31 Aug 2016

Cross-cultural adjustment of expatriates: Exploring factors influencing adjustment of expatriates in Nigeria

Little research has been published on expatriation in sub-Saharan Africa. This new article on Nigeria is due to be published soon in International Journal of Cross Cultural Management by the author John Okpara. John is Chair, Department of Management and Marketing at the Bloomsbury University, Pennsylvania, USA. In his own words:

A great deal of research on expatriate adjustment has been conducted in the last two decades. However, these studies have been predominately conducted in the West, with very little of this research having been conducted in Africa in general, or in Nigeria in particular, despite knowledge of the overwhelming adjustment challenges the continent poses to expatriates. The purpose of this study is to examine factors influencing expatriates’ adjustment in Nigeria. A survey method was used to gather data from expatriates who work in different organizations in Nigeria. The results of this study show that age, gender, previous experience, cross-cultural training, socialization, and job satisfaction were predictors of expatriates’ adjustment in Nigeria. This research is important because it may assist human resource professionals in planning and implementing an appropriate cross-cultural training program for employees relocating to Nigeria. It may help to bridge the gap in the literature on this topic with regards to Nigeria, Africa, and other emerging nations. It could also contribute to a better understanding of the reasons for expatriation and how these reasons may impact on expatriate work adjustment.
This is an important article for those interested in expatriation in emerging economies, in sub-Saharan Africa and Nigeria, one of the fastest growing economies on the continent. Please contact John Okpara for more information.

27 Aug 2016

Veiling and Management: Muslim Women Managers in Israel

An exciting and original piece of research by authors Khalid Arar & Tamar Shapira.

Khalid Arar
It’s really important that international and cross-cultural management scholars are able to step into other’s shoes, in order to learn from different cultural contexts. Cultural identity is not a straightforward thing for Muslim women in Israel, as the authors tell us: “The complex collective identity of the Palestinian Arab community in Israel comprises several elements: citizenship (Israeli), nationality (Palestinian), ethnicity (mostly Arab) and religion (Islamic or Christian or Druze)”.

Look out for this new article coming soon in International Journal of Cross Cultural Management.

In the authors’ words:

"This paper explores the motivations of Arab Muslim women managers in Israel who adopt the veil just before or soon after their nomination to management positions. We used narrative research in order to understand this growing phenomenon and its meaning for the women managers in different life spheres. While the research findings stress the different motivations for adopting or rejecting veiling, all the women managers perceived veiling as a phenomenon that has direct consequences for their status in Arab Muslim society and for their ability to function effectively as managers and to introduce far-reaching changes with the support of their community and the staff. The paper contributes to our understanding of Muslim women’s visibility in private venues and in the public sphere and reinforces the need for more in-depth comparative cultural studies of veiling perceptions."
Tamar Shapira

For further information on their research and this article please contact Tamar Shapira

25 Aug 2016

Whom to blame and whom to praise: Two cross-cultural studies on the appraisal of positive and negative side effects of company activities

A new article to look out for

An international team of researchers led by Kai Kaspar at the University of Cologne presents an innovative new study. Authors Kai Kaspar, Albert Newen, Thomas Dratsch, Leon De Bruin, Ahmad Al-Issa and Gary Bente, explain as follows:

