Acculturation and overseas assignments: a review and research agenda
International Journal of Intercultural Relations
239 - 250
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This review analyzes two streams of literature that are exploring a similar phenomenon from separate perspectives and only recently have they began to overlap; that of migrant acculturation (from the psychology, sociology and anthropology research) and international assignee adjustment (from the international business research stream). We conducted a multiple correspondence analysis on a sample of 389 articles to provide the intellectual structure of the research in these fields. Our research indicates that: (1) the standard 2 × 2 matrix of acculturation is insufficient; (2) most past research focuses on USA to other countries and vice versa, suggesting there is much work left to explore other pairs of cultures (“there and back again” is not the same globally); (3) as global organizations are dominating the marketplace with many various staffing forms, variables such as corporate culture and management interaction will need to be incorporated; (4) research needs to include dynamics over time as many individuals who have worked outside of their home country often become multi-cultural with a global mindset and the typical acculturation framework is insufficient; (5) past acculturation research focuses on the work or the sociocultural context separately, while both need to be included; (6) and the extended family (parents, relatives, close friends, etc.) need to be considered.