Organizational expatriates and self-initiated expatriates: Who adjusts better to work and life in Japan?

Vesa Peltokorpi, Fabian Jintae Froese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

125 Citations (Scopus)


Expatriates are often presented in the cross-cultural adjustment literature as a homogeneous, broad population. However, recent research that makes a distinction between organizational expatriates (OEs), those who are dispatched by their home companies to international posts, and self-initiated expatriates (SIEs), those who themselves make the decision to live and work abroad, has identified differences between the two groups. The present study compares the cross-cultural adjustment of these two groups of expatriates. Survey results of 179 expatriates in Japan show that SIEs are better adjusted to general aspects of their host country and interactions with host-country nationals than OEs. Suggestions for practice are provided.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1096-1112
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Ingmar Björkman for his comments on a previous draft of this study, and all those people who helped us to collect the data and participated in this study. Fabian Jintae Froese gratefully acknowledges financial support from Korea University (New faculty research grant, no. K0719081).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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