Academic journal article Global Business and Management Research: An International Journal

Emotional Intelligence and Expatriate Job Performance in the ICT Sector: The Mediating Role of Cultural Adjustment

Academic journal article Global Business and Management Research: An International Journal

Emotional Intelligence and Expatriate Job Performance in the ICT Sector: The Mediating Role of Cultural Adjustment

Article excerpt

Introduction

From a strategic perspective, optimizing the effectiveness and performance of international assignees is a significant HR activity for most multinational firms' (Caligiuri and Tarique, 2006). The implementation of global strategies depends on selecting the right people but global organizations are facing strategic challenges (Dewhurst, Harris, and Heywood, 2012). The essential component in creating such competitive advantage is the human capital that encompasses competencies and abilities of the workforce (Dewhurst et al., 2012). For competitive advantage, organizations depend on the performance of expatriates (Palthe, 2004). Expatriates may face challenges in intercultural effectiveness in a multi-cultural country like Malaysia and inter-cultural skills and competencies are important (Solomon and Schell, 2009). Having the right people to manage and operate their businesses is a critical success factor in international operations (Dowling, Festing and Engle, 2008). However, many companies find deploying and developing talent in emerging markets to be a major challenge (Dewhurst et al., 2012).

As the competition for international talent picks up steam, companies are increasingly looking to enhance their mobility policies to attract and retain key global talent (KPMG, 2012). The number of expatriates sent by organizations to foreign countries is ever increasing and a survey by Mercer indicted that seven out of ten surveyed multinational employers (70%) were expected to send more employees on short-term assignments in the next two years (O'Neill and Rossier-Renaud, 2012). A survey by Tung (1982) found that more than half of the companies in USA had failure rates of 10%-20%. Based on a survey by KPMG (2012), 55% of the respondents stated that up to 5% of assignees were recalled from the host country or dismissed because of inability to perform effectively. Malaysia is still a difficult place for expatriates to integrate (HSBC, 2012). Failure in global assignments is not only very risky but also costly (Perkins, 2006). Direct costs of expatriation may be as high as three times the domestic salary (Dowling et al., 2008). The indirect costs are harder to quantify but can be more expensive (Dowling et al., 2008).

Prior research on job performance and cultural adjustment has established that several factors such as relational skills, personality and technical skills are important predictors of expatriate success (Templer, 2010; Suutari and Brewster, 1997). Researchers have generally focused on specific issues without examining holistically the impact and relationship of expatriate emotional intelligence (EI) towards performance and cultural adjustment (e.g., Arthur and Bennet, 1995). Despite the growing interest in expatriates, several gaps remain in understanding the relationship between EI, performance and cultural adjustment. It is still not certain whether EI is a determinant of performance in the ICTs sector in Malaysia and whether there is a mediating effect of cultural adjustment in the relationship.

The expatriate population in the ICTs sector in Malaysia is worth studying because this sector is one of the national key economic sectors promoted by the Malaysian government as part of its growth strategy (Immigration in Malaysia, 2013). MSC Malaysia, through its strategic initiatives, is also striving to turn the creative multimedia industry into one of the main engines of growth for Malaysia. Large multinationals such as IBM, Dell and HP have set up their bases in Malaysia. The services sector is expected to register a growth rate of 6.9% in the next 5 years (Khuen, 2015). Malaysia is opening its market towards globalization. In 2014, MSC Malaysia recorded an increase of 9,497 jobs and the total number of jobs stood at 147,568(MSC, 2014). However, in the ICT sector in Malaysia, the availability of innovative local talents for research and innovation activities is a major challenge and this problem is being addressed by importing foreign talents (PIKOM, 2012). …

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.