Overview and details of the sessions of this conference. Please select a date or location to show only sessions at that day or location. Please select a single session for detailed view (with abstracts and downloads if available).
Session Chair: Ivar Padrón-Hernández, Hitotsubashi University, Japan
Track 11: People Management Across Borders, Global Leadership, and International Teams
Identities under threat: Identity work of skilled migrants in Japan-based multinational corporations
J. Xie, V. Peltokorpi
Hiroshima University, Japan
While increasingly valuable resources, relatively little is known about skilled migrants’ identity threats and work in organizations. We use the identity work perspective and interviews with 163 skilled migrants in Japan-based MNCs to examine how and why use identity work to respond to identity threats. Our analysis shows that migrants responded to identity threats in terms of value conflict, cultural homogeneity, and stigmatization by protective identity work (i.e., detaching, differentiating, distancing, disengaging) and adaptive identity work (i.e., shifting, revising, extending, suppressing). This study contributes to IB research by specific types of migrants’ identity threats and identity work in MNCs.
Success as a learning journey: how the characteristics of expatriates’ jobs influence the career capital of different types of expatriates.
University of Vaasa, Finland
Taking into consideration career capital development abroad (CC-development) as a successful career outcome, the present study investigates whether the job characteristics of expatriates’ jobs, expatriate type and job market type influence the perceived CC-development of expatriates five years after the first survey. The study presents findings from a 2020 follow-up study among 327 expatriates, including assigned expatriates and self-initiated expatriates, who worked abroad in 2015 and 2016. 186 had continued their international career while 141 had repatriated. A structural equation modelling (SEM) with robust maximum likelihood (MLR) estimation was used to test the hypotheses. In this analyse, the MPlus 8.6 software was used. The results provided evidence that the Job Characteristics Model is indeed connected to CC-development abroad through experienced meaningfulness of the work (skills variety, task identity, task significance), while the experienced responsibility for the outcomes of the work (autonomy) and knowledge of the results of the work activities (feedback) was not relevant. Second, the expatriate type did not influence CC development. Finally, repatriates perceived a lower degree of CC-development abroad than expatriates continuing in international job markets.
“An expatriate walks into a bar in Japan…”: Talk about humor as a lens to understand the experiential development of intercultural competence among globally mobile individuals
M. J. Lehtonen1, A. Koveshnikov2
1Rikkyo University College of Business, Japan; 2Aalto University School of Business, Finland
Building on the idea that for expatriates to be communicatively effective in international settings host country language proficiency is not the only and often not the most important factor, in this paper, we examine expatriates’ talk about humor as a lens to understand the experiential development of their intercultural competence. Drawing on our analysis of 42 interviews with Nordic expatriates living and working in Tokyo, Japan, we identify four functions of humor as used by expatriates ranging from more basic coping and disarming and to more advanced mingling and shaping their social environment. We also develop a model explaining the advancement of expatriates’ intercultural competence as experiential learning from their engagement with the sociocultural environment of the host country through the social practice of humor.
Reactions of self-initiated and organizational expatriates to sudden and prolonged external threat
Hitotsubashi University, Japan
How do different types of expatriates react to immediate disaster risk? This study seeks to acknowledge expatriate diversity by mapping reactions while paying special - albeit not blind - attention to expatriate type. I interviewed 12 expatriates in the Tokyo area one year after the 2011 Tohoku disasters. While the earthquake and tsunami caused regional destruction and there was immense uncertainty regarding how the nuclear meltdown would develop, Tokyo remained largely unscathed. Thus, my sample is suitable to study reactions to sudden and prolonged external threat. Analyzing their behavior through the lenses of expatriate type, cross-cultural adjustment and social attachment theory, I unpack the different push-and-pull factors that determine evacuation decisions. Reactions and responses were highly varied, ranging from business as usual to overseas evacuation. Findings indicate that expatriates relate to a variety of stakeholders when responding to increased levels of external threat and making evacuation decisions. For well-adjusted expatriates, these stakeholder maps grow in complexity and importance to the expatriate, reducing the likelihood of evacuation. The study contributes to a nuanced view of different expatriate types and sheds light on the fairly common occurence of heightened but unrealized threat.