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Cosmopolitanism, assignment duration, and expatriate adjustment: The trade-off between well-being and performance

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  • Amir Grinstein

    (Guilford Glazer School of Business and Management, Ben Gurion University of the Negev)

  • Luc Wathieu

    (ESMT European School of Management and Technology)

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    Abstract

    This paper questions the notion that expatriates should adjust to their host country, by showing that adjustment and its consequences are affected by cosmopolitanism and expected assignment duration. A study of 260 expatriates in the U.S. reveals that cosmopolitans expecting shorter (longer) assignments adjust more (less) to both work and non-work aspects of their host country, and that this is associated with increased well-being. In contrast, for non-cosmopolitans, more well-being occurs when longer (shorter) expected assignments are accompanied by increased (decreased) work and non-work adjustment. Further, from the findings emerges a clash between two aspects of successful expatriation - well-being and professional success: while non-work adjustment is not always associated with well-being, work adjustment is positively related to assignment performance across conditions and subjects.

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    File URL: http://static.esmt.org/publications/workingpapers/ESMT-08-011.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2008
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by ESMT European School of Management and Technology in its series ESMT Research Working Papers with number ESMT-08-011.

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    Length: 24 pages
    Date of creation: 09 Dec 2008
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:esm:wpaper:esmt-08-011

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    Related research

    Keywords: Expatriates; international assignment; cosmopolitanism; crossculture adjustment; multinational corporations; preference persistence; assignment duration; survey method;

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