Expatriate Development for Cross-Cultural Adjustment: Effects of Cultural Distance and Cultural Intelligence

Ying Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Citations (Scopus)


Important cultural differences create the need for expatriates who are culturally intelligent. This article presents and explores a framework of expatriates' cross-cultural adjustment to advance conceptual understanding and practical applications for cross-cultural approaches to the development of expatriates in multinational corporations and cross-border organizations. Drawing on a diversified literature pertinent to expatriation, cultural intelligence (CQ), and the effects of cultural distance (CD), it is argued that there will be a significant difference in business expatriates on reciprocal transfers in terms of the extent of their socio- and psycho-cultural adjustment, and that CD will moderate the relationship between CQ and expatriate adjustment, such that the relationship between CQ and adjustment is stronger when the direction of cultural flow is from a less authoritarian cultural context to a more authoritarian cultural environment. The proposed framework extends previous CQ and adjustment models and provides guidance for international HRD research on expatriate development, through integrating multiple processes to aid expatriates and HRD practitioners in training for better adjustment on overseas assignments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-199
Number of pages23
JournalHuman Resource Development Review
Issue number2
Early online date2012
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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