Report Number

2003-002

Abstract

It is often assumed that adjustment to the local working environment is essential for expatriate assignments. As such, it is surprising there is little empirical research identifying how skill, ability, and personality requirements might differ between expatriate and domestic jobs and how cultural values are related to expatriate behaviors. In a large sample of professionals (N = 1,312) working in comparable jobs in 156 different countries, we found higher social and perceptual skill requirements in expatriate jobs. In two sub-samples (n = 420 and 468), we found that expatriate jobs also have higher reasoning ability and adjustment and achievement orientation personality requirements than domestic jobs. We also found that expatriate behavioral requirements vary in theoretically meaningful ways with the host country's culture.

Date of this Version

2003

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