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The Expatriates’ Acculturation Process: Individual Differences Within the Social Context
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Industrial Economics.
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Industrial Economics.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor)Student thesisAlternative title
Kulturinlärning vid anställning i ett nytt land; Individuella skillnader i en social kontext (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

As expatriation and cross-border assignments have become increasingly frequent, so has the need for research on what makes a successful expatriate. The objective of this study is to further understand the working expatriate’s acculturation process, which is the process of learning and acquiring the requisite skills to successfully inhabit a new cultural realm. We used a mixed-methods approach, quantitatively measuring work locus of control, acculturation strategies and sociocultural adaptation, and investigating the expatriate’s subjective experience phenomenographically. We interpreted these results using culturalhistorical activity theory. We found that work locus of control and choice of acculturation strategy affect the acculturation process, suggesting that an assimilator with an internal work locus of control adapts easiest. The qualitative differences were more nuanced, showing that expatriates view acculturation in terms of four separate but intertwined relationships; to work, to culture, to social relationships, and to their self-identity. This study contributes to expanded knowledge on the acculturation process in general, but particularly on the role that work plays in expatriate acculturation. Finally we make suggestions for application of these findings and future research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 30 p.
Keyword [en]
Acculturation, Activity theory, CHAT, Cultural learning, Expatriate, Sociocultural adaptation, Work locus of control
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
URN: urn:nbn:se:bth-2338Local ID: diva2:829607
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Beata's e-post: beata.gullberg@gmail.comAvailable from: 2015-04-22 Created: 2014-06-30 Last updated: 2015-06-30Bibliographically approved

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