Intercultural Management in Practice: Expatriate identity

Over the years I have been pleased to see five of my journal articles reprinted in a variety of book collections. However, this year I am even more pleased to report that articles with two of my former PhD students Shea Fan and Linn Zhang have been reprinted.

Both were reprinted in the same book. Shea and Linn will be blogging about these chapters and related work on expatriate identity in a more accessible format soon, but I just wanted to share the abstract and full references here.

  • Fan, SX, & Harzing, AW (2021). By Mutual Agreement: How Can Ethnically Similar Expatriates Engage Host Country Employees, in: Chavan, M. and Taksa, L. (eds). Intercultural Management in Practice, Bingley: Emerald, pp. 83-95. Available online... - Publisher's version - Related blog post
  • Li, C, Zhang, LE, & Harzing, AW (2021). Expatriate Cultural Identity Negotiation Strategies: A Dynamic Framework. Intercultural Management in Practice, in: Chavan, M. and Taksa, L. (eds). Intercultural Management in Practice, Bingley: Emerald, pp. 131-140. Available online... - Publisher's version - Related blog post

Abstract: Ethnically similar expatriates

Employing expatriates who share an ethnicity with host country employees (HCEs) is a widespread expatriate selection strategy. However, little research has compared how expatriates and HCEs perceive this shared ethnicity. Drawing upon an identity perspective, we propose HCEs' ethnic identity confirmation, the level of agreement between how an HCE views the importance of his/her own ethnic identity and how expatriates view the importance of the HCE's ethnic identity, affects HCEs' attitudes toward ethnically similar expatriates. Results of two experiments show that HCEs' ethnic identity confirmation is related to HCEs' perception of expatriates' trustworthiness and knowledge-sharing intention.

Abridged reprint of: Fan, S.X.; Harzing, A.W. (2017) Host country employees' ethnic identity confirmation: Evidence from interactions with ethnically similar expatriates, Journal of World Business, vol. 52, no. 5, pp. 640-652. Available online... - Publisher's version (free access!) - Related blog post - 1-minute video

Abstract: Expatriate identity negotiation

In response to the somewhat paradoxical combination of increasing diversity in the global workforce and the resurgence of nationalism in an era of global mobility, this chapter aims to uncover how employees on international assignments respond to exposure to new cultures. Specifically, the study aims to explicate the underlying psychological mechanisms linking expatriates' monocultural, multicultural, global, and cosmopolitan identity negotiation strategies with their responses toward the host culture by drawing upon exclusionary and integrative reactions theory in cross-cultural psychology.

This conceptual chapter draws on the perspective of exclusionary versus integrative reactions toward foreign cultures – a perspective rooted in cross-cultural psychology research – to categorize expatriates' responses toward the host culture. More specifically, the study elaborates how two primary activators of expatriates' responses toward the host culture – the salience of home-culture identity and a cultural learning mindset – explain the relationship between cultural identity negotiation strategies and expatriates' exclusionary and integrative responses.

The following metaphors for these different types of cultural identity negotiation strategies are introduced: “ostrich” (monocultural strategy), “frog” (multicultural strategy), “bird” (global strategy), and “lizard” (cosmopolitan strategy). The proposed dynamic framework of cultural identity negotiation strategies illustrates the sophisticated nature of expatriates' responses to new cultures. This chapter also emphasizes that cross-cultural training tempering expatriates' exclusionary reactions and encouraging integrative reactions is crucial for more effective expatriation in a multicultural work environment.

Abridged reprint of: Li, C.; Zhang, L.E.; Harzing, A.W. (2019) Of Ostriches, Frogs, Birds and Lizards: A Dynamic Framework of Cultural Identity Negotiation Strategies in an Era of Global Mobility, Journal of Global Mobility, vol. 7, no. 3, pp. 239-254. Available online... - Publisher's version - Related blog post

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