International career aspirations: Can multicultural personality traits predict the interest in working abroad?
The business world is faced with the need to create new strategies in order to identify a global mentality and an international motivation in professionals who hardly work anymore in monocultural environments. This study investigates the characteristics of international career aspirations in order to identify multicultural personality traits that may predict interest in working abroad. An empirical research has been carried out with 243 individuals using the Multicultural Personality Questionnaire (MPQ), a multidimensional instrument whose objective is to measure multicultural efficacy. The results of the study suggest that open-mindedness and flexibility are the main predictors of the interest in working abroad. These findings have important implications for organizations that require suitable candidates to work effectively in international and multicultural environments.
Full text article
Abe, H. and Weisman, R. L. (1983), “A Cross-Cultural Confirmation of the Dimensions of Intercultural Effectiveness”, International Journal of Intercultural Relations, Vol. 7 (1), pp. 53–67. https://doi.org/10.1016/0147-1767(83)90005-6
Ali, A., Van der Zee, K. and Sanders, G. (2003), “Determinants of Intercultural Adjustment Among Expatriate Spouses” International Journal of Intercultural Relations, Vol. 27 No. 5, pp. 563–580. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0147-1767(03)00054-3
Ang, S., Van Dyne, L., Koh, C., Ng, K. Y., Templer, K. J., Tay, C.and Chandrasekar, N. A. (2007), “Cultural Intelligence: Its measurement and effects on cultural judgment and decision making, cultural adaptation and task performance”, Management and Organization Review, Vol. 3 No. 3, pp. 335-371. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1740-8784.2007.00082.x
Aytug, Z. G., Kern, M. C. and Dilchert, S. (2018), “Multicultural experience: Development and validation of a multidimensional scale”, International Journal of Intercultural Relations, Vol. 65, pp. 1-16. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijintrel.2018.04.004
Bobowik, M., Van Oudenhoven, J. P., Basabe, N., Telletxea, S. and Páez, D. (2011), “What is the Better Predictor of Students’ Personal Aalues: Parents’ values or students’ personality?”, International Journal of Intercultural Relations, Vol. 35 No. 4, pp. 488-498. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijintrel.2011.02.006
Borca, C., Popescu, A. D. and Baesu, V. (2014), “A Study on Multicultural Personality”, Cross-Cultural Management Journal, Vol. 16 No. 1, pp.147-156. https://seaopenresearch.eu/Journals/articles/CMJ2014_I1_12.pdf
Bücker, J. and Poutsma, E. (2010), “Global Management Competencies: A theoretical foundation”, Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 25 No. 8, pp. 829-844. https://doi.org/10.1108/02683941011089116
Burke, M. J., Watkins, M. B. and Guzman, E. (2009), “Performing in a Multi-Cultural Context: The role of personality”, International Journal of Intercultural Relations, Vol. 33 No. 6, pp. 475-485. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijintrel.2009.05.005
Caligiuri, P. M. (2000), “The Big Five Personality Characteristics as Predictors of Expatriate's Desire to Terminate the Assignment and Supervisor Rated Performance”, Personnel Psychology, Vol. 53 No. 1, pp. 67 88. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1744-6570.2000.tb00194.x
Chiu, Chi-Yue,. Lonner, W. J, Matsumoto, D. and Ward, C., (2013), “Cross-Cultural Competence: Theory, research, and application”, Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, Vol. 44 No. 6, pp. 843-848.
Clarke, I., Flaherty, T. B., Wright, N. D. and McMillen, R. M. (2009), “Student Intercultural Proficiency from Study Abroad Programs” Journal of Marketing Education, Vol. 31, No. 2, pp. 173-181. https://doi.org/10.1177/0273475309335583
Deardorff, D. K. (2006), “Identification and Assessment of Intercultural Competence as a Student Outcome of Internationalization”, Journal of Studies in International Education, Vol. 10 No. 3, pp. 241-266. https://doi.org/10.1177/1028315306287002
Dewaele, J. M. and Stavans, A. (2014), “The Effect of Immigration, Acculturation and Multicompetence on Personality Profiles of Israeli Multilinguals”, International Journal of Bilingualism, Vol. 18 No. 3, pp. 203– 221. https://doi.org/10.1177/1367006912439941
Fanjul, E. (2010), “Factores culturales e internacionalización de la empresa”, Información comercial española, Vol. 856, pp. 7-20. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/277266752
Grosse, C. U. (2011), “Global Managers’ Perceptions of Cultural Competence”, Business Horizons, Vol. 54 No. 4, pp. 307-314. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bushor.2011.02.001
Halim, H., Bakar, H. A. and Mohamad, B. (2014), “Expatriate adjustment: Validating multicultural personality trait among self-initiated academic expatriates”, Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, Vol. 155, pp. 123-129. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2014.10.267
Hammer, M. R. and Bennett, M. J. (1998), The Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) Manual, The Intercultural Communication Institute, Portland, OR.
