Contact with a local host is one way of helping expatriates deal with the challenges of an international assignment. Since the quality of the contact with the host is pivotal to make the most of this experience, this study analyses the factors that influence the development of the contact. Thirty-three expatriates and ten partners were put in touch with a local host, with whom they undertook all kinds of activities together during a period of nine months. Five catalysts (similarities, motivation, benefits, proximity, and research context) and seven barriers (anxiety, different expectations, busy schedules, timing, communication breakdown, and cultural differences) to the contact were identified. Key factors were similarities, motivation and benefits, because they made it possible to overcome some of the barriers. The study discusses the implications of these findings and provides recommendations for programmes that aim to match expatriates with a local host or buddy.
Euram 2014: Waves and Winds of Strategic Leadership for Sustainable Competitiveness, 2014
Contact quality; local host; buddy; mentoring; matching; social penetration theory
Main Research Area:
European Academy of Management 2014European Academy of Management. Proceedings