The influence of socialization tactics on expatriate adaptation and turnover intentions : a study of contemporary expatriate workers in Hong Kong

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The influence of socialization tactics on expatriate adaptation and turnover intentions : a study of contemporary expatriate workers in Hong Kong

 

Author: Fu, Ka-mun Carmen
Title: The influence of socialization tactics on expatriate adaptation and turnover intentions : a study of contemporary expatriate workers in Hong Kong
Degree: D.B.A.
Year: 2003
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Teachers, Foreign -- China -- Hong Kong
Labor turnover
Organizational sociology
Department: Graduate School of Business
Pages: x, 205 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b1737666
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/2738
Abstract: With the growing importance of "self-initiated foreign work experience" (SFE), "boundaryless" careers are becoming the pattern for international workers. To understand this new breed of expatriates, teachers under the Native-speaking English Teacher (NET) Scheme of the Education and Manpower Bureau of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) were chosen as the target for this study. The HKSAR Government has placed great emphasis on native English teaching. It is hence envisaged that the demand for NETs will continue to rise in the coming years. However, the turnover rate of NETs has been a concern for educators and general public since the Scheme's implementation. The purpose of this study hence is to examine the turnover intentions of the NETs from proactive individual and organizational socialization perspectives. The objectives of the study are fourfold: (1) to take an integrated approach and assess the effects of both organizational and proactive socialization tactics on expatriate adaptation; (2) to develop and test a model of NETs' intentions to quit their assignments; (3) to unravel any adjustment problems encountered by the NETs; and (4) to discuss the implications of these results for human resources practitioners and for the NET Scheme administrators. A hypothesis-testing field study was adopted to test the proposed model empirically. A longitudinal and multi-source design approach was conducted. Data were collected at two points in time - in the beginning of the school term 2002/2003 and four months after the school term started. The measures used in this study were mainly from previous research with reliabilities already well established. Questionnaires were sent to 561 NETs at Time 1, 207 NETs and their principals at Time 2, and the response rates were 37.6%, 70% and 63%, respectively. The results of the study partially supported the importance of organizational and proactive socialization tactics on facets of adjustment and social embeddedness. Results showed that among the proactive socialization tactics, general socializing was the prime predictor of both facets of adjustment and social embeddedness. Congruent with past research, job satisfaction was a negative and significant predictor of intention to quit but contrary to past research, affective commitment and normative commitment failed to demonstrate any significant relationship with intention to quit in the regression analyses. The results hence suggested that organizational commitment seems to play a less imperative role for this new generation of expatriate workers. Though limited support was found for the mediating role of facets of adjustment and social embeddedness, the study gives a new impetus to the study of expatriate's intentions to leave. This research enriched the existing reservoir of expatriate as well as organizational socialization literatures by providing an initial study on an integrated approach of organizational and proactive socialization tactics. The study also draws the awareness of academics as well as human resources practitioners on the new generation of SFE workers, which are expected to have significant implications for human resources strategies. Methodogically, the broadened view of expatriate adaptation to include facets of adjustment and social embeddedness offers a more comprehensive approach to assess expatriate adaptation. Last but not least, this study has significant practical value to human resources professionals and in particular the NET Scheme administrators of the HKSAR Government.

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