Multi-dimensional adjustment of Eurasian self-initiated expatriates in Korea

Erhan Atay, Serkan Bayraktaroglu, Yin Teng Elaine Chew

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Abstract

Purpose
This qualitative study has two aims. The first is to explore the cognitive, affective, and behavioural dimensions of Eurasian self-initiated expatriates’ (SIEs) work and non-work adjustments in Korea. The second is to understand how the Confucian-oriented Korean culture influences Eurasian SIEs' work and non-work domains, in particular their organisational practices and relations with locals.

Design/methodology/approach
This study was conducted through a qualitative analysis of interviews conducted with 27 Eurasian SIEs working in Korea. The interviews were conducted face-to-face with open-ended questions.

Findings
Eurasian SIEs in Korea express different cognitive, affective, and behavioural life and work adjustment processes that affect their future careers. A high level of language proficiency and knowledge of cultural and social expectations does not guarantee work and life adjustment success. Due to the heavy presence of Korean culture in work and living environments, SIEs face challenges in joining social and work networks and balancing work and life domains, which slows down adjustment. Results indicate that SIEs adjusted well regarding cognitive and behavioural dimensions in work and non-work domains. However, affective adjustment is difficult to achieve, even for SIEs who have lived in the country for many years, and many have the intention to leave if there were other options.

Originality/value
This study contributes to the literature by focussing on the multidimensionality of SIEs' work and life adjustments, with cognitive, affective, and behavioural components. SIEs have been in a complicated process of adaptation and integration for a long time. This study attempts to contribute to SIE literature by analysing the elements of Confucianism-oriented Korean culture and organisational practices prevalent in SIEs' multidimensional adjustment and career challenges.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-30
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Global Mobility
Volume12
Issue number1
Early online date19 Jul 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2024

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