Multiple intelligence and expatriate effectiveness: the mediating roles of cross-cultural adjustment

Elaine Y.T. Chew, Anjulee Ghurburn, Jane L.Y. Terspstra-Tong, Hasuli Kumarika Perera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Drawing on the theory of multiple intelligences, the theory of work adjustment and the framework of international adjustment, we examined the mediating effects of three cross-cultural adjustment (CCA) dimensions (general, interaction and work adjustment) on the relationships between three intelligences (cultural, emotional and political) and three expatriate outcomes (task performance, premature return intention and psychological well-being). A total of 237 expatriates were assessed. In our nine-factor model, we found that work adjustment had the most mediating effects on the relationships between the three intelligences and expatriate outcomes, while interaction adjustment had no mediating effect. General adjustment mediated the relationship between emotional intelligence (EQ) and premature return, and between EQ and work adjustment. Of the three intelligences, EQ had indirect effects on all three expatriate outcomes, while cultural and political intelligences each had indirect effects on task performance and psychological well-being. Our study is one of the first to examine the impact of three interpersonal, malleable intelligences and the separate mediating effects of CCA dimensions on multiple expatriate outcomes using a single model. Both theoretical and practical implications of multiple intelligences and CCA are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2856-2888
Number of pages34
JournalInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2021


  • cross-cultural adjustment
  • cultural intelligence
  • emotional intelligence
  • Expatriate
  • political skills
  • psychological well-being

Cite this