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Exploring expatriate adjustment through identity perspective

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Abstract

This study reveals multifaceted identities experienced by corporate expatriates and how these identities are related to expatriate host country work and non-work adjustment. Specifically, we take a symbolic interactionism-based identity theory perspective and examine qualitative data from 73 corporate expatriates in China and Japan, revealing an expatriate identity (i.e., identification with being a manager and a foreigner), and a cultural identity (i.e., identification with home and host country cultures) which through identity stability/change are related to the mode and degree of expatriate work and non-work adjustment. Our findings suggest that these identities explain how corporate expatriates shape their new environment to their preferences, instead of adjusting to it.

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Peltokorpi, V., & Zhang, L. E. (2020). Exploring expatriate adjustment through identity perspective. International Business Review, 29(3). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ibusrev.2020.101667

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