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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

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Maertz Jr., Carl P. & Hassan, Ahmad & Magnusson, Peter, 2009. "When learning is not enough: A process model of expatriate adjustment as cultural cognitive dissonance reduction," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 66-78, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jobhdp:v:108:y:2009:i:1:p:66-78
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bruce Kogut & Harbir Singh, 1988. "The Effect of National Culture on the Choice of Entry Mode," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 19(3), pages 411-432, 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;Academy of International Business, vol. 30(3), pages 557-581, September.
    3. J Stewart Black, 1988. "Work Role Transitions: A Study of American Expatriate Managers in Japan," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 19(2), pages 277-294, 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;Academy of International Business, vol. 22(2), pages 225-247, June.
    5. 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;Academy of International Business, vol. 22(3), pages 461-477, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Malgorzata Rozkwitalska, 2016. "Thriving in Intercultural Interactions as an Antecedent of Organizational Creativity and Innovation (Prosperowanie w interakcjach miedzykulturowych jako poprzednik organizacyjnej kreatywnosci i innowa," Problemy Zarzadzania, University of Warsaw, Faculty of Management, vol. 14(61), pages 142-155.
    2. Vining, Aidan R. & Richards, John, 2016. "Indigenous economic development in Canada: Confronting principal-agent and principal–principal problems to reduce resource rent dissipation," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 358-367.

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