Hammer, M. R., Gudykunst, W. B. and Wiseman, R. L. (1978), “Dimensions of Intercultural Effectiveness: An exploratory study”, International Journal of Intercultural Relations, Vol. 2 (4)., pp. 382–393. https://doi.org/10.1016/0147-1767(78)90036-6
Hawes, F. and Kealey, D. J. (1981), “An Empirical Study of Canadian Technical Assistance: Adaptation and effectiveness on overseas assignment”, International Journal of Intercultural Relations, Vol. 5 No. 3, pp. 239-258. https://doi.org/10.1016/0147-1767(81)90028-6
Hofstede, G., Hofstede, G. J. and Minkov, M. (2010), Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind (3rd Ed), McGraw-Hill, London.
Horverak, J. G., Sandal, G. M., Bye, H. H. and Pallesen, S. (2013), “Managers’ Selection Preferences: The role of prejudice and multicultural personality traits in the assessment of native and immigrant job candidates”, Revue Européenne de Psychologie Appliquée/European Review of Applied Psychology, Vol. 63 No. 5, pp. 267-275. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.erap.2013.07.003
Kealey, D. J. and Ruben, B. D. (1983), “Cross-Cultural Personnel Selection Criteria, Issues And Method” in Landis, D. and Brislin R. W. (Eds.), Handbook of intercultural training: Issues in theory and design, Pergamon Press, New York, pp. 155–175.
Leiba-O'Sullivan, S. (1999), “The Distinction Between Stable and Dynamic Cross-Cultural Competencies: Implications for expatriate trainability”, Journal of International Business Studies, Vol. 30 No. 4, pp. 709- 725. https://doi.org/10.1057/palgrave.jibs.8490835
Leone, L., Van der Zee, K. I., Van Oudenhoven, J. P., Perugini, M., and Ercolani, A. P. (2005), “The Cross- Cultural Generalizability and Validity of the MPQ”, Personality and Individual Differences, Vol. 38 No. 6, pp. 1449–1462. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2004.09.010
Leong, C. H. (2007), “ Predictive Validity of the Multicultural Personality Questionnaire: A longitudinal study on the socio-psychological adaptation of Asian undergraduates who took part in a study-abroad program”, International Journal of Intercultural Relations, Vol. 31 No. 5, pp. 545-559. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijintrel.2007.01.004
Leung, K., Ang, S. and Tan, M. L. (2014), “Intercultural Competence”, Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, Vol. 1 No. 1, pp. 489–519. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-orgpsych-031413-091229
Margavio, T., Hignite, M., Moses, D., and Margavio, G. W. (2005), “Multicultural Effectiveness Assessment of Students in IS courses”, Journal of Information Systems Education, Vol. 16 No. 4, p. 421.
Matsumoto, D. and Hwang, H. C. (2013), “Assessing Cross-Cultural Competence: A review of available tests”, Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, Vol. 44 No. 6, pp. 849-873. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022022113492891
Millon, T. (2004). MIPS Revised: Millon Index of Personality Styles Revised (manual). Minneapolis, MN: NCS Pearson.
Mol, S., Van Oudenhoven, J.P. and Van der Zee, K.I. (2001), “Validation of the MPQ amongst an Internationally Oriented Student Population in Taiwan”, in Salili F. and Hoosain R. (Eds.), Research in Multicultural Education and International Perspectives, Information Age Publishing Inc., Greenwich, CT, pp. 167–186.
Peltokorpi, V. and Froese, F. (2014), “Expatriate Personality and Cultural Fit: The moderating role of host country context on job satisfaction”, International Business Review, Vol. 23 No. 1, pp. 293-302. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ibusrev.2013.05.004
Peltokorpi, V. and Froese, F. J. (2012), “The Impact of Expatriate Personality Traits on Cross-Cultural Adjustment: A study with expatriates in Japan”, International Business Review, Vol. 21 No. 4, pp. 734-746. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ibusrev.2011.08.006
Ponterotto, J. (2010), “Multicultural Personality: An evolving theory of optimal functioning in culturally heterogeneous societies”, The Counseling Psychologist, Vol. 38 No. 5, pp. 714-758. https://doi.org/10.1177/0011000009359203
Ramirez, M. (1999), “El concepto de personalidad multicultural: una perspectiva de origen étnico mestizo” Revista Latinoamericana de Psicología, Vol. 31 No. 2, pp. 231-250. http://www.redalyc.org/articulo.oa?id=80531202
Ruben, B. D. (1976), “Assessing Communication Competency for Intercultural Adaptation”, Group & Organization Management, Vol. 1 No. 3, pp. 334-354. https://doi.org/10.1177/105960117600100308
Schartner, A. (2016), “The Effect of Study Abroad on Intercultural Competence: A longitudinal case study of international postgraduate students at a British university”, Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, Vol. 37 No 4, pp. 402-418. https://doi.org/10.1080/01434632.2015.1073737
Scullion, H. and Collings, D. (2011), Global Talent Management, Routledge, New York. https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-319-05125-3
