The impact of host country language skills on expatriate adjustment and the expatriate-local relationship

Ling Eleanor Zhang, Anne-Wil Harzing, Shea Xuejiao Fan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Following the theme of Chap. 3 on the importance of host country language, here, we further explore how expatriates’ host country language skills influence how they adjust to the local environment, both in the workplace and in their out-of-work space. Based on fine-grained interviews with both expatriates and their local colleagues, we examine this aspect of expatriates’ lives from three perspectives: expatriates’ interaction with locals at/outside work, the support expatriates can receive from locals at/outside work and the social networks expatriates can develop at/outside work. We also present three different types of relationships that expatriates can develop with their local colleagues, dependent on their willingness and ability to speak the host country language: harmonious, distant and segregated.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationManaging Expatriates in China: A Language and Identity Perspective
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherPalgrave
Pages91-119
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017

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    Zhang, L. E., Harzing, A-W., & Fan, S. X. (2017). The impact of host country language skills on expatriate adjustment and the expatriate-local relationship. In Managing Expatriates in China: A Language and Identity Perspective (pp. 91-119). Palgrave. https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-137-48909-8_4