Magazine article Personnel Journal

Employees Pass through a Predictable Pattern of Adjustment

Magazine article Personnel Journal

Employees Pass through a Predictable Pattern of Adjustment

Article excerpt

Inevitably. everyone progresses through a pattern of adjustment to the new culture. Most people experience a honeymoon period, but some people don't; most experience a second dip during the second year.

Interestingly, the first crisis often occurs in reaction to the accumulation of petty cultural differences. It's usually precipitated by a minor occurrence--the gardener not showing up on time, another note from the child's teacher. During this time, the individual feels isolated, and believes he or she can't make it in the host culture.

At the workplace, the individual may show signs of increasing annoyance and frustration that things can't get accomplished in the same way they do at home. There is a tendency to become judgmental and devalue the host culture. If this stage is managed poorly, there is a tendency to withdraw; there may be a decline in productivity. There's a strong desire to go home.

In a normal cycle, the individual will begin to adjust to the local culture. In the second year, there may be another dip. But, some people get stuck in this phase. …

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