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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 7 findings provide support for the consideration of these personality variables in expatriate selection and training. The other studies have focused on contextual factors and its relationship with general and interaction adjustment. Contextual factors include spouse or family adjustment (Black & Gregersen, 1991; Torbiorn, 1982) as well as culture toughness or culture novelty of the host country (Mendenhall & Oddou, 1985). In the expatriate adjustment literature, spouse/family adjustment, which refers to the psychological comfort experienced by the spouse and children, has long been discussed as a potentially important influence on expatriate adjustment (Harvey, 1985) and one of the most frequently cited antecedent factors for expatriate adjustment (e.g., Black & Stephens, 1989; Black & Gregersen, 1991; Torbiorn, 1982; Tung, 1981). In a recent study by Arthur and Bennett (1995), the family situation was rated by expatriates as the most important contributor to successful international assignments. Caligiuri et al. (1998) tested a model for examining expatriates adjustment while on global assignments as an antecedent to expatriate adjustment to working in a host country. The study found that family characteristics (family support, family communication, family adaptability) were related to the expatriate adjustment to working in the host country; the families’ cross-cultural adjustment mediated the effect of family characteristics on expatriate host-country work adjustment. In addition, Black and Stephens (1989) found that a favorable opinion about the overseas assignment by the spouse is positively related to the spouse’s adjustment; the adjustment of the spouse is highly correlated to the adjustment of the expatriate manager and the adjustment of the spouse and the expatriate are positively related to the expatriate’s intention to stay in the overseas assignment. In addition to family adjustment, the novelty of culture (or cultural toughness) was examined as a predictor of adjustment of expatriates. Dunbar (1994) compared 21 German expatriate managers in the United States with 21 American executives working in Japan. Findings indicate a clear difference between the two groups in that the German managers in the U.S. reported significantly greater cultural awareness, knowledge, and work satisfaction than their American counterparts in Japan while two groups of respondents showed no difference regarding

Authors: Kim, II, Yang-Soo.
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Cross-cultural Adaptation 7
findings provide support for the consideration of these personality variables in expatriate selection and
training.
The other studies have focused on contextual factors and its relationship with general and
interaction adjustment. Contextual factors include spouse or family adjustment (Black & Gregersen,
1991; Torbiorn, 1982) as well as culture toughness or culture novelty of the host country (Mendenhall &
Oddou, 1985). In the expatriate adjustment literature, spouse/family adjustment, which refers to the
psychological comfort experienced by the spouse and children, has long been discussed as a potentially
important influence on expatriate adjustment (Harvey, 1985) and one of the most frequently cited
antecedent factors for expatriate adjustment (e.g., Black & Stephens, 1989; Black & Gregersen, 1991;
Torbiorn, 1982; Tung, 1981). In a recent study by Arthur and Bennett (1995), the family situation was
rated by expatriates as the most important contributor to successful international assignments. Caligiuri
et al. (1998) tested a model for examining expatriates adjustment while on global assignments as an
antecedent to expatriate adjustment to working in a host country. The study found that family
characteristics (family support, family communication, family adaptability) were related to the expatriate
adjustment to working in the host country; the families’ cross-cultural adjustment mediated the effect of
family characteristics on expatriate host-country work adjustment. In addition, Black and Stephens
(1989) found that a favorable opinion about the overseas assignment by the spouse is positively related to
the spouse’s adjustment; the adjustment of the spouse is highly correlated to the adjustment of the
expatriate manager and the adjustment of the spouse and the expatriate are positively related to the
expatriate’s intention to stay in the overseas assignment. In addition to family adjustment, the novelty of
culture (or cultural toughness) was examined as a predictor of adjustment of expatriates. Dunbar (1994)
compared 21 German expatriate managers in the United States with 21 American executives working in
Japan. Findings indicate a clear difference between the two groups in that the German managers in the
U.S. reported significantly greater cultural awareness, knowledge, and work satisfaction than their
American counterparts in Japan while two groups of respondents showed no difference regarding


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