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Career anchors and cross-cultural adjustment among expatriates in a non-profit organization.

Abstract Based on a sample of 189 expatriate managers working for a non-profit organization (NPO), we pursue two objectives in this paper. First, we address the lack of knowledge on expatriates working in the non-profit sector by exploring their dominant career anchors. Our analysis reveals that the dominant anchors are internationalism, dedication to a cause, and lifestyle. Second, we draw on person-environment fit theory to theorize and test the previously unexplored linkages between expatriates' career anchors and cross-cultural adjustment (CCA). Our analysis shows that different career anchors are positively associated with different dimensions of CCA: autonomy, security, dedication to a cause, and pure challenge with general living adjustment; dedication to a cause, pure challenge, and internationalism with interactional adjustment; and functional competence, managerial competence, pure challenge, and internationalism with work adjustment. Overall, the study is one of the first attempts to explore career anchors and their linkages to CCA among expatriates in NPOs.

Keywords Expatriates * Non-profit organization * Career anchors * Internal career * Cross-cultural adjustment

1 Introduction

Organizational expatriates (henceforth expatriates), i.e., employees who are temporary relocated by their organizations abroad for an assignment in a foreign country lasting up to a few years and who have the intention of returning to their home country afterwards (Collings et al. 2007), continue to be actively employed by organizations worldwide. It is estimated that by 2017, the number of expatriates will increase from the current 50.5 to almost 57 million. (1) Expatriates are crucial for their organizations because they often engage in strategically important tasks, e.g., taking up important positions in foreign subsidiaries, managing and controlling foreign subsidiaries, and/or developing new markets (Caligiuri 2000; Harzing 2001). Yet, they are also very costly, which makes organizations interested in understanding and predicting their success (see McNulty and Cieri 2011). Research has identified cross-cultural adjustment (CCA), that is, the degree of perceived psychological comfort in a new cultural environment (Black 1990; Black et al. 1991), as one of the key antecedents of success (e.g., Aycan 1997; Bhaskar-Shrinivas et al. 2005). Even though expatriates relocate abroad only for a limited period of time, they need to adjust well to the host culture to effectively function in their new environment, cooperate productively with locals, apply their competences and skills efficiently, and learn new things. Being well adjusted ultimately leads to higher general and job satisfaction and lower intentions to return home early (Shaffer and Harrison 1998; Takeuchi et al. 2002).

Existing literature on expatriates can be broadly divided into two main streams: The first primarily concerns what motivates or constrains an individual's willingness to expatriate (e.g., Dickmann et al. 2008; Dickmann and Mills 2010; Doherty et al. 2011) and the second deals with different aspects and antecedents of an expatriate's CCA (e.g., Shaffer et al. 1999; Bhaskar-Shrinivas et al. 2005; Peltokorpi and Froese 2012). Acknowledging the invaluable contributions of this literature, we see several areas where it can be complemented.

First, despite the extensive literature on the motives of expatriates to relocate abroad, such as monetary- and career-related (e.g., Dickmann et al. 2008; Doherty et al. 2011), family-related factors (e.g., Konopaske et al. 2009), or the desire to experience and live in new places and cultures (e.g., Stahl et al. 2002; Dickmann and Mills 2010), with only a few exceptions, the research remains silent (Suutari and Taka 2004; Cerdin and Le Pargneux 2010) on the role of expatriates' internal career characteristics, such as career anchors, in these processes. Nevertheless, internal or subjective career characteristics influence employees' behavior and attitudes in the workplace (e.g., Arthur and Rousseau 1996; Hall 1996; Schein 1996; Cappellen and Janssens 2005). For instance, it has been argued that congruence between an individual's career anchors and his/her current work environment determines whether he/she succeeds at the current work in terms of job performance and job satisfaction, or experiences anxiety, stress and tension (Feldman and Bolino 1996; Suutari and Taka 2004; Cerdin and Le Pargneux 2009). Moreover, the increasing prominence of "boundaryless" career orientations among expatriates underlines the growing importance of internal career characteristics for their career decisions as opposed to more traditional corporate incentives and career advancements (e.g., Stahl et al. 2002; Cerdin and Le Pargneux 2010). Therefore, more research is needed to better understand the role of expatriates' career anchors as one of the central internal career characteristics in their relocation decisions.

