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You are required to to present a compensation article. This handout will give you a few guidelines to follow as you go. Choose a journal article that you are interested in. The following journals contain some articles that would be suitable. There are also
many others.

Evaluation. Your paper is marked on the following criteria: quality of content (choice of topic and sources, whether the review demonstrates understanding and the ability to link different sources and draw inferences), style (clarity of presentation, adherence to guidelines as outlined above), and thoughtfulness (independence and stringency of thoughts expressed, in particular, in the discussion of implications). 

Literature Review

In recent times, multinational companies are always on the verge of developing new foreign collaborations. However, in order to do so they require the help of individuals called expatriates capable of carrying out negotiations in foreign countries. These expatriates are sent to foreign locations in order to carry out the company’s objective of market globalization. The expatriates help to develop and control the company’s operations providing administrative as well as technical services in the foreign land (Selmer & Lauring, 2012).

Expatriate adjustment and performance are closely linked to each other. An expatriate with better cultural knowledge, emotional knowledge and experience in working abroad has a better chance of performing better (Lazarova & Thomas, 2012). This report reviews and summarizes the key points of the article “Effects of individual characteristics on expatriates’ adjustment and job performance”. Previous research has described the roles of several factors in the prediction of expatriate’s adjustment and performance. However, there were several factors, which were not described or defined in the literatures dealing with expatriate adjustment. This report describes in a very comprehensive manner the various factors that help in expatriate adjustment and subsequently job performance and quality.  

This report at first focuses on the various literatures describing the expatriate adjustment and its effects on job performance. Secondly, it describes the aims and objectives of the selected article. Thirdly, it describes the key points mentioned in the article. Lastly, it describes the implications of the factors described in this article on expatriate adjustment in UAE.

Expatriates generally help the multinational company in developing market relations in foreign countries. In the 21st century, the “China-phenomenon” can be described as an example of expatriate importance in the global market (Zhang, 2015). In order to develop skilled workers, increase worker competency, the Chinese companies hire workers from foreign countries. These skilled workers or expatriates are sent to foreign countries to carry out communications for business development. However, it also helps the expatriates to develop their global communication skills, which further enhances their performance in the future.

An expatriate is considered successful if the following objectives are met. These include their ability to complete the task on time, development and maintenance of good relations between the employees in the foreign land. These organizational expatriates (OEs) are assigned by the company itself to go to foreign location for proper management of the organization (Andresen, Bergdolt & Margenfeld,. 2012). Self initiated expatriates or SIEs on the other hand are individuals who are hired as individuals and are not relocated to foreign locations by an organization. SIEs are employed abroad on their own will and have a regular employment (Cerdin & Selmer, 2014).

Types of expatriates

Various factors determine the success of the expatriate in the foreign country. These factors include adaptation, personal attributes, cultural knowledge and family issues (Lee & Kartika, 2014).

The most important factor that determines the ability of expatriate to succeed in a foreign country is to adapt to the new country. Various obstacles that hit an expatriate include the socio-cultural adaptations like fluency in the foreign language, interaction with the natives, cultural knowledge, among others. Moreover, other obstacles include the cultural differences between the foreign and native countries, the ability to commit to the work, control the work and take challenges (Firth et al., 2014).

Various self attributes like the ability to design a career path, willingness to go to foreign lands and the level of orientation towards work at the international level also determines the success of an expatriate (Peltokorpi & Froese, 2012).

The success of expatriates depends on his/her ability to distinguish between the cultural orientations of the native and foreign country. Moreover, it also requires a degree of co-operation which enables them to develop a healthy relationship with the natives of the foreign country (Ramalu et al., 2012).

Various family related issues also play a role in the success or failure of an expatriate. These include consideration of their spouses and their desire either to work or not to work in foreign locations (Shaffer et al., 2012).

The inability of an expatriate to adjust and carry out the work on time results in huge financial losses not only for the company but also for the expatriate. Moreover, this results in frustration and lack of motivation to work in foreign locations. However, such problems can be solved with the help of proper training, management and assessments of individuals for selection as expatriates.

The main aim of this paper is to describe and highlight the important factors, which can affect the work of an expatriate, interaction and general adjustments and finally job performance. This paper tries to contribute additional points that would help increase expatriate knowledge and understanding.