Increasing a company’s short-term profit seems to be still the primary responsibility of business leaders, but profit-oriented decision strategies may also elicit long-term side effects. While positive side effects might be considered as an additional benefit, negative side effects are a crucial problem calling for social responsibility. One central question is how the public evaluates managerial decisions based on an indifferent attitude towards potential side effects. This topical question becomes even more salient when focusing on multinational companies and cross-cultural differences in judgment tendencies. Thus, we explored effects of the boss-employee relationship on attributions of intentionality as well as blame and praise in the case of positive and negative side effects that derive from a solely profit-oriented measure of a company decided by its boss. 
With participants from Germany and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), we investigated whether the social role (boss vs. employee) influences these attributions and whether cross-cultural differences in the perception of social hierarchy moderate the effects. We used an adapted version of a paradigm developed by Knobe, who discovered an asymmetry in the attribution of intentionality: While negative side effects are perceived as intentional and blameworthy, positive side effects do not cause the same intentionality attributions and do not appear as particularly praiseworthy. 
Across two studies, we were able to replicate the typical asymmetric attribution of blame/praise and intentionality for the boss in both cultures. Moreover, we also demonstrate moderating effects of the social role and the cultural background on these attributions. Overall, the results show that the boss-employee relationship is differently evaluated in different cultures, and this might explain some of the variance in perceived accountability within companies. Moreover, an indifferent attitude towards potential side effects leads to less lenient evaluations of managers and their subordinated employees.
This article provides some significant insights into the possible cultural effects of apportioning blame in corporation, as well as extending a research approach that will be useful to scholars in this area. Scholars working in the area of CSR in the international context will be particularly interested in this new article to be published in the International Journal of Cross Cultural Management in December 2016. Professor Kaspar can be contacted at: kkaspar@uni-koeln.de

24 Aug 2016

Cross-national cultural values and nascent entrepreneurship: Factual versus normative values

Lead author: Ilan Alon

This new article, to be published in IJCCM soon, is not just a really useful overview of the area of culture and entrepreneurship, but also an original study that shows somewhat controversially a positive connection between collectivism and entrepreneurship. Yet not so controversial for those studying entrepreneurship, for example, in Africa where it appears more closely connected to community.

This is an excellent contribution to knowledge in this area. Look out for it in December 2016.

Authors Ilan Alon, Miri Lerner, and Amir Shoham describe their work as follows:
Differentiating between factual and normative values, we investigate the links between national culture and entrepreneurial activity in 24 countries based on 154 observations. We test hypotheses on the relationship between national culture –measured by the Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness (GLOBE) -- and nascent entrepreneurship represented by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM). Using these two separate databases to examine our hypotheses enables us to avoid the methodological biases that frequently appear in studies where the same respondents provide data for both the independent and the dependent variables. The study demonstrates that the introduction of the two different aspects of culture – normative and factual culture– may help resolve the inconsistencies in the literature regarding the links between culture and entrepreneurial activity. This study rekindles an old debate on the role of culture in the social sciences and the need to examine both these elements. We find that the connection between the normative values of culture and nascent entrepreneurial activity is stronger than the connection between the factual practices of culture and nascent entrepreneurial activity.
This is an article that should be unmissable to anyone interested in the connection between culture and entrepreneurship.

8 Aug 2016

The Notion of Expatriation in the United Arab Emirates: A Contextual Perspective

Another article to look out for in in the December 2016 issue of International Journal of Cross Cultural Management.

Author Washika Saheem of the University of Dubai presents a fresh approach to studying expatriation in context. Although focusing on the United Arab Emirates, which, with an excellent literature review and appraisal of the cultural and institutional context, will prove an invaluable contribution to any management scholar studying this region, her study has far reaching implications for the cross-cultural study of expatriation. In her own words:

Expatriation in emerging Arab Gulf States, specifically in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is unlike expatriation elsewhere. In most of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, the workforce mainly consists of expatriates, with the local population forming a small minority. Given its previous role and expectations of a continuing need in the future, expatriation and migration have become a key topic in many political and socio-economic agendas in the GCC. In this respect, decision-makers are grappling with often virulently controversial aspects in an effort to establish a balance between localization and expatriation. To date, research has not been successful in fully capturing the factors influencing this peculiar phenomenon and its consequences for expatriates living and working in UAE. Hence, this study suggests an additional approach and proposes a conceptual model to advance the understanding of the various forms and dynamics of expatriation, influenced and shaped by the national culture, institutional factors and localization policies within the UAE. This study has implications for cross-cultural management scholarship on expatriation in a region that has largely been ignored, in providing a more thorough appraisal of the cultural and institutional context. It also provides a framework for contextualising expatriation within cross-cultural management studies, which should be useful for scholars working in other regions.
Dr Saheem’s article provides a welcomed contribution for those studying expatriation and the Middle East from a scholar living and working in the region. Please contact her at: wsaheem@ud.ac.ae