Title: Beyond adjustment: complex roles of personality and health-related strains in expatriate performance

Authors: Hong Ren; David A. Harrison; Margaret A. Shaffer; Purnima Bhaskar-Shrinivas

Addresses: Lubar School of Business, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI 53201, USA ' Department of Management, McCombs School of Business, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712-0210, USA ' Lubar School of Business, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI 53201, USA ' Department of Management & Organization, Smeal College of Business Administration, The Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA 16802, USA

Abstract: We proposed and investigated the complex roles of higher order personality dimensions and health-related strains in relation to expatriate adjustment and performance using comparable cross-sectional (n = 170) and longitudinal (n = 77) samples of software engineers posted from India to North America, Western Europe and East Asia. Results indicate that social desirability personality is negatively related to heath-related strains and positively related to task performance, while superiority striving personality is positively associated with cultural adjustment. Using longitudinal data, we also clarified the temporal sequence of health-related strains relative to adjustment and performance. The results suggest that health-related strains are an important antecedent of adjustment, rather than a consequence. Also, expatriate task and relationship performance is a function of health strains and not a predictor. Overall, our findings support a multifaceted influence of dispositions and a pivotal role of health problems on international assignments.

Keywords: personality; expatriate adjustment; expatriate strains; expatriate performance; expats; software engineers; India; social desirability; task performance; superiority striving; cultural adjustment; culture; health-related strain; stress; relationship performance; health problems; international assignments.

DOI: 10.1504/EJIM.2016.073982

European Journal of International Management, 2016 Vol.10 No.1, pp.54 - 77

Published online: 17 Nov 2015 *

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