In the past, researchers have explained the role of various factors in the success of an expatriate but lack of proper understanding of concepts and theories led to vagueness of these factors. There is a need to establish the proper roles of the factors.

The objectives of this paper involves explanation of the roles of various factors like personality traits of the expatriates, previous international exposure, self-efficacy or dependency, social network or cultural skills, expatriate adjustment and  job performance.

Factors affecting the success of expatriates

This article describes the individual factors that define an expatriate’s ability to succeed in developing business relations in a foreign country. Researchers have described the Big Five personality traits that determine the success of the expatriates. The five factors are extroversion, conscientiousness, agreeableness, openness or intellect and emotional stability (Awais Bhatti et al., 2014).

Extroversion involves the personality traits like talkativeness, energy and assertiveness of an individual. Various researchers have put forth their point of view about this personality trait. According to some, extroverts are less tense in a workplace with social activities while an introvert will feel more tensed to work and communicate in such an environment. Moreover, extroverts can also adjust to a new social environment. Moreover, extroverts with their energetic and assertive skills will help them to adjust with the natives of the foreign country. Moreover, extroverts with their talkative nature will be able to interact with the new individuals and the natives of the foreign country will feel free to interact with these expatriates. In addition extroverts can easily adjust themselves to a new culture and in the process can navigate their careers to higher positions using their assertive skills.

Conscientiousness refers to the personality traits like proper organizational skills and the ability to carry out thorough planning for future prospects. According to many researchers, conscientiousness enables the expatriates to enhance their job performance. Expatriates achieve conscientiousness if they are motivated in the workplace and carry out their tasks on a timely basis without regard of personal issues. Motivated expatriates can carry out additional roles, which enable them to establish interpersonal relationships with the other individuals in the work environment, which will subsequently enhance their performance. Their questioning skills will enable them to interact properly and enable them to develop a strong foothold in both the work place and the society in general. Expatriates need to have a good reputation, which will enable them to attain leadership roles and gain the chance of getting future promotions.

Ability to show kindness, sympathy and affection are the highlights of the personality trait agreeableness. These skills enable expatriates to nurture close bonds with the natives of the foreign country and in the process, it reduces the stress associated with work pressure. This trait helps the expatriates to develop alliances both inside and outside the workplace. This not only helps to enhance job performance but also enables them to maintain their social life as well. The ability of the expatriate to resolve issues in the workplace and development of mutual understanding helps to establish cross-cultural relations. Expatriates who are flexible to the changes in the surroundings can adjust better at the workplace as well as in the society. This finally results in enhanced job performance.


It highlights the personality traits like having interest in varied subjects, having a creative mind or imagination and intellectual ability. The ability of the expatriates to perceive the social, cultural and workplace differences can enable them to solve issues thereby enhancing their survival. Proper assessment of the surroundings enables the expatriates to preserve themselves in both the workplace and society. The expatriate’s openness towards new cultures, beliefs and work environments enable them to hold a positive attitude towards the new environment. This in turn enables them to enhance their job performance and succeed in life. Moreover, a good imagination and creative skills enable the expatriates to show high productivity in the workplace (Wilson, Ward & Fischer, 2013).

Emotional stability or neuroticism involves personality traits like being moody, anxious and tensed. Neuroticism is associated with a foreign environment. It enables expatriates to adjust in the host or foreign country and to interact with their peers.  Emotional stability or neuroticism enables them to solve problematic situations and adjust to cultural and workplace differences. This helps them to determine the cultural differences between their country and the host country, resulting in successful adjustment and establishment of relationships, enhancing job performance, among others. Emotional stability helps the expatriates to be confident and positive, thereby helping them to deal with various unpleasant experiences and subsequently enhancing job performance (Ren et al., 2015).

Previous experiences enable the expatriates to analyze their mistakes and imply the corrections in future planning. Experiences enable them to handle different critical situations and perform tasks in a better way. Previous experience in a workplace enables expatriates to develop new knowledge and skills, which help them to adjust and perform better in the new environment. Moreover, expatriates who have experienced cultural clashes in the past can adjust themselves in the new environment to get cultural acceptance (Crowne, 2013).

