Title page for ETD etd-11102008-125659

Document Type Doctoral Thesis
Author Van Aswegen, Marius
Email expat@mvanaswegen.co.za
URN etd-11102008-125659
Document Title The establishment of an adjustment model for expatriates
Degree DCom
Department Human Resource Management
Advisor Name Title
Prof J J de Beer Supervisor
  • personality
  • organisational climate
  • expatriates
Date 2008-09-04
Availability unrestricted

The purpose of the study was to determine whether relationships exist between expatriatesí levels of emotional health, personality, and their perception of the organisational climate while on international assignment, and to present the outcome of the study as a model. An experimental group (consisting of 82 expatriates) and a control group (consisting of 42 managers employed in South Africa) were assessed with the Sense of Coherence and Hardiness Scales (as indicators of their levels of emotional health), the Organisational Climate Questionnaire, and the Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire. These assessments were conducted on the two groups in three phases, i.e. prior to the experimental groupís departure on assignment, after spending six months on assignment, and on their return to South Africa after completing their assignments.

The results indicate that meaningful and significant relationships exist among a significant number of the factors investigated in the study, and which explains the expatriateís levels of emotional health while under pressure on assignment in the foreign country. Some of the factors were also identified as important indicators of characteristics required for successful expatriation.

The empirical expatriate emotional adjustment model that is proposed in this study is viewed as a potential instrument that can be utilised by human resource practitioners and line managers to manage their international workforce within the framework of scientifically based processes and principles.

© University of Pretoria 2008

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