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date: 17 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Failure to adapt is one of the most often cited reasons for the premature return of expatriate assignees. This chapter reviews and builds on research that suggests that the expatriate socialization process involves multiple stakeholders. We review the state of the expatriate socialization literature and introduce recent theoretical developments on the process of expatriate socialization by adopting the host country national’s (HCN) perspective, and propose that HCNs have a potentially important role as socializing agents for expatriates. Drawing on social identity and justice theories, we identify relevant social cognitions and organizational practice that influence HCN coworkers’ decision to play this role—providing social support and sharing information with expatriates. A broader definition of expatriate success that includes the outcomes of HCNs is also proposed. We conclude by highlighting new theoretical perspectives and research directions for developing our understanding of the expatriate socialization processes.

Keywords: expatriate socialization, information sharing, host country nationals, social identity theory, failure to adapt, procedural justice, multinational corporations, expatriates

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