The Interactions Between Cultural Intelligence, Job Burnout, and Task Performance of Expatriates

The Interactions Between Cultural Intelligence, Job Burnout, and Task Performance of Expatriates

Çağlar Doğru (Ufuk University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-6980-0.ch002
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In this chapter, cultural intelligence, one of the most crucial capabilities of employees for overcoming the cultural obstacles of different countries, is figured out in depth. This is attained by checking out the relationships between cultural intelligence, job burnout and task performance of expatriates who are employees sent by their company to a host country for a period. Since expatriates are the employees who face actual barriers in adapting and living in different cultures, a quantitative research was conducted among 156 expatriates working at the marketing department of different multinational companies, operating in Turkey. According to the results, expatriates with high cultural intelligence face burnout less at the workplace. Moreover, task performance of these employees tends to increase because of their cultural intelligence. Consequently, with the help of this chapter, a paramount empirical study on cultural intelligence and its correlates is added to the literature.
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It is unquestionable that nowadays globalization gains more and more power than it did before. Every day companies search for new opportunities outside their origin country to maximize their profits. They search for new markets as well as penetrating in existing ones abroad. According to United States Bureau of Economic Analysis, US foreign direct investment raised from 1.32 to 6.01 trillion dollars in the period between 2000 and 2017. And sending employees for their operations abroad helped these types of companies to increase their foreign direct investments. From the human resources perspective, these employees who are sent by their parent companies to other countries in order to live and work at these host countries for a time period between two years and seven years, in general, are called as ‘expatriates’ (Caligiuri, 2000).

Throughout this process companies give emphasize on their expatriates’ adjustments to host countries. This is because when employees have difficulties in getting used to working at a host country, their job performance tends to deteriorate which in turn causes a decrease in organizational effectiveness (Liu and Shaffer, 2005). Besides there being many factors affecting an expatriate’s adjustment to a new country, at this point, cultural factors take the head. The rationale behind this is, expatriates’ facing these cultural factors firstly, and then learning and adjusting to them, since there are important differences from one country to another among the components of culture such as; values, attitudes, beliefs and norms (Van Vianen, De Pater, Kristof-Brown & Johnson, 2004).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Expatriate: Employees who live and work at host countries, generally for a time period between two and seven years.

Cultural Intelligence: The capability of understanding and interpreting cultural differences in order to adapt to a new culture.

Job Burnout: Losing mental and emotional debility to perform well, due to stressors faced at work.

Depersonalization: Behaving cynical and taking individuals around impersonal and acting like they are not exactly human beings.

Exhaustion: Feeling of lost energy and physical and psychological resources due to stress.

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