Confucian Asian SIEs going to the West: Expatriation motivation and cross-cultural adjustment

W. M. Lo, Sandra Corlett, Robert Moehler

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperOtherpeer-review


The hypercompetitive global economic integration and evolution of global career development have driven the world to be one large employment pool that have provided the opportunity for job seekers to take-charge of their global career development and seek overseas employment opportunities to achieve personal goals. The current research interprets 14 Confucian Asian SIEs’ unique expatriation experiences in terms of motivation and cross-cultural adjustment in different Western countries by using synchronous and asynchronous semi-structured interview methods. The data was analysed utilising template analysis.
This study builds a rich insight with confirming existing understanding and new insights of Confucian Asian SIEs’ motivation to expatriate. The findings reveal that the work-related motives (job opportunity in another country and seeking a better working environment and the will to leave a poor working environment in the home country) is a significant factor driving Confucian Asian SIEs to go abroad. This emerging insight is dominant for Confusion Asian SIEs specifically to the more a priori motives of SIEs, such as, attractiveness of the specific culture, adventure or exploration. Further, ‘parent’ plays an important role in Confucian Asia SIEs’ decision making to expatriate or repatriate to the home country, which provides valuable insights in Confucian cultural values. Moreover, the motives of international experience, existing personal network in the host country, and escaping the negative situation in the home country also influenced participants’ decisions to go abroad. Based on the findings of motivation to expatriate, this study proposes a theoretical framework of Confucian Asian SIEs’ motivation to expatriate.
The findings of the cross-cultural adjustment process establish that the participants were relatively well adjusted in general adjustment, but less so in terms of interaction and work adjustment.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEURAM 18
Subtitle of host publicationResearch in Action
EditorsEythor Ivar Jonsson
Place of PublicationReykjavik Iceland
PublisherEuropean Academy of Management (EURAM)
Number of pages42
ISBN (Print)9782960219500
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jun 2018
EventAnnual Conference of the European Academy of Management 2018 - University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland
Duration: 19 Jun 201822 Jun 2018
Conference number: 18th


ConferenceAnnual Conference of the European Academy of Management 2018
Abbreviated titleEURAM 2018
Internet address


  • Motivation
  • Cross cultural adjustment
  • Confusion Asian SIE
  • Self-Initiated Expatriate

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