Multifaceted effects of host country language proficiency in expatriate cross-cultural adjustments: an interview study in China

  • Zhang L
  • Peltokorpi V
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Abstract

Despite a plethora of research on various antecedents of expatriate cross-cultural adjustment and effectiveness, relatively little is known how expatriate host country language proficiency affects cross-cultural adjustment. Drawing on 74 in-depth interviews with expatriates and their host country national (HCN) colleagues, we conducted an inductive study to provide a contextual account of expatriate host country language proficiency effects on work and non-work related adjustment in China. Our findings suggest that expatriate host country language proficiency has complex HCN interaction, social support, and network-related effects on work and non-work related adjustment. By demonstrating the multifaceted effects of language on work and non-work related adjustment, our inductive approach shifts the focus from previous predetermined general, work, and interaction adjustment facets to dimensions reported by expatriates and their HCN colleagues.

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Authors

  • Ling Eleanor Zhang

  • V Peltokorpi

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