'Learning without thought is labour lost, thought without learning is perilous': the importance of pre-departure training and emotions management for expatriates working in China
by Ilaria Boncori; Tom Vine
International Journal of Work Organisation and Emotion (IJWOE), Vol. 6, No. 2, 2014

Abstract: Based on data gathered from an autoethnographic account and in-depth qualitative interviews with Italian expatriates, this paper explores the importance of pre-departure linguistic and cultural training for expatriates working in China, with a particular focus on the emotional aspects of movement. According to the latest Global Relocation Trends surveys, China is ranked second only to the USA as the top international destination. However, it also tops the ranking in terms of expatriate assignment failure as it is regarded as the country in which expatriates find it most difficult to adapt (GMAC, 2010, 2011). It is here argued that linguistic competences together with cultural understanding are crucial determinants of a positive expatriate experience in terms of general adjustment, social adjustment and work adjustment. Notably in respect of emotional experience, training can ameliorate emotional dissonance as well as being a precursor for a more general sense of expatriate emotional wellbeing.

Online publication date: Sat, 24-May-2014

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