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Social capital and cultural adjustment of international assignees in NGOs: Do support networks really matter?

Claus, Lisbeth; Maletz, Sophia; Casoinic, D.; Pierson, Kawika


Lisbeth Claus

Sophia Maletz

D. Casoinic

Kawika Pierson


International assignees face cultural adjustment challenges in their host countries in work and nonwork situations. At the same time, social capital theory suggests that individuals can access and mobilize resources from their social networks. We explore the use of social networks by international assignees from a non-governmental organization in their cross-cultural adjustment to the host country. Specifically, we are interested in the individuals who directly provided support to the expatriate, a network that we term the ‘current assignment support network’. We focus on the size, type and frequency of contact of the international assignee's support network, and investigate to what extent these variables can predict overall cultural adjustment to the host country, or separate dimensions of cultural adjustment such as interaction adjustment, general adjustment and work adjustment. Our findings indicate that certain characteristics of the international assignee's current assignment support network do impact their cultural adjustment to the host country, but that the effects are moderated by whether the assignee has prior international experience.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 28, 2014
Online Publication Date Jan 28, 2015
Publication Date Oct 28, 2015
Deposit Date Jan 27, 2022
Print ISSN 0958-5192
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 26
Issue 20
Pages 2523-2542
Keywords cultural adjustment; international assignment; NGOs; social capital; support networks
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