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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 9 affect or enhance the expatriate adjustment. However, these studies have not examined fully the influences of the characteristics of the specific host environment on the expatriate adjustment. Very few environmental conditions have been directly assessed in relation to individual adaptation of the expatriates. Again, in spite of the many empirical studies examining the determinants (or predictors) of expatriate adjustment, the theory-based studies on expatriate adjustment is still in need (Aycan, 1997a). To accommodate this need in an expatriate adjustment study, this study proposes Kim’s (2001) cross-cultural adaptation theory as a theoretical base to analyze the Korean expatriate cross-adaptation in the U.S. Theoretical Model Guiding this investigation is Y. Y. Kim's (2001) theory of cross-cultural adaptation. Kim's model is an integrative, multidimensional, and comprehensive model in which the key elements of adaptation are highlighted. Kim's (2001) theory offers a comprehensive conceptual frame to describe and explain cross-cultural adaptation phenomena by integrating a number of previously separate and divergent approaches. It is a multidimensional and multifaceted theory incorporating many of the theoretical concepts and issues which integrates both the short-term, psychological aspects of the adaptation process and the long-term sociological and cultural perspectives employed in sociological and anthropological studies of immigrants. Adopting systems perspective, the present theory integrates many of the existing concepts and issues that have been studied separately. For example, in this theory, the term stranger is used as an inclusive term that integrates other terms such as immigrants, refugees, and sojourners. Kim proposes that individuals or "strangers" as "open systems," respond to their environment and cope with drastic environmental changes with psychological stress, better known as "culture shock." The term adaptation is used broadly incorporating more specific terms such as assimilation, acculturation, integration, and adjustment (Y. Y. Kim, 2001, p.90). Thus, conceptualizing adaptation as a continuous, evolutionary process of the internal transformation of a person, this theory views cross-cultural adaptation as a process

Authors: Kim, II, Yang-Soo.
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Cross-cultural Adaptation 9
affect or enhance the expatriate adjustment. However, these studies have not examined fully the
influences of the characteristics of the specific host environment on the expatriate adjustment. Very few
environmental conditions have been directly assessed in relation to individual adaptation of the
expatriates. Again, in spite of the many empirical studies examining the determinants (or predictors) of
expatriate adjustment, the theory-based studies on expatriate adjustment is still in need (Aycan, 1997a).
To accommodate this need in an expatriate adjustment study, this study proposes Kim’s (2001)
cross-cultural adaptation theory as a theoretical base to analyze the Korean expatriate cross-adaptation in
the U.S.
Theoretical Model
Guiding this investigation is Y. Y. Kim's (2001) theory of cross-cultural adaptation. Kim's model
is an integrative, multidimensional, and comprehensive model in which the key elements of adaptation
are highlighted. Kim's (2001) theory offers a comprehensive conceptual frame to describe and explain
cross-cultural adaptation phenomena by integrating a number of previously separate and divergent
approaches. It is a multidimensional and multifaceted theory incorporating many of the theoretical
concepts and issues which integrates both the short-term, psychological aspects of the adaptation process
and the long-term sociological and cultural perspectives employed in sociological and anthropological
studies of immigrants.
Adopting systems perspective, the present theory integrates many of the existing concepts and
issues that have been studied separately. For example, in this theory, the term stranger is used as an
inclusive term that integrates other terms such as immigrants, refugees, and sojourners. Kim proposes
that individuals or "strangers" as "open systems," respond to their environment and cope with drastic
environmental changes with psychological stress, better known as "culture shock." The term adaptation
is used broadly incorporating more specific terms such as assimilation, acculturation, integration, and
adjustment (Y. Y. Kim, 2001, p.90). Thus, conceptualizing adaptation as a continuous, evolutionary
process of the internal transformation of a person, this theory views cross-cultural adaptation as a process


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