DISPOSITIONAL FACTORS AND COPING AS PREDICTORS OF EXPATRIATES' PERFORMANCE AND DESIRE TO TERMINATE THE ASSIGNMENT
Rothmann, S. and van der Bank, M., Pochefstroom University for CHE South Africa
World-wide there seems to be a tendency for organisations to drift from domestic to global, no matter how small the organisation. Research has shown that between 16% and 40% of all expatriate managers who are given foreign assignments end them early because of their poor performance or their inability to adjust to the foreign environment. Researchers have proposed that personality characteristics predict in part, whether individuals will succeed on their expatriate assignments. Previous studies were, however, based on expatriates' perceptions of what was needed for success, rather than true validity evidence. Although not in the expatriate context, validity evidence does exist for personality characteristics as predictors of job performance. Caligiuri (2000) supplied evidence for personality characteristics as predictors of expatriate's desire to terminate the assignment and supervisor-rated performance. The company, in which the research was undertaken, is the largest multinational chemical company in South Africa. Currently little research has been done on expatriates and the use of personality dispositions and coping as predictors of the success of expatriates. With reference to the above formulation of the problem, the general objective of this research was to establish the relationship between personality dispositions and coping as predictors of expatriate's desire to terminate the assignment and performance. The study population consisted of South African expatriates and their spouses (N = 128) in a corporate chemical environment. The results will be discussed in connection with the findings of prior analyses and some indications for future research are suggested.