Academic journal article International Journal of Entrepreneurship

An Examination of the Stress Experienced by Entrepreneurial Expatriate Health Care Professionals Working in Benin, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Niger, Nigeria, Paraguay, South Africa and Zambia

Academic journal article International Journal of Entrepreneurship

An Examination of the Stress Experienced by Entrepreneurial Expatriate Health Care Professionals Working in Benin, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Niger, Nigeria, Paraguay, South Africa and Zambia

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

Although numerous studies have examined the outcomes of stress and personal adjustment, relatively little research has examined the most commonly used measures of stress--especially in regards to expatriates. Using a sample of 268 expatriates/business partners who were working in Benin, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Niger, Nigeria, Paraguay, South Africa, and Zambia, we examine the validity of Dick's (1999, 2000) measure of international stress. Our factor analysis results suggest that there are ten rather than eight dimensions of international stress--with two of his dimensions each splitting into two dimensions. In light of the newness of Dick's scale as well as the lack of cross-cultural stress research, we suggest several areas for future research.

It is estimated that direct annual costs of stress and maladjustment of expatriates to U.S. multinationals is over $2 billion (Morris & Robie, 2001) while stress itself costs American businesses over $300 billion per year (APA, 1997). The UK reports that stress costs their economy many times more the costs of strikes and is equal to the annual industry losses due to theft, or about $8 billion a year (UKNWSN, 2002). The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has declared stress a workplace hazard (APA, 1997; UKNWSN, 2002). Given the serious economic and personal costs of stress, there has been a great amount of research on the causes and outcomes of stress (e.g., Antoniou, Davidson, and Cooper, 2003; Griffeth, Hom, and Gaertner, 2000; Sullivan and Bhagat, 1992; Taylor, Klein, Lewis, Gruenewald, Gurung, and Updegraff, 2000) especially in terms of the impact of life events on stress levels. Numerous studies (e.g., Hardie, 1997; London, 1997; Mainiero and Gibson, 2003) suggest that stressful life events can cause physical and psychological illnesses and decreased employee performance. A life event is considered stressful if "it causes changes in, and demands readjustment of, an average person's normal routine" (Kobasa, 1979, p.2).

Many types of work related events, including changes in the balance of work/family roles (Sullivan, 1992; Walls, Capella, and Greene, 2001), the transition from school to work (Crowson, Wong, and Aypay, 2000), taking a new job (London, 1997; Nelson and Sutton, 1990), discrimination, stereotyping and social isolation (Price, 2000; Shaffer, Joplin, Bell, Lau, and Oguz, 2000), job changes (Shaffera, Harrison, Gilley, and Luka, 2001), career plateaus (Duffy, 2000; Lemire, Saba, and Gagnon, 1999), job loss (Leonard-Wilkerson, 2001; London, 1997) job insecurity (Smithson and Lewis, 2000) and retirement (Budros, 2001; Potts, 2001) have been examined as stressful life events. Although many studies have been completed on stress, relatively little research has examined the most commonly used measures of stressful life events or on the measurement of the stress and adjustment of expatriates.

The purpose of this paper is to investigate Dick's (1999, 2000) measure of international stress, specifically by examining the validity of the measure with professionals in a multinational entrepreneurial organization. In the next section, we briefly review the research on the measurement of stressful life events. Next, we examine Dick's measure of international stress using a sample of 268 expatriates working in 10 countries in Africa and South America. Finally, we discuss the implications of our results for future cross-cultural research on stress.

MEASURES OF STRESSFUL LIFE EVENTS

Most of the research on stressful life events has used The Schedule of Recent Life Experiences, (Holmes and Rahe, 1967) or The Social Readjustment Rating Scale (Rahe, Lundberg, Theorell and Bennett, 1971) to determine the total amount of life stress an individual is experiencing (Miller and Rahe, 1997; Scully, Tosi, and Banning, 2000). The Schedule of Recent Life Experiences is a 43-item instrument that lists positive (e. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.