michailova, Snejina & Worm, Verner, 2003. "Personal Networking in Russia and China:: Blat and Guanxi," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 509-519, August.
    4. Hoon-Halbauer, Sing Keow, 1999. "Managing relationships within sino-foreign joint ventures," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 344-371, January.
    5. Michael D Lord & Annette L Ranft, 2000. "Organizational Learning About New International Markets: Exploring the Internal Transfer of Local Market Knowledge," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 31(4), pages 573-589, December.
    6. Harzing, Anne-Wil, 2001. "Of bears, bumble-bees, and spiders: the role of expatriates in controlling foreign subsidiaries," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 366-379, January.
    7. Au, Kevin Y. & Fukuda, John, 2002. "Boundary spanning behaviors of expatriates," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 285-296, January.
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