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Regular version of the site

Article

A Model of the Dark Side of Expatriate-Host Country National Relationships

Journal of Global Mobility. 2019. Vol. 7. No. 2. P. 137-156.
Ljubica J., Shaffer M., Tin S., McKouen K.
Editor of translation: B. Bader, T. Schuster, A. K. Bader, M. Shaffer.

Purpose: The purpose of this article is to discover and explain the dark side of expatriate-HCN relationships by determining what, how and why causes their inability to develop quality relationships with each other and with what consequences.

Design & Methodology: To address the purpose we conducted semi-structured interviews (N=30) with both expatriates and HCNs, focusing on disruptive relationship behaviors they exhibit towards each other, factors preceding them (antecedents), mechanisms through which they affect them and the consequences thereof.

Findings: Our findings show that relational dysfunction emanates from multilevel differences between expatriates and HCNs, inducing workplace conflicts. These conflicts increase relational (emotional, social, instrumental and opportunity) costs that render both dyadic groups to evaluate their relationship and socially categorize each other negatively, thus, detaching from the relationship. This detachment then induces disruptive relational behaviors that amplify the stated conflicts and detachment dynamics, ultimately resulting in relational breakdown.

Research limitations / implications: This study possesses methodological (data collection, analysis) and conceptual (high degree of comprehensiveness) limitations. However, these deliver implications for further research as they open a multitude of promising research avenues that could polish our model.

Originality/Value: This is the first study we are aware of that focuses on discovering and explaining the entire nomological network of the dark side of expatriate-HCN relationships phenomenon and that uses the Interdependence Theory in cross-cultural relational settings. As such, it is the pioneering work that delivers theoretical and empirical contributions and fosters further research efforts.

Keywords: Expatriates, HCNs, Relationships, Dark Side

Paper type: Research Paper

Purpose: The purpose of this article is to discover and explain the dark side of expatriate-HCN relationships by determining what, how and why causes their inability to develop quality relationships with each other and with what consequences.

Design & Methodology: To address the purpose we conducted semi-structured interviews (N=30) with both expatriates and HCNs, focusing on disruptive relationship behaviors they exhibit towards each other, factors preceding them (antecedents), mechanisms through which they affect them and the consequences thereof.

Findings: Our findings show that relational dysfunction emanates from multilevel differences between expatriates and HCNs, inducing workplace conflicts. These conflicts increase relational (emotional, social, instrumental and opportunity) costs that render both dyadic groups to evaluate their relationship and socially categorize each other negatively, thus, detaching from the relationship. This detachment then induces disruptive relational behaviors that amplify the stated conflicts and detachment dynamics, ultimately resulting in relational breakdown.

Research limitations / implications: This study possesses methodological (data collection, analysis) and conceptual (high degree of comprehensiveness) limitations. However, these deliver implications for further research as they open a multitude of promising research avenues that could polish our model.

Originality/Value: This is the first study we are aware of that focuses on discovering and explaining the entire nomological network of the dark side of expatriate-HCN relationships phenomenon and that uses the Interdependence Theory in cross-cultural relational settings. As such, it is the pioneering work that delivers theoretical and empirical contributions and fosters further research efforts.