Exploring the realm of culture within management : The effects of fully integrated relocation services on cross-cultural learning and adjustment
Sammanfattning: Expatriates’ adjustment to the host-country culture is a dynamic and gradual process. This process can be facilitated by cross-cultural training. The relationship between cross-cultural training and crosscultural adjustment has been explored to a great extent in the literature, however scholars have mainly put focus on how this relationship unfolds in the context of MNCs offering CCT in-house. Consequently, this leaves an interesting uninvestigated gap in terms of how fully integrated relocation service companies work with cross-cultural services and how their work can facilitate cross-cultural adjustment. This qualitative case-study therefore aims to examine the relationship between crosscultural training provided by a relocation service company and the expatriate adjustment process. An extensive review on existing theories concerning cross-cultural adjustment, cross-cultural training and cross-cultural learning are presented. After this, the case study examines how Nordic Relocation Group (NRG), a relocation service company in Sweden, operates in terms of providing cross-cultural services. The findings indicate that the relocation service company’s services are divided into different phases, whereby the timing and content of services offered varies as the expatriates’ international assignment develops over time. This form of tailoring the cross-cultural training and the content of their services supports the notion of sequential training, which within IHRM literature, is proposed as optimal in order to facilitate the expatriate’s adjustment process. Moreover, the results further indicate that the way in which NRG works with cross-cultural services, in terms of strategy, sequential order, and specific CCT activities offered, promotes effective cross-cultural learning. Consequently, the CCT strategies offered by the relocation service company can be viewed as being aligned with best practice.
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