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Organisational antecedents of expatriate performance: Australian expatriates in Special Administrative Regions of China

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posted on 31.05.2017, 06:09 by Lee (Care), Leanda
This research aimed to determine the relationships between proposed antecedents to the expatriate management process and performance outcomes of Australian expatriates working on assignment in Hong Kong and Macau. There have been a number of calls from both within the expatriate and the general performance literatures for the development of a comprehensive model of performance and for it to be empirically tested for a better understanding of the components of performance. Thus, this study sought to (a) clarify the definition and operationalisation of job performance in the expatriate environment and (b) test a model of expatriate performance which included intervening variables of cross-cultural adjustment, psychological contract violation, and career commitment. Campbell’s (1990) multifactor framework of performance was used to provide a clear definition and theoretical foundation. Data were collected in two main studies in the Special Administrative Regions of China, Hong Kong and Macau. Qualitative data were collected from 20 Australian expatriates and their supervisors, and quantitative data were collected through administration of survey questionnaires to 106 Australian expatriates and 24 supervisors. A performance scale was developed utilising both inductive and deductive procedures through pilot studies, subject matter expert surveys, and a final questionnaire. The results of exploratory principal components analysis indicated that there were six components of performance. These components were then utilised as the criteria to test direct and indirect hypothesized relationships to organisational antecedents and intervening variables. The major findings of the results of a series of hierarchical regression analysis (including moderated and mediated analyses) were that practical and informative support were related to some components of performance. Interaction adjustment was xv the only adjustment type that directly related to the performance components although work adjustment and interaction adjustment played influential roles as intervening variables. In addition, the proposition that relational psychological contract type strengthened the negative relationship between psychological contract violation and performance was generally supported. This research makes three major contributions: (a) the development of a measure of expatriate performance within May 2009; reviewed December 2011; updated November 2012 an overall framework; (b) the clarification of a definition and delineation between performance and adjustment which tests adjustment as a mediator rather than an ultimate criterion measure and (c) the exploration of relationships between a number of organisational support mechanisms and individual components of performance.


Campus location


Principal supervisor

Ross David Donohue

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre



Doctor of Philosophy

Degree Type



Faculty of Business and Economics