Second, only a few studies have hitherto explicitly attempted to examine the relationships between expatriates' motives to relocate and CCA (e.g., Froese 2012; Selmer and Lauring 2013). Importantly, these studies have focused exclusively on self-initiated academic expatriates. Froese (2012) qualitatively explored the relationships between their motivations to go abroad and CCA, whereas Selmer and Lauring (2013) examined the links between cognitive and affective reasons to expatriate and work adjustment. However, it appears that no prior study has empirically examined the relationships between specifically organizational career anchors of expatriates and different dimensions of CCA. The only (known to us) attempt is a conceptual contribution by Cerdin and Pargneux (2009), where the authors argue that congruence between expatriates' anchors and international assignment characteristics leads to better performance. However, the role of different career anchors in determining expatriates' CCA--as one of the key determinants of expatriates' success--has remained unexplored up to now.

Finally, the extant studies of expatriates' career anchors (Suutari and Taka 2004; Cerdin and Le Pargneux 2010) have focused exclusively on expatriates in for-profit organizations. However, considering the documented diversity of expatriates (e.g., Collings et al. 2007), more research on the differences between expatriates in for-profit and non-profit organizations is needed (NPO) (Oberholster et al. 2013). To the best of our knowledge, no study has explored career anchors of expatriates in NPOs. This is in line with the general lack of research on HRM (Fenwick 2005) and on expatriates (Selmer and Fenner 2009a, b) in international NPOs. Meanwhile, by the end of the last century, the non-profit sector had become the most rapidly growing of any internationalizing organizational sectors during the last 20 years (see Lindenberg 1999). Today, it employs a lot of people globally, including a large number of expatriates (Dahlgren et al. 2009). Because in contrast to for-profit organizations, NPOs tend to exhibit value rationality, often based on a strong ideology, rather than economic rationality (Hudson and Bielefeld 1997; Fenwick 2005), they are likely to attract more intrinsically-motivated expatriates who believe in the organization's mission or an opportunity to actualize their individual values (Oberholster et al. 2013). Meanwhile, the organizations themselves often lack knowledge about corporate-style management approaches (Fenwick 2005). As a result, the turnover rate among expatriates in NPOs is high, not least because of the difficulties in adjustment related to the quality and quantity of pre-departure preparations, the inadequate level of compensation, and the limited ability of NPOs to invest resources into providing high-quality continuous organizational support (Fenwick 2005). Hence, the context of expatriates in NPOs appears to be well suited for exploring how expatriates' internal career orientations relate to their CCA and needs to be examined.

Based on a sample of 189 French expatriates working for an NPO, this study contributes to the literature in two ways. First, it identifies the dominant career anchors possessed by organizational expatriates employed by an NPO. In this way, it adds to the literature on international NPOs (e.g., Fenwick 2005; Dahlgren et al. 2009; Oberholster et al. 2013) and, more specifically, on expatriates in these organizations (e.g., Selmer and Fenner 2009a, b) by shedding light on what career anchors characterize this hitherto scarcely studied group of employees. Second, the study theorizes and examines the previously unexplored associations between expatriates' career anchors and CCA empirically. By doing so, it complements the literature on expatriates' CCA (e.g., Bhaskar-Shrinivas et al. 2005; Froese 2012; Selmer and Lauring 2013) by increasing our understanding of how expatriates' long-term internal career characteristics influence their current ability to adjust to new cultural environments, thereby increasing their chances to succeed in assignments.

The paper is organized as follows. In the following sections, we provide an overview of the career anchors theory, explore our sample to identify dominant career anchors among expatriates in an NPO, and develop hypotheses to examine associations between expatriates' career anchors and CCA. We then test the hypotheses empirically using canonical correlation analyses complemented by structural equation models (SEM). Finally, we discuss our findings.

2 Theoretical Background

2.1 The Theory of Career Anchors

Over the last couple of decades, the focus in career research has been shifting towards assigning more importance to internal or subjective characteristics of one's career (e.g., Arthur and Rousseau 1996; Hall 1996; Cappellen and Janssens 2005). A person's career is increasingly seen as "the evolving sequence of a person's work experiences over time" (Arthur et al. 1989, p. 48) that shapes up a subjective sense of where one is going in one's working life. In this sense, a person's career is driven and guided by his/her internal values, attitudes, and beliefs rather than organizational structures, policies, and societal occupational role expectations (Cappellen and Janssens 2010).

