Research has shown that expatriates’ host country language ability is positively associated with their adjustment. But does the advantage of expatriates’ language ability depend on the difficulty of the host language? To examine this issue, data were collected from expatriates in two European countries, one with an easy, relatively simple language and the other with a difficult, highly complex language. Consistent with Goal-Setting Theory, results indicated a relative advantage of expatriates’ language ability in terms of their adjustment in the host country with the difficult language as opposed to the host country with an easy language.
International Journal of Human Resource Management, 2015, Vol 26, Issue 3, p. 401-420
expatriate adjustment; goal-setting theory; host country language ability; language difficulty; moderating effect