The theory of met expectations applied to expatriate adjustment: The role of cross-cultural training

Paula Caligiuri, Jean Phillips, Mila Lazarova, Ibraiz Tarique, Peter Bürgi

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232 Scopus citations


This study will test two hypotheses to determine whether the formation of expectations (prior to the global assignment) affects expatriates' adjustment. This study utilized a sample of seventy-three expatriates who completed questionnaires approximately ten months after arriving in their host countries. All the expatriates had pre-departure cross-cultural training, but the training varied in perceived relevance. The expatriates were assigned either to countries where their native language was spoken (e.g. Americans in the UK) or to countries where their native language was not spoken (e.g. Americans in France). The results of the mediated regression analysis suggest that the more tailored and relevant the pre-departure cross-cultural training, the more expectations were either met or positively exceeded. Analyses suggest that both cross-cultural training and the language spoken in the host country affect the accuracy of expatriates' expectations prior to the assignment - and that having accurate expectations, in turn, positively affects cross-cultural adjustment. The results from this study encourage organizations to develop programmes that will ensure their expatriates have realistic expectations prior to their global assignments (e.g. through tailored cross-cultural training).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)357-372
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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