To capture a person's internal values, attitudes, and beliefs in relation to his/her career, Schein (1978, 1990, 1996) proposed the concept of 'career anchor', that is, "a combination of perceived areas of competence, motives, and values that [a person] would not give up, [because] it represents [his/her] real self (Schein 1990, p. 1). It implies that individuals have long-term preferences concerning their work and work environments and a fit between their career anchors and work environments results in positive outcomes, e.g., work effectiveness and job satisfaction (Schein 1987, 1990, 1996).

Essentially, career anchors form an underlying self-concept, self-image, and self-perception of an employee in relation to where he/she is going career-wise. Whereas external factors may influence how employees make decisions in a particular place and time about their careers, for instance, by relocating abroad because of poor economic conditions in the home country, such decisions are still likely to remain occasional and intermittent. Over time, employees can be expected to bring their careers into line with their internal career orientations gradually and through subsequent career decisions. Furthermore, once relocated, their behavior and actions in the new roles and workplaces are likely to be guided by their deeper internal career aspirations and motivations. Thus, career anchors are important factors in determining employees' careers because employees tend to adhere to their underlying internal career orientations in the organizational context.

Schein (1978) has initially identified five career anchors: functional competence, managerial competence, autonomy, security, and entrepreneurial creativity. He subsequently (Schein 1987, 1990) added three more: dedication to a cause, pure challenge, and lifestyle. These can be briefly described as follows (see Schein 1990 for more):

Functional competence characterizes employees driven in their careers by the desire to apply their special skills and talents and become expert in a specific area. Employees anchored by managerial competence find fulfillment in their careers by integrating the efforts of others toward a common task and seeking responsibility to make major decisions in their organizations. Autonomy-anchored employees experience difficulties with organizational life which they find restrictive or intrusive (e.g., rules, working hours) and instead put great emphasis on self-reliance and independent judgment, seeking freedom to define their own tasks, schedules, and procedures. Security-anchored employees find comfort in their careers when they perceive future events as predictable and feel secure in terms of job employment or financial situation; they prefer stable work and are more sensitive to context than to the nature of work itself.

Entrepreneurial-creativity-anchored employees find fulfillment in their careers by creating something through the use of their own skills and efforts; they are constantly looking for ideas to start their own enterprise and they need to create and tend to be bored easily otherwise. Dedication-to-a-cause-anchored employees feel successful when they perceive that they contribute to society and use their talents in the service of others; they dream of doing something meaningful for humanity and society through their work. Lifestyle-anchored employees seek a job that integrates personal, family, and work needs; they look for organizational flexibility. Pure-challenge-anchored employees need to prove they can conquer anything; they seek jobs with unsolvable problems or seemingly impossible odds to challenge them; they are motivated by competition and obstacles.

Later, Feldman and Bolino (1996) suggested distinguishing the anchors based on the centrality of their components (talents, needs or values) and proposed the following classification: talent-based (functional competence, managerial competence and entrepreneurial creativity), need-based (autonomy, security and lifestyle), and value-based (dedication to a cause and pure challenge).

2.2 Career Anchors, Expatriation, and Cross-Cultural Adjustment

With the increasing focus on internal career (e.g., Schein 1996; Cappellen and Janssens 2005), it has been argued that a better understanding of what drives expatriates' careers and with what effects requires a deeper examination of their decisions to go abroad and of how their internal career characteristics influence their success in international assignments (Cerdin and Le Pargneux 2009, 2010). To date, however, only a few studies have specifically focused on career anchors of organizational expatriates (Suutari and Taka 2004; Cerdin and Le Pargneux 2009, 2010; Lazarova et al. 2014) and only one paper has conceptually theorized their impact on the success of expatriates in international assignment (Cerdin and Le Pargneux 2009).

The key findings of these studies are as follows. First, Suutari and Taka (2004) proposed to extend Schein's original theory of career anchors by including a ninth anchor--internationalism. It characterizes employees interested in international mobility because it offers an opportunity to work with people from various cultures in international environments. Second, the research found that several anchors dominate among expatriates; in Suutari and Taka (2004) they were pure challenge, managerial competence, lifestyle, dedication to a cause, and internationalism; whereas in Cerdin and Le Pargneux (2010) they were lifestyle, internationalism, pure challenge, autonomy, and dedication to a cause. It's important to note that both of these studies (1) focused on organizational expatriates working for for-profit organizations and did not discuss other types of expatriates (cf. Nolan and Morley 2014) and (2) did not examine linkages between expatriates' career anchors and CCA.

