The expatriate family: an international perspective

The expatriate family: an international perspective Purpose – This paper seeks to review and explore the relatively neglected notion of the adjustment of expatriate families to living abroad with the aim of developing a new model that can be used for future research. Design/methodology/approach – The paper draws on the few studies of the topic that have been carried out, but widens the search to include evidence from the related adjustment and family stress literature to create a new model of the process. Using the ideas of stressors, strains and hassles, capabilities, and shared meanings, the paper examines the situation of the expatriate family and explores how families can adjust to life in another country. Findings – By adopting a salutogenic approach and incorporating insights from these other literatures, the paper shows that family adaptation is a complex and many‐faceted process. It is a process that greater awareness on the part of the family and the organization can improve. Research limitations/implications – With the help of the model of family adjustment the paper points to systematic gaps in studies on expatriate families and outlines a consequent research agenda. Practical implications – Awareness is a crucial element in adjustment. The paper shows that awareness by the family can alleviate problems, and that organizations employing members of the family can assist in the adjustment process for the family. Originality/value – The contribution of the paper comes in its attempt to encompass what is known about expatriate family adaptation directly with a wider view of family adjustment. This provides both a practical framework for future research and some practical implications. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Managerial Psychology Emerald Publishing

The expatriate family: an international perspective

Journal of Managerial Psychology, Volume 23 (3): 23 – Mar 28, 2008

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0268-3946
DOI
10.1108/02683940810861400
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – This paper seeks to review and explore the relatively neglected notion of the adjustment of expatriate families to living abroad with the aim of developing a new model that can be used for future research. Design/methodology/approach – The paper draws on the few studies of the topic that have been carried out, but widens the search to include evidence from the related adjustment and family stress literature to create a new model of the process. Using the ideas of stressors, strains and hassles, capabilities, and shared meanings, the paper examines the situation of the expatriate family and explores how families can adjust to life in another country. Findings – By adopting a salutogenic approach and incorporating insights from these other literatures, the paper shows that family adaptation is a complex and many‐faceted process. It is a process that greater awareness on the part of the family and the organization can improve. Research limitations/implications – With the help of the model of family adjustment the paper points to systematic gaps in studies on expatriate families and outlines a consequent research agenda. Practical implications – Awareness is a crucial element in adjustment. The paper shows that awareness by the family can alleviate problems, and that organizations employing members of the family can assist in the adjustment process for the family. Originality/value – The contribution of the paper comes in its attempt to encompass what is known about expatriate family adaptation directly with a wider view of family adjustment. This provides both a practical framework for future research and some practical implications.

Journal

Journal of Managerial PsychologyEmerald Publishing

Published: Mar 28, 2008

Keywords: Expatriates; Family; Cross‐cultural studies; Sociology of work

References

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