Research has found that due to similarities, firms which have gained business experience elsewhere in Greater China may exhibit relatively better performance in mainland China. Hence, the experience of business expatriates could be of strategic importance for the expansion path of their firms. Based on data collected by a survey, this study compares how business expatriates adjust to life and work in different locations in Greater China. Results show that expatriates assigned to Singapore had a higher degree of general adjustment and interaction adjustment than their counterparts elsewhere in Greater China while expatriates both in Hong Kong and Singapore were better adjusted to work than those in mainland China. Regarding time to proficiency, defined as the period it takes the expatriates to reach an acceptable performance level at their new foreign assignment, findings indicate that it takes longer both in Hong Kong and mainland China than in Singapore. Implications of these results for business firms contemplating to enter Greater China and specifically mainland China are discussed in detail.
International Journal of Human Resource Management, 2006, Vol 17, Issue 12, december, p. 1996-2010
Greater China, expatriate adjustment, mainland China