Yet, concerning the former, the nature and context of expatriation influence expatriates' internal values, attitudes, and internal career characteristics (Oberholster et al. 2013; Nolan and Morley 2014). Moreover, expatriates' career anchors, just like their motivations to relocate, are likely to be heterogeneous. For instance, in the specific case of NPOs, expatriates can be motivated to relocate to a large extent by their desire to have a more direct impact when working for a specific cause in a particular context where they perceive they are needed (e.g., missionary workers or cultural ambassadors).

In relation to the latter, CCA has been shown to constitute one of the key challenges for expatriates on assignment that determines whether they succeed or not (e.g., Aycan 1997; Caligiuri 2000). It has also been argued that CCA is a complex and multidimensional process comprising three different dimensions of adjustment: general living, interactional, and work-related (Bhaskar-Shrinivas et al. 2005). Whereas research to date has been insightful in explicating various individual and contextual factors that may impact expatriates' CCA, to the best of our knowledge, no research has examined the role of career anchors as key internal career characteristics in facilitating expatriates' CCA.

Against this discussion, the present study aims at contributing to the literature by (1) identifying dominant career anchors and (2) examining associations between career anchors and different dimensions of CCA among expatriates working for an NPO. We now turn to exploring our sample for dominant career anchors and developing hypotheses to test the associations between career anchors and CCA.

3 Hypotheses Development

3.1 Person-Environment Fit, Psychological Resources, and Cross-Cultural Adjustment

First, in line with prior expatriation research (Cerdin and Le Pargneux 2009, 2010; Nolan and Morley 2014), we use person-environment (PE) fit theory to theorize how different career anchors are likely to be associated with expatriates' CCA. The theory of PE fit dissects the person's overall fit into three main aspects (see Kristof-Brown et al. 2005) such as person-job fit (i.e., the compatibility of an individual's skills and a job's demands and requirements), person-organization fit (i.e., the compatibility of an individual's and an organization's characteristics such as values, goals and norms), and person-group fit (i.e., the compatibility of an individual and his/her social group). However, in its original form the theory does not consider a dimension of fit, which is of particular relevance for the expatriation literature, that is, person-culture or cultural fit (e.g., Jun and Gentry 2005; Peltokorpi and Froese 2014). Hence, for our purposes we extend the theory to include the cultural fit dimension.

The theory focuses on congruence between individuals' characteristics (e.g., values, beliefs, orientations) and the attributes of their work environments (e.g., organizational and contextual demands) (Chatman 1989; Kristof-Brown et al. 2005). To a large extent, this congruence concerns the ability and motivation of a person to fit the attributes of his/her environment (Edwards 1991). When the motivation exists, it determines the direction, intensity, and persistence of action, and the channeling of an individual's psychological resources towards accomplishing particular goals (Kanfer 1990). These motivational processes are intrinsic by nature, meaning that they are driven by one's internal values, beliefs, and orientations (Deci et al. 1989).

Second, to theorize the mechanisms through which career anchors relate to different CCA dimensions via different types of PE fits, we draw on the literature that conceptualizes career anchors as being linked to employees' career-related psychological resources enabling their possessors to be motivated learners and proactive agents in the construction and design of their workplace and career experiences (e.g., Savickas and Porfeli 2012; Coetzee and Schreuder 2014). These resources include, for instance, self-knowledge, self-efficacy, emotional literacy, behavioral adaptability, sociability, and cultural competence (e.g., Briscoe and Hall 1999; Hall and Chandler 2005; Potgieter 2014).

When applied to expatriates, it implies that the presence of a particular career anchor is likely to equip an expatriate with a set of psychological resources (some of them are listed above) that could be directed at accomplishing congruence between his/her career orientations and particular attributes of the environment. Thus, we argue that, on the one hand, different career anchors are likely to motivate expatriates towards achieving different dimensions of the PE fit. On the other hand, different PE fits are likely to relate to different dimensions of CCA (cf. Nolan and Morley 2014). Next, we turn to developing hypotheses for the associations between different career anchors and CCA dimensions.

