Developing a high quality intercultural relationship: expatriates and their local host

Marian van Bakel, Jan Pieter van Oudenhoven, Marinel Gerritsen

    Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

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    Resumé

    Purpose – Our qualitative study examines the development of purposely created interpersonal relationships in an intercultural context. Contact with a local host is a way of helping expatriates deal with the challenges of an international assignment. Since the quality of contact with the host is pivotal to benefit most from this experience, this paper examines which factors influence contact quality.
    Design/methodology/approach – We conducted a case study analysis of thirty-three expatriates and ten accompanying partners who were put in touch with a local host, with whom they undertook a broad range of activities during a period of nine months.
    Findings – Nine factors influenced the development of the contact (similarities, motivation, benefits, anxiety, expectations, busy schedules, suboptimal timing, communication breakdown, and cultural differences). Key factors were similarities, motivation and benefits.
    Research limitations/implications – While some of the factors (e.g. similarities) are predictable according to the Social Penetration Theory, four factors were uniquely applicable to purposely created relationships such as contact with a local host: motivation, expectations, anxiety, and suboptimal timing.
    Practical implications – Our study provides suggestions that could stimulate the contact with a local host, making the intervention more valuable for organizations who wish to support their expatriates in this way.
    Originality/value – This longitudinal study is one of the first to examine in detail the process of development of purposely created interpersonal relationships in an intercultural context. Furthermore, our study is new because it also examines unsuccessful relationships.
    OriginalsprogEngelsk
    TidsskriftJournal of Global Mobility
    Vol/bind3
    Udgave nummer1
    Sider (fra-til)25-45
    ISSN2049-8799
    DOI
    StatusUdgivet - 9. mar. 2015

    Fingeraftryk

    Expatriates
    Factors
    Anxiety
    Interpersonal relationships
    Schedule
    Longitudinal study
    International assignments
    Communication
    Influence factors
    Qualitative study
    Cultural differences
    Design methodology
    Penetration
    Breakdown

    Citer dette

    van Bakel, Marian ; van Oudenhoven, Jan Pieter ; Gerritsen, Marinel. / Developing a high quality intercultural relationship: expatriates and their local host. I: Journal of Global Mobility. 2015 ; Bind 3, Nr. 1. s. 25-45.
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    abstract = "Purpose – Our qualitative study examines the development of purposely created interpersonal relationships in an intercultural context. Contact with a local host is a way of helping expatriates deal with the challenges of an international assignment. Since the quality of contact with the host is pivotal to benefit most from this experience, this paper examines which factors influence contact quality.Design/methodology/approach – We conducted a case study analysis of thirty-three expatriates and ten accompanying partners who were put in touch with a local host, with whom they undertook a broad range of activities during a period of nine months. Findings – Nine factors influenced the development of the contact (similarities, motivation, benefits, anxiety, expectations, busy schedules, suboptimal timing, communication breakdown, and cultural differences). Key factors were similarities, motivation and benefits.Research limitations/implications – While some of the factors (e.g. similarities) are predictable according to the Social Penetration Theory, four factors were uniquely applicable to purposely created relationships such as contact with a local host: motivation, expectations, anxiety, and suboptimal timing.Practical implications – Our study provides suggestions that could stimulate the contact with a local host, making the intervention more valuable for organizations who wish to support their expatriates in this way.Originality/value – This longitudinal study is one of the first to examine in detail the process of development of purposely created interpersonal relationships in an intercultural context. Furthermore, our study is new because it also examines unsuccessful relationships.",
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    Developing a high quality intercultural relationship: expatriates and their local host. / van Bakel, Marian; van Oudenhoven, Jan Pieter; Gerritsen, Marinel.

    I: Journal of Global Mobility, Bind 3, Nr. 1, 09.03.2015, s. 25-45.

    Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

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    AU - van Bakel, Marian

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    AB - Purpose – Our qualitative study examines the development of purposely created interpersonal relationships in an intercultural context. Contact with a local host is a way of helping expatriates deal with the challenges of an international assignment. Since the quality of contact with the host is pivotal to benefit most from this experience, this paper examines which factors influence contact quality.Design/methodology/approach – We conducted a case study analysis of thirty-three expatriates and ten accompanying partners who were put in touch with a local host, with whom they undertook a broad range of activities during a period of nine months. Findings – Nine factors influenced the development of the contact (similarities, motivation, benefits, anxiety, expectations, busy schedules, suboptimal timing, communication breakdown, and cultural differences). Key factors were similarities, motivation and benefits.Research limitations/implications – While some of the factors (e.g. similarities) are predictable according to the Social Penetration Theory, four factors were uniquely applicable to purposely created relationships such as contact with a local host: motivation, expectations, anxiety, and suboptimal timing.Practical implications – Our study provides suggestions that could stimulate the contact with a local host, making the intervention more valuable for organizations who wish to support their expatriates in this way.Originality/value – This longitudinal study is one of the first to examine in detail the process of development of purposely created interpersonal relationships in an intercultural context. Furthermore, our study is new because it also examines unsuccessful relationships.

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