Total Pageviews

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Expatriate spouses’ intercultural personality dimensions

I recently opened the discussion on the job4U2 Circle LinkedIn group about the qualities the accompanying partner needs to have or to develop.
The question was: “What is the quality number ONE that the accompanying partner needs to have or to develop?”
Groups members selected Open-mildness and flexibility as being the most important.
2 (33%)
Although I do not know any university studies which treats exclusively about the qualities a partner needs to have to experience a successful relocation, the study from Kim van Erp (When Worlds Collide) demonstrated the importance of expatriates’ and expatriate spouses’ intercultural personality dimensions (emotional stability, social initiative and open mindedness) as a resource for their adjustment abroad.
In her conclusion, Kim van Erp even stated that in assessing whether to send an employee to a foreign posting, companies should not just establish the expatriate’s intercultural effectiveness; they should establish the expatriate spouse’s intercultural effectiveness as well and that it seems valuable to not only coach the expatriate as a preparation for and support during the international assignment, but to coach the expatriate spouse as well!
Rm. Kim told me that she wrote her thesis while accompanying her partner during an assignment abroad ;-)
What do you think, should companies assess both the employee and the spouse?

Read more:

Copyright job4U2 2012


  1. Thanks, very interesting post and informative. I like it.

    1. Thanks for your positive feedback Joanne!
      I did find the study of Kim extremely interesting and had the possibility to exchange with her about her findings, that's was really enriching.