3.2 Career Anchors and General Living Adjustment

We anticipate that cultural fit, defined as a congruence between expatriates' career orientations and their new cultural environments' characteristics, is likely to be central for the expatriates' general living adjustment, i.e., the psychological adjustment to different aspects of the new everyday living, non-work-related environment, such as food, transport, climate, etc. (Black and Stephens 1989). We argue that need-based (i.e., lifestyle, autonomy, and security), value-based (i.e., pure challenge and dedication to a cause), and internationalism career anchors are likely to motivate expatriates to direct their psychological resources towards achieving a good congruence with their new cultural environment, thus being conducive to their general living adjustment.

Yet, we do not expect this to hold for talent-based anchors (i.e., managerial competence, functional competence and entrepreneurial creativity). These anchors tend to motivate employees to direct their psychological resources towards exercising their work-related talents and improving their professional expertise (Schein 1990; Feldman and Bolino 1996). Subsequently, these motivational effects are likely to be limited to the expatriates' workplace and not affect their general living adjustment. In support, Nolan and Morley (2014) found person-job and person-organizations fits to have no effect on general living adjustment among expatriates in Ireland.

When it comes to the need-based anchors, Schein (1996) has argued that employees in the twenty-first century are characterized by strong self-reliance and self-management components. It means that the foundation of employees' security and autonomy shifts from being dependent and reliant on the organization towards being dependent and reliant on oneself to ensure one's continuous employability and wellbeing. For instance, Feldman and Bolino (2000) found autonomy and security to be among the top three most frequent career anchors among self-employed individuals in the USA. Further, the need-based anchors were found to be significantly related to employees' openness to change (Wils et al. 2010), cultural competence, and proactivity (Oosthuizen et al. 2014), which, in turn, were shown to positively relate to general living adjustment (e.g., Huang et al. 2005; Peltokorpi and Froese 2012).

Drawing on these findings, it is plausible to suggest that autonomy-anchored expatriates would perceive it as important to ensure their autonomy from the insecurity of their local employment by using their cultural competence and openness to change as psychological resources to fit into their new general living environment. Being well adjusted and not dependent on organizational support, which is rarely provided in NPOs, would provide them with the sought-after autonomy to decide how they want to go about living in the new environment. Likewise, security-anchored expatriates are likely to ensure their adjustment to the local culture to acquire and keep open the alternative ways of living in the host location. Knowing and understanding the local culture by being well adjusted is bound to increase their sense of security. It also concerns the lifestyle-anchored expatriates whose careers increasingly become parts of their larger "life systems" that extend beyond conventional organizational boundaries to include non-work-related aspects of their lives. They are likely to be motivated to focus on non-work-related aspects of CCA to ensure that they are not too reliant and dependent on their organizations during their assignments to pursue the desired lifestyle outside of their workplace.

Furthermore, the value-based anchors, i.e., pure challenge and dedication to a cause, are also likely to be positively associated with expatriates' general living adjustment. The possession of these anchors positively relates to individuals' proactivity, self-efficacy, emotional literacy, and cultural competence (Oosthuizen et al. 2014), the psychological resources which were shown to facilitate general living adjustment (Peltokorpi and Froese 2012; Koveshnikov et al. 2014). Utilizing these as resources is likely to contribute to the person-culture fit by supporting the expatriates' belief in their ability to cope with the challenging and stressful attributes of their new cultural contexts (Schein 1990).

Being anchored by pure challenge would motivate the expatriates to go outside and explore the local culture to understand its positive and negative attributes and then attempt to adjust to these novel conditions. Achieving congruence between one's orientation to overcome challenges and the new culture's attributes is likely to motivate these expatriates. Further, being anchored by dedication to a cause is also likely to ensure that the expatriates take general living adjustment seriously. Understanding the local culture and feeling psychologically comfortable in it might be necessary for them to pursue their professional cause effectively. Moreover, being dedicated to a cause is likely to make the expatriates perceive their task and assignment in general as important and significant. Previous research found task significance to be a strong predictor of task performance and dedication (e.g., Bing and Burroughs 2001; Grant 2008). Thus, we expect dedication-to-a-cause-anchored expatriates to purposefully invest their psychological resources in fitting into the new culture, thereby facilitating their general living adjustment.

Finally, the expatriates anchored by internationalism can also be expected to pay special attention and be motivated and interested in fitting into their new living environments beyond organizational boundaries. It would naturally correspond to their openness to international mobility and the desire to live in and experience new, foreign cultures (Lazarova et al. 2014). Therefore, we suggest the following hypothesis:

Hypothesis 1: Need-based (i.e., lifestyle, autonomy, and security),
value-based
(i.e., pure challenge and dedication to a cause),
and internationalism career
anchors are positively associated with expatriates'
general living adjustment.


