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Host Communication Competence and Psychological Health: A Study of Cross-cultural Adaptation of Korean Expatriate Employees in the United States*
Unformatted Document Text:  Cross-cultural Adaptation 24 spouses/family. Thus, it is uncertain whether indirect measurement accurately reflects the adaptation experience of spouses and children of expatriates. In the future, a study to directly assess spouse/family adjustment is needed to examine their adjustment experience. Even though there is no consensus among scholars on how long it takes or if the time period is the same for different individuals, scholars consistently discuss the importance of time after an individual’s arrival in the host country in one’s cross-cultural adaptation process (Adler, 1986; Torbiorn, 1982). Given the fact that cross-cultural adaptation takes place over time, it was expected, in this study, Korean expatriate host language competence and knowledge of host culture and psychological health would increase with the length of time they have stayed in the U.S. as sojourners. The present finding validated this expectation. The study has several limitations. First, because of limited numbers and difficult accessibility to research participants and organizations, the non-probability sampling method was used. While the fact that the 101 participants were drawn from several different areas might minimize the weakness of non- probability sampling, research findings still need to be interpreted with caution. Second, a future study would be more fruitful if the study incorporates an in-depth personal interview together with closed- ended self-reported measures in the survey. The research incorporating this interview data will allow more detailed, qualitative insights into expatriate workers’ actual psychological experiences in the host environment. In fact, the personal one-on-one interview was conducted for this study together with the structured quantitative survey. The interview data, however, was not presented in this paper due to the time constraint to complete the analysis of the data. Third, the study would be more integrative if it includes host environment factors such as host receptivity and host conformity pressure and predisposition. Even though the present study incorporated the host environmental factor including host receptivity and host conformity pressure in the survey, these two factors were dropped in the data analysis. The reason is that as a macro level (group) factor, host environment (i.e. host receptivity and host conformity pressure) can only be tested by comparing two different environments (e.g., comparison

Authors: Kim, II, Yang-Soo.
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Cross-cultural Adaptation 24
spouses/family. Thus, it is uncertain whether indirect measurement accurately reflects the adaptation
experience of spouses and children of expatriates. In the future, a study to directly assess spouse/family
adjustment is needed to examine their adjustment experience.
Even though there is no consensus among scholars on how long it takes or if the time period is
the same for different individuals, scholars consistently discuss the importance of time after an
individual’s arrival in the host country in one’s cross-cultural adaptation process (Adler, 1986; Torbiorn,
1982). Given the fact that cross-cultural adaptation takes place over time, it was expected, in this study,
Korean expatriate host language competence and knowledge of host culture and psychological health
would increase with the length of time they have stayed in the U.S. as sojourners. The present finding
validated this expectation.
The study has several limitations. First, because of limited numbers and difficult accessibility to
research participants and organizations, the non-probability sampling method was used. While the fact
that the 101 participants were drawn from several different areas might minimize the weakness of non-
probability sampling, research findings still need to be interpreted with caution. Second, a future study
would be more fruitful if the study incorporates an in-depth personal interview together with closed-
ended self-reported measures in the survey. The research incorporating this interview data will allow
more detailed, qualitative insights into expatriate workers’ actual psychological experiences in the host
environment. In fact, the personal one-on-one interview was conducted for this study together with the
structured quantitative survey. The interview data, however, was not presented in this paper due to the
time constraint to complete the analysis of the data. Third, the study would be more integrative if it
includes host environment factors such as host receptivity and host conformity pressure and
predisposition. Even though the present study incorporated the host environmental factor including host
receptivity and host conformity pressure in the survey, these two factors were dropped in the data
analysis. The reason is that as a macro level (group) factor, host environment (i.e. host receptivity and
host conformity pressure) can only be tested by comparing two different environments (e.g., comparison


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