Cognitive cultural intelligence and life satisfaction of migrant workers: the roles of career engagement and social injustice

Huong Le, Zhou Jiang, Ingrid Nielsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines the mediating effect of career engagement on the relationship between cognitive cultural intelligence (CQ) and life satisfaction among international migrant workers in Australia. It also examines the moderating effect of perceived social injustice on the cognitive CQ–career engagement relationship, as well as on the indirect cognitive CQ–life satisfaction relationship via career engagement. Using survey data from four hundred and sixty-two migrant workers in Australia, it was found that cognitive CQ was positively related to life satisfaction and that career engagement mediated this relationship. Social injustice moderated the impact of cognitive CQ on career engagement such that the impact was stronger among those perceiving a higher rather than a lower level of social injustice. Furthermore, the indirect effect of cognitive CQ on life satisfaction via career engagement was also stronger for those perceiving higher social injustice. These findings provide new insights regarding the antecedents of life satisfaction as well as reveal a vocationally relevant mechanism underlying the relationship between cognitive CQ and life satisfaction. The results inform potential practical strategies to enhance the career progression and life satisfaction of international migrant workers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-257
Number of pages21
JournalSocial Indicators Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Career engagement
  • Cognitive cultural intelligence
  • Life satisfaction
  • Migrant workers
  • Social injustice
  • Trait activation theory

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