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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 6 also proposed three distinct dimensions of expatriate in-country sociocultural adjustment: 1) adjustment to work; 2) adjustment to interacting with individuals in the foreign country; and 3) adjustment to the general non-work environment in the foreign culture. Work adjustment refers to the expatriate’s psychological comfort with respect to the job tasks of the foreign assignment (job requirements). Interaction adjustment is with respect to interacting with the host-country nationals (socializing with host nationals). General adjustment is with respect to the general living conditions and culture of the foreign country. Exploratory factor analyses (Black, 1988, 1990; Black & Stephens, 1989) supported multidimensional adjustment construct for American and Japanese expatriates. Together with these theoretical, conceptual models, the increasing empirical studies have examined the several determinants (predictors) influencing the different dimensions of adjustment of expatriates. Relevant studies have shown that individual factors were found to be related to expatriate adjustment. The individual factor variables include anticipatory behavior (Black & Gregerson, 1991; Torbiorn, 1982), demographic characteristics such as gender or age (Adler, 1987), motivation to go abroad, predeparture knowledge of the host country, and prior international experience (Black, 1990). Specifically, in the study on 169 adults working abroad in 12 different countries by Parker and McEvoy (1993), personality characteristics and traits show a stronger relationship to adjustment than do demographic characteristics and work experience. In addition, the amount of time spent with host- country nationals is positively related to interaction and general living adjustment, but not related to work adjustment. Regarding personality traits, Harrison et al. (1996) examined two such variables—self- efficacy and self-monitoring. Results show that subjects with high general self-efficacy express significantly greater degrees of general, interaction, and work adjustment than those with low general self-efficacy. Similarly, high self-monitors express greater degrees of general and interaction adjustment than do low self-monitors on work adjustment. No significant difference, however, was found between high and low self-monitors on work adjustment. In another study, personal intentions of expatriation was positively associated with both socio-cultural and psychological adjustment (Selmer, 1988). These

Authors: Kim, II, Yang-Soo.
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Cross-cultural Adaptation 6
also proposed three distinct dimensions of expatriate in-country sociocultural adjustment: 1) adjustment
to work; 2) adjustment to interacting with individuals in the foreign country; and 3) adjustment to the
general non-work environment in the foreign culture. Work adjustment refers to the expatriate’s
psychological comfort with respect to the job tasks of the foreign assignment (job requirements).
Interaction adjustment is with respect to interacting with the host-country nationals (socializing with host
nationals). General adjustment is with respect to the general living conditions and culture of the foreign
country. Exploratory factor analyses (Black, 1988, 1990; Black & Stephens, 1989) supported
multidimensional adjustment construct for American and Japanese expatriates.
Together with these theoretical, conceptual models, the increasing empirical studies have
examined the several determinants (predictors) influencing the different dimensions of adjustment of
expatriates. Relevant studies have shown that individual factors were found to be related to expatriate
adjustment. The individual factor variables include anticipatory behavior (Black & Gregerson, 1991;
Torbiorn, 1982), demographic characteristics such as gender or age (Adler, 1987), motivation to go
abroad, predeparture knowledge of the host country, and prior international experience (Black, 1990).
Specifically, in the study on 169 adults working abroad in 12 different countries by Parker and McEvoy
(1993), personality characteristics and traits show a stronger relationship to adjustment than do
demographic characteristics and work experience. In addition, the amount of time spent with host-
country nationals is positively related to interaction and general living adjustment, but not related to work
adjustment. Regarding personality traits, Harrison et al. (1996) examined two such variables—self-
efficacy and self-monitoring. Results show that subjects with high general self-efficacy express
significantly greater degrees of general, interaction, and work adjustment than those with low general
self-efficacy. Similarly, high self-monitors express greater degrees of general and interaction adjustment
than do low self-monitors on work adjustment. No significant difference, however, was found between
high and low self-monitors on work adjustment. In another study, personal intentions of expatriation was
positively associated with both socio-cultural and psychological adjustment (Selmer, 1988). These


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