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Culture shock in China?: Adjustment pattern of western expatriate business managers

  • Selmer, Jan
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    Currently working on the Chinese mainland, Western expatriate business managers, mainly from the USA, France, Germany, Australia and Great Britain, participated in a mail survey regarding their degree of adjustment which was then mapped over time. The results showed that while the three dimensions of sociocultural adjustment; work adjustment, interaction adjustment and general adjustment, all showed a clear U-curve pattern indicating a typical culture shock experience, no such pattern was displayed in the case of psychological adjustment as measured by their subjective well-being. Implications for Western expatriate business managers on the Chinese mainland and for companies assigning Western expatriates there are discussed.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Business Review.

    Volume (Year): 8 (1999)
    Issue (Month): 5-6 (October)
    Pages: 515-534

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:iburev:v:8:y:1999:i:5-6:p:515-534
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    1. 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.
    2. J Stewart Black & Hal B Gregersen, 1991. "When Yankee Comes Home: Factors Related to Expatriate and Spouse Repatriation Adjustment," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 22(4), pages 671-694, December.
    3. David A Ralston & David J Gustafson & Fanny M Cheung & Robert H Terpstra, 1993. "Differences in Managerial Values: A Study of U.S., Hong Kong and PRC Managers," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 24(2), pages 249-275, June.
    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. Sergeant, Andrew & Frenkel, Stephen, 1998. "Managing people in China: perceptions of expatriate managers," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 17-34.
    6. Jun, Sunkyu & Lee, Sunkoo & Gentry, James W., 1997. "The effects of acculturation on commitment to the parent company and the foreign operation," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 6(5), pages 519-535, October.
    7. Earl Naumann, 1993. "Organizational Predictors of expatriate Job Satisfaction," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 24(1), pages 61-80, March.
    8. Meg G Birdseye & John S Hill, 1995. "Individual, Organizational/Work and Environmental Influences on Expatriate Turnover Tendencies: An Empirical Study," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 26(4), pages 787-813, December.
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