Research Handbook of Expatriates
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Research Handbook of Expatriates

Edited by Yvonne McNulty and Jan Selmer

The Research Handbook of Expatriates is a comprehensive and carefully designed collection of contributions that provides a nuanced discussion of expatriates and important insights into emerging areas of research. The first of its kind, the Research Handbook includes detailed examinations of the various types of business expatriates including LGBT, self-initiated expatriates, female assignees, and inpatriates, as well as expatriates in diverse communities such as education, military, missionary, sports and ‘Aidland’. Other themes include expatriate performance, adjustment, expatriates to and from developing countries, global talent management, and expatriates’ safety and security. With solid theoretical foundations and essays from the most distinguished academics in the field, the Research Handbook is a ground-breaking must-read for scholars and consultants in the field of expatriation, international management, global HR and business administration.
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Chapter 23: Biculturals, monoculturals and Adult Third Culture Kids: individual differences in identities and outcomes

Kathrin J. Hanek

Abstract

This chapter reviews literatures on different groups of individuals –Adult Third Culture Kids (ATCKs), monoculturals, and biculturals – in the context of working globally. As people work in and are exposed to new cultures in an increasingly global world, individual differences emerge in the ways in which these experiences become incorporated into the person – from belonging to and identifying with no culture, identifying with one culture, or identifying with two or more cultures. Drawing from psychological research and empirical work in the management literatures, this chapter first provides an overview of the complexities around defining identity in a global context among these groups. Individual differences in identity patterns and identity management strategies, in turn, have been linked to divergent outcomes. Focusing here on outcomes related to adjustment broadly defined, this chapter highlights in particular cultural adaptation as well as interpersonal relationships and behavioural (creativity and decision-making) consequences relevant in a global work context. Mediating the relationship between identity and these consequences, this chapter discusses the role of cognitive mechanisms identified in the literatures. This chapter thus aims to integrate findings across various literatures on these different groups of individuals to present an identity–processes–adjustment framework for understanding how individual differences in identity patterns and identity management strategies produce different adjustment outcomes in the context of working globally. Using this framework, this chapter lastly discusses practical implications, such as expatriate training to prepare various types of individuals for overseas assignments, and provide some future directions for the field.

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