Lean on me : the importance of own and partner intercultural personality dimensions for the success of an international assignment.

K.J.P.M. Erp, van, K.I. Zee, van der, E. Giebels, M.A.J. Duijn, van

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

This research explores the role of three intercultural personality traits—emotional stability, social initiative, and open-mindedness—as coping resources for expatriate couples' adjustment. First, we examined the direct relationships of expatriates' and expatriate spouses' personality trait levels with psychological and sociocultural adjustment. Psychological adjustment refers to internal psychological outcomes such as mental health and personal satisfaction, whereas sociocultural adjustment refers to more externally oriented psychological outcomes that link the individual to the new environment. Second, we examined the association of expatriates' personality trait levels with professional adjustment, which was defined in terms of job performance and organizational commitment. Cross-sectional analyses among 196 expatriates and expatriate spouses (i.e., 98 expatriate couples) revealed that the three dimensions are each associated with specific facets of adjustment. A longitudinal analysis among a subsample (45 couples) partially confirmed these findings. Furthermore, we obtained evidence for a resource compensation effect, that is, the compensatory process whereby one partner's lack of sufficiently high levels of a certain personality trait is compensated for by the other partner's high(er) levels of this traits. Through this resource compensation effect, the negative consequences of a lack of sufficient levels of a personality trait on adjustment can be diminished. Apparently, in the absence of sufficiently high trait levels, individuals can benefit from personality resources in their partners
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)706-728
Number of pages23
JournalEuropean Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology
Volume23
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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