Personal values as antecedents of the cross-cultural adaptation of expatriates Valores pessoais como antecedentes da adaptação transcultural de expatriados

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Revista de Administracao Mackenzie
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Von Borell De Araujo B.F.
Bilsky W.
De Oliveira Moreira L.M.C.
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© 2012 Mackenzie Presbyterian University. All rights reserved.The aim of this paper, based on a functionalist epistemological perspective, was to investigate the relationship between personal values and cross-cultural adaptation of expatriates. Although many researchers seek to relate individual characteristics of expatriates with cross-cultural adaptation, there is a lack of researches that have done so using the construct of human values, what characterizes the originality of this research. To this end, we carried out a study with Brazilian expatriates, employees of a subsidiary of a national company, located in a country in the Middle East. The approaches of Schwartz (1992) and Black, Mendenhall and Oddou (1991) were used as theoretical perspectives to the study of personal values and cross-cultural adaptation of expatriates, respectively. The final valid sample consisted of 221 expatriates who responded to the scales of cross-cultural adaptation of Black (1988) and personal values - PVQ-21 (ESS EDUNET, 2009). Confirmatory multidimensional scaling and structural equation modeling, with estimation by partial least squares (PLS), were used for data analysis. The results show that the pole of openness to change was positively correlated with the facets of general adjustment and interaction, and not correlated with adaptation to work. The pole of conservation showed no significant relationship with any of the facets of cross-cultural adaptation of expatriates. The results may point out personal values as antecedents of two dimensions of adaptation, which represents a important finding for the literature about the influence of individual characteristics of international assignees in their cross-cultural adaptation. As a limitation of the study, we pointed out the sample of expatriate Brazilians in a company of the same nationality, which may have influenced the occurrence of non-significant relationship between adaptation to work and openness to change. In practical terms, we suggested that companies use human values as an additional criterion in selection processes for international assignments.
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