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Expatriate time to proficiency: individual antecedents and the moderating effect of home country

Waxin, M.-F., Brewster, C. and Ashill, N. (2019) Expatriate time to proficiency: individual antecedents and the moderating effect of home country. Journal of Global Mobility, 7 (3). pp. 300-318. ISSN 2049-8799

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1108/JGM-12-2018-0060


Purpose: This study examines: 1) the direct impact of individual variables (cultural openness, social orientation, willingness to communicate, confidence in own technical abilities, active stress resistance, prior international experience) on expatriate time to proficiency; and 2) the moderating effects of the home country on the relationships between these individual variables and expatriate time to proficiency. Methodology. We use a quantitative, self-administered questionnaire to gather data from assigned expatriates from different countries in India, analysed through partial least squares. Findings. The findings show first, that four individual variables, i.e. social orientation, willingness to communicate, confidence in technical abilities and active stress resistance reduce expatriate time to proficiency in the global sample. Second, the individual antecedents of expatriate time to proficiency vary significantly across home countries. Theoretical implications. Our results confirm the importance of individual antecedents in explaining expatriate TTP and the importance of context in the study of expatriates’ cross-cultural effectiveness. We also propose new, shorter measures for the individual antecedents. Practical implications. The practical implications for HRM professionals relate mainly to selection and cross-cultural training. Expatriates may also get a better understanding of the individual and contextual variables that impact their time to proficiency. Originality/ Value. We show that individual antecedents interact with context, here home country, to predict expatriate time to proficiency in an under-researched host country, India. Key words: expatriation, time to proficiency, adjustment, individual characteristics, international experience, culture, context, antecedents.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Henley Business School > International Business and Strategy
ID Code:83811


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