Although the standard of English proficiency is rising in China, using English in conversations with Chinese host nationals may be difficult. Therefore, proficiency in the Chinese language, may promote the adjustment of foreign business expatriates in China. To test this proposition, a mail survey was directed to Western business expatriates assigned to China. Controlling for the time expatriates had spent in China, results showed that their language ability had a positive association with their sociocultural adjustment. Not surprisingly, this positive relationship was strongest for interaction adjustment and weakest for work adjustment. The straightforward implications of these clear findings are discussed in detail.
Thunderbird International Business Review, 2006, Vol 48, Issue 3, p. 347-368