The effect of English competence, intercultural business communication competence, and organizational support for communication on Chinese expatriates' adjustment to overseas assignments

英語能力, 跨文化商務溝通能力和組織溝通支持對中國企業中方雇員國際派遣的影響

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

View graph of relations

Author(s)

  • Xiaofei XU

Related Research Unit(s)

Detail(s)

Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Advisors
Award date4 Oct 2010

Abstract

With the emergence of Chinese multinationals, a large population of Chinese expatriates works overseas. However, little research has been conducted to investigate Chinese expatriates' adjustment to overseas assignments. To guide this current research, four research questions are put forward: (1) In what dimensions do Chinese expatriates adjust to their overseas assignments? (2) How does English competence impact on Chinese expatriates' adjustment? (3) How does intercultural business communication competence affect Chinese expatriates' adjustment? (4) How does organizational support for communication affect Chinese expatriates' adjustment? Drawing on prior studies in the areas of linguistics, communication, and business, this research proposes a theoretical framework and generates four sets of hypotheses. It is hypothesized that job satisfaction, stress management, interaction with headquarters, and relationships with locals are all positively correlated with Chinese expatriates' adjustment. English competence is hypothesized to be positively correlated with Chinese expatriates' adjustment. Likewise, intercultural business communication competence and organizational support for communication are hypothesized to facilitate Chinese expatriates' adjustment. A Chinese multinational in the information technology industry was selected for a case study in this research. Both quantitative and qualitative research methods were adopted. The quantitative data were mainly collected through a survey of 297 Chinese expatriates from the subject company. Meanwhile, a small-scale questionnaire was developed and a survey was conducted with 68 non-Chinese staff from 16 different countries. The local staff's feedback was used to cross-check some of the findings from the survey of Chinese expatriate. The quantitative data were analyzed with Pearson Correlation Coefficient and MANOVA. The qualitative data obtained from review of documents, in-depth interviews, and field observations were analyzed with MAXQDA to supplement quantitative findings. The findings show that job satisfaction, stress management, interaction with headquarters, and relationships with locals were all correlated with expatriate adjustment. English competence was found to enhance Chinese expatriates' adjustment, whereas intercultural business communication competence was partially positively correlated with adjustment. The hypothesized positive correlation between organizational support for communication and adjustment was partially supported. Finally, limitations in the research are discussed and future research is recommended.

    Research areas

  • Business English, Foreign countries, Foreign language competency, Chinese, Management, Business communication, English language, Corporations, Chinese, Intercultural communication, Businesspeople