Edited by Yvonne McNulty and Jan Selmer
This chapter argues for a reassessment of how we conceive of and study expatriate adjustment. We provide an overview of the theories and models of adjustment that have informed our thinking and offer an alternative model encompassing the dimensions, domains and dynamics of adjustment. We put a particular emphasis on the discussion of the antecedents and consequences of adjustment and the challenges we face when studying these relationships. We trace some of the inconsistencies and gaps in our body of knowledge to a lack of replications, a lack of attention to context and a lack of acknowledgement of the true complexity of these relationships. With regard to the consequences of expatriate adjustment we address the meaning of success in expatriate assignments and from whose point of view is it should be assessed and over what time scale. We raise questions about the meaning of adjustment and its contribution to such success. We argue that the research on expatriate adjustment to date has significantly enhanced our understanding with benefits for expatriates and others involved in the process, but that we may now need to reassess our current state of knowledge and adopt different research strategies if we are to extend our knowledge further and offer clearer guidelines and support.
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