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“Third‐culture kids” Future business expatriates?

“Third‐culture kids” Future business expatriates? The quest of globalizing business firms to find enough candidates with the requisite skills for foreign assignments may be met by former “third‐culture kids”. These are individuals who as adolescents have lived in a foreign country for a period of time. The cultural exposure, during their highly impressionable adolescence, may have made them absorb cultural and behavioral norms developing a cultural frame of references different from, but assembled by the cultures they have been exposed to; establishing a third culture. Testing this generally held belief empirically, characteristics of a group of British expatriate adolescents in Hong Kong were compared with those of local Hong Kong adolescents and local British adolescents residing in Britain. Controlling for the effects of age and gender, results showed that the British expatriate adolescents had distinct characteristics in terms of their perceptions of being international as well as their international mobility preferences and consequences. These findings support the claims and anecdotal evidence of the development of third‐cultureness. The potentially far‐reaching implications of these results for globalizing firms are discussed at length. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Personnel Review Emerald Publishing

“Third‐culture kids” Future business expatriates?

Personnel Review , Volume 33 (4): 16 – Aug 1, 2004

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2004 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0048-3486
DOI
10.1108/00483480410539506
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The quest of globalizing business firms to find enough candidates with the requisite skills for foreign assignments may be met by former “third‐culture kids”. These are individuals who as adolescents have lived in a foreign country for a period of time. The cultural exposure, during their highly impressionable adolescence, may have made them absorb cultural and behavioral norms developing a cultural frame of references different from, but assembled by the cultures they have been exposed to; establishing a third culture. Testing this generally held belief empirically, characteristics of a group of British expatriate adolescents in Hong Kong were compared with those of local Hong Kong adolescents and local British adolescents residing in Britain. Controlling for the effects of age and gender, results showed that the British expatriate adolescents had distinct characteristics in terms of their perceptions of being international as well as their international mobility preferences and consequences. These findings support the claims and anecdotal evidence of the development of third‐cultureness. The potentially far‐reaching implications of these results for globalizing firms are discussed at length.

Journal

Personnel ReviewEmerald Publishing

Published: Aug 1, 2004

Keywords: International business; World economy; Human resourcing; Adolescents; Expatriates; National cultures

References