Symptom and problem focused coping strategies of business women expatriates and their socio-cultural adjustment in Hong Kong

Jan Selmer*, Alicia S M LEUNG

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to explore coping strategies of female business expatriates and to examine how these strategies are associated with the women's international adjustment. Design/methodology/approach - Data were collected through mail surveys to western female business expatriates in Hong Kong regarding their coping strategies and adjustment. Findings - As predicted, the results showed that the female expatriates more often used problem focused than symptom focused coping strategies. Surprisingly, there was no association between problem focused coping strategies and socio-cultural adjustment. However, as expected, symptom focused coping strategies were negatively related to adjusting in socio-cultural terms. As presumed, there was no relationship between any of the coping strategies and psychological adjustment. Research limitations/implications - The special contextual circumstances in Hong Kong could have contributed to the unanticipated findings that there was no association between problem focused coping strategies and any type of adjustment studied. Through cross-cultural training, female business expatriates could benefit from being informed that applying symptom focused coping strategies may make them less well adjusted to a host location. Originality/value - Women still represent a relatively untapped source for expatriation and the research on female business expatriates is still inadequate in many respects. An important issue examined by this study is how women cope with the stress of international assignments and how that may affect their international adjustment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)588-605
Number of pages18
JournalWomen in Management Review
Volume22
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Expatriates
  • Hong Kong
  • Social dynamics
  • Socialization
  • Women

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