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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 25 study) not individually. To address this question, this investigator has collected the data among American expatriates in Korea as well and the comparison study comparing two different expatriate groups (Korean vs. American) in two different host environments (America vs. Korea) will be presented following the present study. Finally, as a generic theory, Kim’s (2001) theory allows researchers to examine the cross-cultural adaptation experience of individuals in universal dimension regardless of cultures. Thus, future studies need to be extended to other nationalities working in different countries (e.g., American employees in Indonesia, Swedish employees in Japan), especially by testing host environmental factors. In addition to research implications, the results of this study suggest several practical implications. First, as cognitive communication competence of expatriates such as host language competence and knowledge of host culture enhances their successful adaptation, multinational organization can facilitate their employees’ successful adjustment in their international assignment by providing extensive training programs which include units on the language, culture, and communication system of the host society. Second, the results point to the importance of adaptation motivation of expatriates who desire successful adjustment. It is clear that their motivation and willingness to learn about the new cultural systems and to develop personal relationships with host nationals will help them to accommodate the intercultural challenges in their process of adaptation. Thus, motivation could be considered as one of the selection criteria when companies assess expatriates as potential employees. Third, in addition to cognitive and affective communication competence, operational competence, which involves carrying out behaviors outwardly according to host cultural patterns, facilitate the adaptation of expatriates. It is obvious that as a multifaceted phenomena, the expatriate employee’s successful adaptation in different cultural environment can be facilitated by three interrelated host communication competence (cognitive, affective, and operational). Even though the effectiveness of predeparture training is inconclusive (Kealey & Protheroe, 1996; Selmer et al., 1998), the study should continue to examine the quality and rigor of intercultural training. Thus, instead of typical, short-term orientations

Authors: Kim, II, Yang-Soo.
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Cross-cultural Adaptation 25
study) not individually. To address this question, this investigator has collected the data among
American expatriates in Korea as well and the comparison study comparing two different expatriate
groups (Korean vs. American) in two different host environments (America vs. Korea) will be presented
following the present study. Finally, as a generic theory, Kim’s (2001) theory allows researchers to
examine the cross-cultural adaptation experience of individuals in universal dimension regardless of
cultures. Thus, future studies need to be extended to other nationalities working in different countries
(e.g., American employees in Indonesia, Swedish employees in Japan), especially by testing host
environmental factors.
In addition to research implications, the results of this study suggest several practical
implications. First, as cognitive communication competence of expatriates such as host language
competence and knowledge of host culture enhances their successful adaptation, multinational
organization can facilitate their employees’ successful adjustment in their international assignment by
providing extensive training programs which include units on the language, culture, and communication
system of the host society. Second, the results point to the importance of adaptation motivation of
expatriates who desire successful adjustment. It is clear that their motivation and willingness to learn
about the new cultural systems and to develop personal relationships with host nationals will help them
to accommodate the intercultural challenges in their process of adaptation. Thus, motivation could be
considered as one of the selection criteria when companies assess expatriates as potential employees.
Third, in addition to cognitive and affective communication competence, operational competence, which
involves carrying out behaviors outwardly according to host cultural patterns, facilitate the adaptation of
expatriates. It is obvious that as a multifaceted phenomena, the expatriate employee’s successful
adaptation in different cultural environment can be facilitated by three interrelated host communication
competence (cognitive, affective, and operational). Even though the effectiveness of predeparture
training is inconclusive (Kealey & Protheroe, 1996; Selmer et al., 1998), the study should continue to
examine the quality and rigor of intercultural training. Thus, instead of typical, short-term orientations


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