Self-efficacy or self-confidence determines the ability of the expatriate to work in an unknown setting and carry out assignments on time. Individuals with low self-efficacy show poor performing ability, are frequently absent and look for other jobs. On the contrary, individuals with high self-efficacy can perform better and are committed to their jobs.  Individuals with high self-efficacy show problem solving skills, can initiate tasks and achieve tasks in the face of problems (Rehg, Gundlach & Grigorian, 2012).

Cultural sensitivity enables the individuals to have a positive attitude towards cultural differences and as a result establish better relations with the host country, further improving job performance. Social network refers to the social relations that an individual develops through interactions. Social network may also include the alliance of the expatriates with the host country nationals. This enables them to gain additional information and access to culture, working styles, food and behaviour. They can get information beforehand about their job and the working conditions in the new environment. This will subsequently enable them to establish working relations and enhance job performance. It will also enable them to gain social support from the foreign nationals (Rienties & Nolan, 2014).

Personal attributes

Various researchers have defined expatriate adjustment in different ways. One definition of adjustment is subjective well being which includes the feelings of the expatriate towards their work environment. Another definition involves acceptance of socio-cultural changes for better interaction with host nationals. Lastly, adjustment can be defined as a discomfort of the expatriates at the psychological level involving work, interaction and general adjustments. Work adjustment refers to the comfort level in the workplace, general adjustments include the adaptations to new food, language, transportation; while interaction adjustment refers to the ability of the expatriates to successfully interact with the foreign nationals (Malek & Budhwar, 2013).

Job performance refers to the motivation and commitment that an expatriate shows towards the job. Various factors influence job performance. These are orientation towards goals, self-efficacy and monitoring, task orientation, cultural sensitivity, ability to perform challenging tasks and previous international experiences (Bhatti, Sundram & Hoe, 2012).

The economy of the United Arab Emirates or UAE is predominantly dominated by oil but other business ventures have also developed to further enhance the economy of the nation. These include businesses like the automobile, fashion, entertainment, ecommerce, education, among others. In order to develop businesses in UAE, foreign companies often send expatriates to develop and co-ordinate their business. However, the expatriates face a number of problems during their stay in UAE. These include loneliness, inability to accustom to social or cultural settings, relationship problems, healthcare problems, among others. Loneliness is the major issue faced by the expatriates in the UAE (Alnajjar, 2017). People without good communication skills cannot interact with the people in the host country and as a result are unable to develop new social relations. As a result, they feel homesick and this affects their job performance. However, the expatriate’s ability to interact with the natives and establish a good working relationship with them will enable their eventual success in the workplace as well as in their social life. Knowledge of the native language and culture are also essential to develop social relations. Moreover, the expatriates also face cultural clashes which prevent them to establish a working and social relationship with the host nationals. As a result, they feel isolated, thereby affecting their performance. Moreover, the treatment of women although has improved but still it is very different from that in the western countries (Montagne107, 2014).

Other problems include relationship problems and healthcare problems. Individuals moving in with their families in the UAE often suffer from maintaining their relationships and as a result, problems creep out subsequently affecting their job performance. However, openness to a particular social or cultural custom and practices may enable the expatriates to lead a problem free life without any personal stress overshadowing their job performance. Additionally, the healthcare system is very advanced in the UAE but one has to have health insurance in order to avail the private healthcare facilities. Thus, it is better to gain information about the country before travelling. Moreover, here also previous experiences of the expatriate of staying in UAE comes in hand as social networks established during earlier stays enable them to prepare thoroughly before travel.

Cultural knowledge


Development and expansion of business play an important role in the economy of the country. However, to spread business to foreign lands require the hiring of individuals who are experts in the field. These individuals go to the foreign countries on behalf of the company to manage and co-ordinate the business. These individuals are called expatriates. However, without certain characteristics, an expatriate is unable to survive in foreign lands. These characteristics apply to the expatriates in any country and enable them to gain reputation and enhance their performance. The personality traits of the expatriates play an important role in developing social relations with the host country. They also help to enhance the stature and the reputation of the expatriates among their peers. However, other factors include the ability of the expatriate to be broad minded and adapt to the cultural practices of the country without going into cultural clashes. Moreover, the previous experiences of the expatriate also help in adapting to the new work environment. Self-confidence and proper interaction skills help the expatriates to properly plan and organize their work, thereby enabling them to complete the work on time. Apart from these, creative skills also play an important role in enabling the expatriate to gain a good reputation as well as support from the workplace. This in the end gives motivation and helps the expatriates to gain promotion in the future. Thus, one can conclude that expatriates all around the world face a number of social and professional issues. However, the ability of the expatriates to tackle these problems and their managerial skills may enable them to succeed in their future business ventures. 