3.2.1 Career Anchors and Interactional Adjustment

We foresee that person-(social) group fit is likely to facilitate an expatriate's interactional adjustment. By "group" we mean the new social circle into which an expatriate is socialized in the new context. Extant research provides support for this argument underscoring the importance of extensive socialization and friendly social interaction for expatriates' CCA (e.g., Caligiuri 2000; Caligiuri and Lazarova 2002). Social interaction is a precious source of information about culturally acceptable norms of behavior in the new environment. Fitting into one's local social group is likely to support an expatriate in dealing with various challenges, stress, and anxieties in new living and work-related situations, thereby facilitating his/her interactional adjustment (e.g., Aycan 1997; Caligiuri and Lazarova 2002).

We anticipate that value-based anchors such as pure challenge and dedication to a cause, need-based anchors such as security, autonomy, and lifestyle, as well as internationalism are likely to motivate expatriates to achieve person-(social) group fit (in addition to the cultural fit as argued above) and equip them with the psychological resources needed to do so. However, we do not expect this to apply to talent-based anchors (i.e., managerial competence, functional competence and entrepreneurial creativity). As in the case of general living adjustment, because these anchors tend to motivate employees towards employing their work-related talents and improving their professional expertise (Schein 1990; Feldman and Bolino 1996), their effects are likely to be largely limited to the expatriates' workplace and thus are not likely to affect their adjustment to the new social group outside of it.

To argue for the positive associations, we first foresee that perceiving one's assignment as a challenge to overcome is likely to motivate the expatriates anchored by pure challenge to integrate better into their new social groups. By employing the psychological resources associated with the pure challenge anchor, such as openness to change, self-efficacy, sociability, and proactivity (Wils et al. 2010; Oosthuizen et al. 2014), the expatriates would aim at proving to themselves that they can deal with this challenging situation and become accepted by the new social group. This, in turn, is likely to relate positively to their interactional adjustment (Peltokorpi and Froese 2012). Likewise, expatriates anchored by dedication to a cause would see it as crucial to integrate into the local social circle to ensure that they have access to and are trusted and accepted by those they are trying to reach. These expatriates can be expected to be motivated and persistent in employing the psychological resources intrinsic to their career anchor, namely proactivity, sociability, and emotional literacy, to interact and socialize with locals, Thereby establishing cooperative and friendly relations to effectively communicate and spread their ideas (e.g., Caligiuri 2000; Grant 2008; Oosthuizen et al. 2014).

Second, the need-based anchors are also likely to motivate expatriates to invest resources into forming amiable relationships with the locals thus fitting into their new social groups and facilitating their interactional adjustment. Fitting in can provide the expatriates with a sense of psychological security and independence from employers sought by the expatriates anchored by security and autonomy (Schein 1990). Hence, the organization will not be the only source of psychological well-being for these expatriates. Furthermore, integrating into an extensive social network is likely to enhance the expatriates' lifestyle outside of the workplace, something that those anchored by lifestyle look for.

Finally, striving to live and work in an international environment is likely to stimulate the expatriates anchored by internationalism to interact closely and collaborate with locals to develop and grow their international networks (Lazarova et al. 2014). Naturally, in this way, by fitting into their new social group, expatriates could feel that they actually live and work in the sought-after international environment.

In general, perceiving it as important to be integrated into the new social environment, expatriates with value-based, need-based, and internationalism career anchors can be expected to employ their psychological resources to integrate with their new social group. This will arguably be favorable for their interactional adjustment (cf. Mendenhall and Oddou 1985). Therefore, we propose the following hypothesis:

Hypothesis 2: Value-based (i.e., pure challenge and
dedication to a cause),
need-based (i.e., lifestyle, autonomy, and security)
and internationalism career
anchors are positively associated with expatriates'
interactional adjustment.


3.2.2 Career Anchors and Work Adjustment

Extant research has shown that person-organization fit and person-job fit positively influence an expatriate's work adjustment (Peltokorpi and Froese 2009; Nolan and Morley 2014). Generally, employees who share or internalize values of their organizations are better able to understand and accept their work roles, job demands, and performance standards (e.g., Chatman 1991). It was argued that congruence between career anchors and work environment is positively related to a number of work-related outcomes, e.g., work adjustment and job satisfaction (Feldman and Bolino 1996). Ultimately, whether an expatriate is willing and intrinsically-motivated to achieve such a congruence, is, once again, likely to depend on his/her underlying internal career anchors.

