Why Expatriates’ Private Relations Matter

Martin Johanson, Heléne Lundberg

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Due to increasing globalisation it follows that a growing number of expatriate managers, that is, individuals having a managerial position in a foreign country, play a critical role within multinational corporations (MNCs), acting as a link between headquarters and the international units (Au and Fukuda 2002). In order to perform well in this role, they need to align their behaviour with the host country’s cultural norms and values. The larger the cultural differences, the more demanding this task is likely to be. The expatriates need both a willingness to adapt as well as information regarding local conditions. Such information can be gained from various sources: the human resource department of the MNC in questions, locally from co-workers, other expatriates or personal friends among host country nationals. In total, the latter relationships constitute their social network which, in line with Osman-Gani and Rockstuhl (2008: 33) in the context of expatriates, is defined as ‘relational ties between the expatriate and other individuals, such as family, peer expatriates, local working partners, or local friends’.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationExtending the Business Network Approach
Subtitle of host publicationNew Territories, New Technologies, New Terms
EditorsPeter Thilenius, Cecilia Pahlberg, Virpi Havila
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9781137537652
ISBN (Print)9781137537638
Publication statusPublished - 12 May 2016
Externally publishedYes


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