Cultural intelligence and expatriate cross-cultural adjustment: A configurational approach

Lianghui Lei, Sabrina Thornton, Qihai Huang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


This study examines how cultural intelligence (CQ) impacts expatriate cross-cultural adjustment under different boundary conditions. Specifically, drawing from trait-activation theory and configuration theory, we show how CQ dimensions are combined and configured with cultural distance and perceived cultural novelty to produce expatriate cross-cultural work adjustment. Applying fuzzy-set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (fsQCA) method, the results from a survey of 106 expatriates in the Czech Republic indicate that five configurations are effective for work adjustment success, whilst three configurations are associated with low adjustment. Furthermore, cultural distance and perceived cultural novelty together create novel situations in which these configurations of CQ dimensions produce respective outcomes. These findings demonstrate that expatriate adjustment results from the dynamic interplay between expatriate CQ and its boundary conditions. This research advances the conceptual understanding of cultural intelligence and elucidates the mechanisms through which CQ facilitates expatriate cross-cultural adjustment.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 66th Annual Meeting of the Academy of International Business
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 6 Mar 2024
Event66th Annual Meeting of the Academy of International Business - Seoul, Korea, Republic of
Duration: 2 Jul 20246 Jul 2024
Conference number: 66

Publication series

NameProceedings of Academy of International Business
ISSN (Electronic)2078-0435


Conference66th Annual Meeting of the Academy of International Business
Abbreviated titleAIB 2024
Country/TerritoryKorea, Republic of
Internet address

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