More specifically, we anticipate that being anchored by two of the talent-based (i.e., managerial competence and functional competence), value-based (i.e., pure challenge and dedication to a cause), and internationalism career anchors is likely to be favorable for an expatriate's motivation to direct his/her psychological resources towards fitting into the new organization, thereby ultimately facilitating his/her work adjustment.

First, being anchored by a desire to apply and prove one's functional or managerial competence can be expected to motivate expatriates to be proactive in internalizing values and practices of their new organizations thus facilitating their work adjustment (see Schein 1990; Feldman and Bolino 1996; Oosthuizen et al. 2014). Only by so doing, are expatriates able to demonstrate and apply their competencies effectively. Yet, we do not expect entrepreneurial creativity to facilitate the expatriates' work adjustment because it characterizes employees who are motivated by creating and managing their own projects (Schein 1990). It can be counterproductive to the need to comply and internalize the new workplace's values and practices to become successfully adjusted. It is not a coincidence that Feldman and Bolino (2000) found entrepreneurial creativity to be the second most common dominant anchor (after autonomy) among self-employed individuals in the USA.

Second, we foresee that the same logic will be applicable to expatriates anchored by internationalism, because, by definition, they are motivated to work in and fit into foreign organizations and workplaces (Suutari and Taka 2004). Lazarova et al. (2014) showed that internationalism-anchored employees effectively internalize the skills and knowledge associated with successful global careers. Hence they can also be expected to be willing to internalize the performance standards and job demands of their new workplaces overseas.

Third, for expatriates anchored by pure challenge and dedication to a cause, work adjustment is also likely to be crucial for self-realization purposes. For the former, fitting into their new workplace would allow them to feel satisfied about overcoming yet another challenge in the new environment. For the latter, it would allow focusing on the actual cause that they pursue without being distracted by possible conflicts and misunderstandings at the new workplace. The psychological resources associated with these anchors, such as openness to change, proactivity and self-efficacy (see Oosthuizen et al. 2014), are likely to help them adjust to their new workplaces.

Finally, at the same time, we expect that need-based anchors (i.e., autonomy, security, and lifestyle) are not likely to facilitate expatriates' work adjustment. These anchors tend to encapsulate the motivations of employees to decrease their dependence on their organizations, in terms of psychological well-being and self-realization, (Schein 1990, 1996). In this sense, they are not likely to motivate expatriates to invest their psychological resources in fitting into their new workplaces. Hence, these anchors are not likely to facilitate work adjustment. Therefore, we propose the following hypothesis:

Hypothesis 3: Two talent-based career anchors
(i.e., managerial competence
and functional competence, but not entrepreneurial creativity),
both value-based
career anchors (i.e., pure challenge and dedication to a cause), and
internationalism are positively associated with expatriates'
work adjustment.


Figure 1 presents the proposed conceptual framework.

4 Methodology

4.1 Case Organization and Sample

The sample consisted of French expatriates employed by Alliance Francaise, an independent, not-for-profit international organization established in 1883 in Paris, the mission of which is to promote French culture, language, and education abroad. The organization operates in 136 countries on all five continents. Annually, its language courses are attended by more than 500,000 people and more than 6 million people participate in its cultural activities. The organization relies on expatriates in running its operations around the world. (2) The data were collected through a web-based survey administered in French, the native language of the participants. The survey was sent to all the assigned expatriates currently employed by the organization (n = 340). 269 valid responses were received (a response rate of 79%).

In line with career anchor theory, which postulates that individuals need some life experience to discover their career anchor(s) (see Schein 1996), we applied restrictions to our sample; we selected only those expatriates who were at least 25 years of age, i.e., had some life experience and prior expatriation experience. Therefore, our final sample was reduced to 189 expatriates. The average age of the respondents was 41 years (std = 11.0), the average experience in expatriation was around 10 years (std = 7.9), and the average duration of assignments was around 3 years (std = 1.7). The sample consisted of 135 men (71%) and 54 women (29%), 55% were married or had a partner, 51% had children, 36% had two children or more.