Spreitzer, G. M., McCall, M. W. and Mahoney, J. D. (1997), “Early Identification of International Executive Potential”, Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol. 82 No 1, pp. 6–29. https://doi.org/10.1037/0021-9010.82.1.6
Van Bakel, M., Gerritsen, M. and Van Oudenhoven, J. P. (2014), “Impact of a Local Host on the Intercultural Competence of Expatriates”, The International Journal of Human Resource Management, Vol. 25 No 14, pp. 2050-2067. https://doi.org/10.1080/09585192.2013.870292
Van der Zee, K. and Van Oudenhoven, J. P. (2013), “Culture Shock or Challenge? The role of personality as a determinant of intercultural competence”, Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, Vol. 44 No 6, pp. 928-940. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022022113493138
Van der Zee, K. I. and Brinkmann, U. (2004), “Construct Validity Evidence for the Intercultural Readiness Check Against the Multicultural Personality Questionnaire”, International Journal of Selection and Assessment, 12(3), 285-290. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0965-075X.2004.283_1.x
Van der Zee, K. I. and Van der Gang, I. (2007), “Personality, Threat and Affective Responses to Cultural Diversity”, European Journal of Personality, Vol 21 No 4, pp. 453–470. https://doi.org/10.1002/per.619
Van der Zee, K. I. and Van Oudenhoven, J. P. (2000), “The Multicultural Personality Questionnaire: A multidimensional instrument of multicultural effectiveness”, European Journal of Personality, Vol. 14 No 4, pp. 291-309. https://doi.org/10.1002/1099-0984(200007/08)14:4<291::AID-PER377>3.0.CO;2-6
Van der Zee, K. I. and Van Oudenhoven, J. P. (2001), “The Multicultural Personality Questionnaire: Reliability and validity of self- and other ratings of multicultural effectiveness”, Journal of Research in Personality, Vol. 35(3)., pp. 278–288. https://doi.org/10.1006/jrpe.2001.2320
Van der Zee, K. I., Zaal, J. N. and Piekstra, J. (2003), “Validation of the Multicultural Personality Questionnaire in the Context of Personnel Selection” European Journal of Personality, Vol 17 S1, pp. S77-S100. https://doi.org/10.1002/per.483
Van der Zee, K.I., Van Oudenhoven, J. P. and De Grijs, E. (2004), “Personality, Threat, and Cognitive and Emotional Reactions to Stressful Intercultural Situations”, Journal of Personality, Vol. 72 No 5, pp. 1069- 1096. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0022-3506.2004.00290.x
Van Erp, K. J., Van der Zee, K. I., Giebels, E. and Van Duijn, M. A. (2014), “Lean on Me: The importance of one's own and partner's intercultural personality for expatriate's and expatriate spouse's successful adjustment abroad”, European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, Vol 23 No 5, pp. 706-728. https://doi.org/10.1080/1359432X.2013.816088
Van Oudenhoven, J. P. and Benet-Martínez, V. (2015), “In Search of a Cultural Home: From Acculturation to Frame-Switching and Intercultural Competencies”, International Journal of Intercultural Relations, Vol. 46, pp. 47-54. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijintrel.2015.03.022
Van Oudenhoven, J. P. and Van Der Zee, K. I. (2002), “Predicting Multicultural Effectiveness of International Students: The Multicultural Personality Questionnaire”, International Journal of Intercultural Relations, Vol 26(6), pp. 679–694. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0147-1767(02)00041-X
Van Oudenhoven, J. P., Mol, S., and Van der Zee, K. I. (2003), “Study of the Adjustment of Western Expatriates in Taiwan Roc with the Multicultural Personality Questionnaire” Asian Journal of Social Psychology, Vol 6 No 2, pp.159-170. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-839X.t01-1-00018
Wang, Q., Ni, L. and De la Flor, M. (2014), “An Intercultural Competence Model of Strategic Public Relations Management in the Peru Mining Industry Context” Journal of Public Relations Research, Vol. 26 No 1, pp. 1-22. https://doi.org/10.1080/1062726X.2013.795864
Wiseman, R. (2002), “Intercultural Communication Competence”, in Gudykunst W. and Mody B. (Eds.), Handbook of International and Intercultural Communication (2nd ed.), Sage, California, pp. 207–224.
Yakunina, E. S., Weigold, I. K., Weigold, A., Hercegovac, S. and Elsayed, N. (2012), “The Multicultural Personality: Does it predict international students’ openness to diversity and adjustment?”, International Journal of Intercultural Relations, Vol. 36 No 4, pp. 533-540. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijintrel.2011.12.008
Copyright (c) 2022 Journal of Intercultural Communication
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Copyright / Open Access Policy: This journal provides immediate free open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of ideas and is distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). But the copyright was retained by the authors. Articles are free for personal use but are protected by copyright in the sense that they may not be used for purposes other than personal use without permission.