The Importance of Relationship Quality: Maximizing the Impact of Expatriate Contact with a Local Host

Marian van Bakel, Marinel Gerritsen, Jan Pieter van Oudenhoven

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    Contact between expatriates and a local host—a specific type of peer mentoring—has been shown to result in benefi ts to adjustment, social support, and intercultural competence. This longitudinal study examines the role of the quality of this contact. Expatriates in the Netherlands were randomly divided into an experimental group (N = 33) in which 21 participants had developed high-quality contact with their host, and a control group (N = 32) that had no host. The results suggest the higher the quality of the contact, the more benefit the expatriate experienced. Moreover, expatriates with low-quality contact did not experience a detrimental effect. Theoretical and practical implications for mentoring in general, and peer mentoring of expatriates specifically, are discussed.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalThunderbird International Business Review
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)41-54
    Publication statusPublished - 2016



    • expatriate-local interactions
    • relationship quality
    • mentoring
    • expatriate adjustment
    • social support
    • host nationals

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