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New SIOP White Paper Resource for Worker Well-Being

The SIOP White Paper series organizes and summarizes important and timely topics in I-O psychology. The newest white paper, “Culture and Overseas Work: Expectations, Preparations, Coping; Return,” focuses on the well-being of expatriates.

The term sojourners is broad and includes all kinds of overseas experiences, including work, study, migration, diplomacy, proselytizing, and tourism. Expatriates, the main focus of this paper, often categorized as corporate or self-initiated, the former group sent overseas by an employer, perhaps for several years, whereas the latter moves overseas to seek employment.

Companies send workers overseas with specific business goals that are best met by employees who adjust and perform well. Although it has proven difficult to estimate the prevalence of expat failure, the cost to a company of a failed overseas assignment is high. Expat failure is characterized by some combination of poor performance, lack of adjustment, and early return.

This white paper provides an overview of the experiences and challenges encountered by people who live and work outside of their home societies and introduces some of the solutions currently available to meet these challenges.

This white paper was written by SIOPers William K. Gabrenya and Yumiko Mochinushi. Dr. Gabrenya is a professor of cultural and social psychology at Florida Institute of Technology, USA. His research focuses primarily on culture competence, expatriate/repatriate adjustment, modernization processes, social stratification, and indigenous psychology movement. Dr. Mochinushi is an instructional assistant professor at Texas A&M University, having recently completed her doctorate in I-O psychology at Florida Tech. Her current research focuses on applicant faking on personality assessments and cross-cultural competence.

Read the new white paper on the SIOP website.

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