Academy of Entrepreneurship Journal (Print ISSN: 1087-9595; Online ISSN: 1528-2686)

Abstract

The Relationship between Expatriate Adjustment and Expatriate Job Performance at Multinational Corporations in Malaysia

Author(s): Noor Hafiza Zakariya,Abdul Kadir Othman,Zaini Abdullah,Shahmir Sivaraj Abdullah

The growth of management research on expatriates over the years has enabled a strong understanding of the field. However, the issue of expatriate job performance remains crucial and certainly requires further investigation. There has been extensive research conducted in developed countries but the same has not been done in the developing nations including Malaysia. However, in developed countries like Malaysia, the issue of expatriate job performance, especially in MNCs still gets less attention from researchers. Generally, expatriate job performance depends primarily on their adaptability and adjustment to host countries during the international assignment. In other words, once expatriates can adjust themselves to new cultures, norms and values of the host country, their job performance per se could also be affected. However, there is a lack of evidence to support this claim. Consequently, the current study examined the relationship between expatriate adjustment and expatriate job performance in multinational corporations in Malaysia. Based on a sample of 139 foreign expatriates residing and working in Malaysia, general adjustment was found to be positively significant to task performance whilst interaction adjustment was found to be negatively significant to task performance. Besides these findings it needs to be noted that factors such as interaction adjustment and work adjustment were found to be positively significant to the contextual performance of expatriates. Therefore, the findings of this study will expand the body of knowledge in the area of expatriate research especially within the context of international human resource and cross-cultural management. The practical implications of this study will be beneficial to human resource professionals, multinational organizations and the expatriating firms in highlighting the crucial aspects of expatriate adjustment to their host environment which inadvertently enhances expatriate job performance during their international assignment.