|dc.description.abstract||The increase in globalisation has led many organisations world-wide and in South African to
send more employees on international assignments than ever before, with every indication
that the use of expatriates will continue to expand into the 21st century. Expatriate
assignments are important to the success of multinational companies because they can help
build the level of global competence within the organisation, and expatriates often fill critical
positions in host countries (e.g. new market development, technology transfer, joint venture
negotiations and subsidiary management).
Given the strategic importance multinational companies attach to global assignments, the
harm an unsuccessful expatriate may cause in the host country can be detrimental to the
multinational company's future global business. Implications of poor expatriate cross-cultural
adjustment include inadequate performance, psychological stress, premature termination of
the assignment, negative effects on the expatriates' families and the long-term career
repercussions upon repatriation after failed expatriate assignments. Thus, in order to remain
competitive in today's global marketplace, multinational companies have recognised that the
attraction, selection, development and retention of employees who can live and work
effectively outside their own national borders are crucial to their success. This study proposed
that personality dispositions, coping, stress and expatriates' motivation for accepting the
assignment can predict three criteria of expatriate success, namely (a) the desire to terminate
the assignment, (b) performance, and (c) the cross-cultural adjustment of expatriates.
The study population consisted of 95 expatriates from eight multi-national organisations. The
research method for each of the three articles consists of a brief literature review and an
empirical study. A cross-sectional survey design was used to achieve the research objectives.
Descriptive statistics ( e g means, standard deviations, skewness and kurtosis) were used to
analyse the data. Cronbach alpha coefficients and exploratory factor analysis were used to
assess the reliability and validity of the measuring instruments, and multiple regression
analyses was conducted to determine the percentage of the variance in the dependent
variables that is predicted by the independent variables. The Neo-Personality Inventory
Revised, Work Locus of Control Scale, Expatriate Stress Inventory, a biographical
questionnaire, which included expatriates' motivation for accepting the assignment
(independent variables) and expatriates' cross-cultural adjustment. their desire to terminate
the assignment and their performance (dependent variables) were administered.
The results showed that external locus of control is related to avoidance. Avoidance coping of
expatriates' was best predicted by an external locus of control and approach coping of
expatriates' was best predicted by an internal locus of control.
The results showed that expatriates' desire to terminate the assignment is related to their
cross-cultural adjustment and that personality dimensions are related to their cross-cultural
adjustment and their desire to terminate the assignment. Personality dimensions explained
12% of the variance in expatriates' cross-cultural adjustment. Assertiveness and cross-cultural
adjustment explained 17% of expatriates' desire to terminate the assignment.
The results showed that cultural stress explained 17% of the variance in expatriates' cross-cultural
adjustment. Assertiveness and cross-cultural adjustment explained 28% of
expatriates' desire to terminate the assignment and extrinsic motivation explained 20% of
Recommendations are made regarding future research and practical implications for