The moderating effect of co-worker support on role stress and work adjustment: A comparison of national and international assignments

Publication: Chapter in book/Conference proceedingContribution to conference proceedings

Abstract

This study contributes to the field of international human resource management and the literature on expatriation and work adjustment (e.g. Caligiuri & Lazarova, 2002; Glazer, 2006; Stroppa & Spieß, 2011) by examining the effect of role stress on work adjustment and whether this effect can be mitigated by social support, comparing domestic and international assignments. Specifically, we examine how role novelty, role conflict and role ambiguity affect adjustment during domestic and international assignments and to what extent social support moderates this relationship, assuming that role stress has a negative effect on work adjustment which is stronger for international assignments and that social support has an alleviative effect on this relationship for both types of assignment which is stronger for international assignments, too. <br/> <br/>Empirically, a survey was conducted with 93 ex- and/or repatriates in Austria via e-mail. The respondents had an mean age between 39 years (± 10); 63% of them were male. Correlation analyses revealed that role conflict and especially role ambiguity reduce work adjustment for both domestic and international assignments; however, this effect was stronger for domestic assignments. Concerning the moderator assumptions, while social support did reduce the detrimental effect of role stress on work adjustment, no difference between domestic and international assignments was found. <br/> <br/>Theoretical implications for the concept of social support in adjustment research are discussed. The paper contributes to the literature on expatriation and work assignments by offering an understanding of the effects of role stress and social support and their interplay experienced during work assignments. This study discusses practical implications for companies that send their staff on domestic and international assignments. <br/> <br/>Keywords: role stressors, social support, work adjustment, domestic and international assignments.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPolitical change, cultural dynamics and compeitiveness of firms. IACCM 2012 Conference Proceeding.
Editors IACCM
Place of PublicationVienna
PagesXX
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2012

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