Doktorarbeit: The dark side of international assignments – An investigation of dangerous foreign work environments and discriminatory behavior against expatriates

The dark side of international assignments – An investigation of dangerous foreign work environments and discriminatory behavior against expatriates

Personalwirtschaft, volume 62

Hamburg , 174 pages

ISBN 978-3-339-11474-7 (print)
ISBN 978-3-339-11475-4 (eBook)

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International assignments can be beneficial for both the sending organization as well as the expatriate. Yet, there is a large number of factors that potentially have adverse effects on the planning and/or accomplishment of an international assignment. This doctoral thesis develops a conceptualization of these factors by distinguishing between intrapersonal, interpersonal, organizational, and environmental factors and provides new empirical evidence on multiple aspects related to these factors that may help multinational enterprises to better manage the increasing challenges associated with international assignments. This doctoral thesis consists of three research papers, each of which addresses specific “dark sides” of international assignments. The first research paper examines individuals’ expatriation willingness in the specific context of international assignments that involve relocating to dangerous environments. It draws on expectancy-value theory and the HEXACO personality model in order to examine in how far a destination’s security level affects the direction or strength of the relationship between the HEXACO personality traits and individuals’ expatriation willingness. The second research paper examines the influence of host country language skills on expatriates’ cross-cultural adjustment in the context of terrorism-endangered environments. It integrates the expatriate adjustment framework with social identity theory-based literature and examines the effects of both fear of terror and host country language proficiency on cross-cultural adjustment. Additionally, it puts forward a moderating effect of the actual terrorist threat level on the relationship between host country language proficiency and fear of terror. The third research paper examines ethnicity and age as characteristics that may trigger discriminatory behavior against expatriates. It draws on status construction theory and empirically investigates ethnicity and age as characteristics that may trigger discriminatory behavior against expatriates.

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