Mutual adjustment processes in international teams : lessons for the study of expatriation

Zimmermann, Angelika and Sparrow, Paul (2007) Mutual adjustment processes in international teams : lessons for the study of expatriation. International Studies of Management and Organization, 37 (3). pp. 65-88. ISSN 0020-8825

Full text not available from this repository.


Researchers have commonly regarded expatriate adjustment as a unidirectional process of one individual adjusting to a foreign environment. In contrast, we conceptualize the expatriate's adjustment to social interactions as part of a process of mutual adjustment within an international team. Eleven teams of four combinations of nationalities—German—English, German—Indian, German—Japanese, and German—Austrian—were examined in two German companies in a one-year longitudinal study. In-depth interviews and team observations were conducted with 116 participants. We developed a model that captures the mechanisms of mutual adjustment at the level of cognitive processes, attitudes, and behaviors of team members. We also explain how these internal adjustment components are influenced by a number of external context factors. These factors are seen to create power relationships between the members of the different nationalities in the team. This has a major influence on the direction of adjustment. Implications for models of adjustment and forms of capital accrued by global leaders are discussed.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
International Studies of Management and Organization
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? business and international managementstrategy and management ??
ID Code:
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
18 Nov 2011 11:19
Last Modified:
28 Nov 2023 10:47