Reference List


Andresen, M., Bergdolt, F., & Margenfeld, J. (2012). What distinguishes self-initiated expatriates from assigned expatriates and migrants. Self-initiated expatriation: Individual, organizational and national perspectives, 166-194.

Awais Bhatti, M., Mohamed Battour, M., Rageh Ismail, A., & Pandiyan Sundram, V. (2014). Effects of personality traits (big five) on expatriates adjustment and job performance. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, 33(1), 73-96.

Bhatti, M. A., Sundram, V. P. K., & Hoe, C. H. (2012). Expatriate job performance and adjustment: Role of individual and organizational factors. Journal of Business & Management, 1(1), 29-39.

Cerdin, J. L., & Selmer, J. (2014). Who is a self-initiated expatriate? Towards conceptual clarity of a common notion. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 25(9), 1281-1301.

Crowne, K. A. (2013). Cultural exposure, emotional intelligence, and cultural intelligence: An exploratory study. International Journal of Cross Cultural Management, 13(1), 5-22.

Firth, B. M., Chen, G., Kirkman, B. L., & Kim, K. (2014). Newcomers abroad: Expatriate adaptation during early phases of international assignments. Academy of Management Journal, 57(1), 280-300.

Lazarova, M. B., & Thomas, D. C. (2012). 14 Expatriate adjustment and performance. Handbook of research in international human resource management, 271.

Lee, L. Y., & Kartika, N. (2014). The influence of individual, family, and social capital factors on expatriate adjustment and performance: The moderating effect of psychology contract and organizational support. Expert Systems with Applications, 41(11), 5483-5494.

Malek, M. A., & Budhwar, P. (2013). Cultural intelligence as a predictor of expatriate adjustment and performance in Malaysia. Journal of world business, 48(2), 222-231.

Montagne107, C. (2014). Voices of expatriate and bus user women in Abu Dhabi (UAE). Constraints and detour strategies.

Peltokorpi, V., & Froese, F. J. (2012). The impact of expatriate personality traits on cross-cultural adjustment: A study with expatriates in Japan. International Business Review, 21(4), 734-746.

Ramalu, S. S., Rose, R. C., Uli, J., & Kumar, N. (2012). Cultural intelligence and expatriate performance in global assignment: The mediating role of adjustment. International Journal of Business and Society, 13(1), 19.

Rehg, M. T., Gundlach, M. J., & Grigorian, R. A. (2012). Examining the influence of cross-cultural training on cultural intelligence and specific self-efficacy. Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, 19(2), 215-232.

Ren, H., Yunlu, D. G., Shaffer, M., & Fodchuk, K. M. (2015). Expatriate success and thriving: The influence of job deprivation and emotional stability. Journal of World Business, 50(1), 69-78.

Rienties, B., & Nolan, E. M. (2014). Understanding friendship and learning networks of international and host students using longitudinal Social Network Analysis. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 41, 165-180.

Selmer, J., & Lauring, J. (2012). Reasons to expatriate and work outcomes of self-initiated expatriates. Personnel Review, 41(5), 665-684.

Shaffer, M. A., Kraimer, M. L., Chen, Y. P., & Bolino, M. C. (2012). Choices, challenges, and career consequences of global work experiences: A review and future agenda. Journal of Management, 38(4), 1282-1327.

Wilson, J., Ward, C., & Fischer, R. (2013). Beyond culture learning theory: What can personality tell us about cultural competence?. Journal of cross-cultural psychology, 44(6), 900-927.

Zhang, L. E. (2015). On Becoming Bicultural: Language Competence, Acculturation and Cross-cultural Adjustment of Expatriates in China.

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