4.2 Measures

4.2.1 Career Anchors

To measure career anchors, we used the 40-item scale from Schein (1990) and the five-item scale from Cerdin (2007) to measure internationalism. A French translation of the original scales was adopted from Cerdin (2007). The items were measured from '1' ('completely disagree') to '6' ('completely agree'). The Cronbach alphas and composite reliability rhos of the anchors were satisfactory: functional competence (five items, [alpha] = 0.75, [rho] = 0.79), managerial competence (five items, [alpha] = 0.78, [rho] = 0.81), autonomy (five items, [alpha] = 0.78, [rho] = 0.82), security (five items, [alpha] = 0.75, [rho] = 0.78), entrepreneurial creativity (five items, [alpha] = 0.79, [rho] = 0.82), dedication to a cause (five items, [alpha] = 0.78, [rho] = 0.81), pure challenge (five items, [alpha] = 0.81, [rho] = 0.83), lifestyle (five items, [alpha] = 0.71, [rho] = 0.73), and internationalism (five items, [alpha] = 0.79, [rho] = 0.84). To test the validity of our measures, we adopted Bagozzi and Heatherton's (1994) partial disaggregation approach. It accounts for the number of observations and the number of measurement items, reduces the level of random error, and improves the stability of the estimates (Bagozzi and Heatherton 1994; Baumgartner and Homberg 1996). Following this approach, we created composite variables for each dimension. The measure of career anchors with nine dimensions ([chi square](108) = 384; p < 0.001; GFI = 0.98; CFI = 0.97; RMSEA = 0.06) as well as Feldman and Bolino's (1996) three dimensional model ([chi square](133) = 380; p < 0.001; GFI = 0.96; CFI = 0.93; RMSEA = 0.07) were found to be reliable. There was no significant difference in fit between the models: ([DELTA][chi square] (Model9/3)(25) = 4), thus indicating their equivalence.

To identify dominant career anchors, we followed the guidelines in Schein (2006). First, the respondents were asked to evaluate all 45 items in the instrument on a scale from '1' ('completely disagree') to '6' ('completely agree'). Second, because the previous step does not clearly determine what anchor is dominant for each of the respondents, the respondents were then asked to pick the most important item from the original list of 45 items, the one which, in their view, describes their career aspirations in the best possible way. Five additional "points" were added to the score of the selected item. Then the respondents were asked to pick the second most important item, the third, the fourth and, ultimately, the fifth. The selected items received additional four, three, two and one "points" respectively. Finally, the scores of all the items obtained during the first two steps were summed up to form the final scores. Schein (2006) suggests such a procedure to ensure that the dominant anchors, i.e., the anchors with the highest scores, clearly stand out from the rest once the items are combined and averaged. This procedure is further clarified by means of an illustrative example presented in Appendix 1.

4.2.2 Cross-Cultural Adjustment

We examined expatriates' CCA using a construct developed by Black and colleagues (Black and Stephens 1989; Black 1990; Black et al. 1991), which consists of three dimensions: general living adjustment (seven items, e.g., "Health care facilities", [alpha] = 0.87, [rho] = 0.88), interactional adjustment (four items, e.g., "Interacting with host nationals on a day-to-day basis", [alpha] = 0.91, [rho] = 0.92) and work adjustment (three items, e.g., "Performance standards and expectations", [alpha] = 0.90, [rho] = 0.90). The respondents were asked to rate their adjustment on a scale from '1' ('very unadjusted') to '6' ('perfectly adjusted'). We adopted a French version of the three-dimensional measure from Cerdin (1998), which was found to be reliable: ([chi square](74) = 174.57; p < 0.001; GFI = 0.89; CFI = 0.87; RMSEA = 0.05).

It has to be acknowledged that the adopted CCA conceptualization has been criticized in the past for (a) measuring adjustment on a one-dimensional scale (unadjusted-adjusted), whereas it is likely to span several dimensions (e.g., cognition, emotions, and behaviors) (Shaffer et al. 2006) and for (b) a potential conceptual overlap between the dimensions (mainly between interactional and work adjustment) (Thomas and Lazarova 2006). Yet, despite its weaknesses, the adopted measure's three-dimensional structure (e.g., Parker and McEvoy 1993) as well as its structural equivalence across different cultural samples (see Shaffer et al. 1999) have been verified. Moreover, the choice of CCA measures, to date, remains rather limited. The alternative measure by Searle and Ward (1990), which distinguishes between psychological (i.e., psychological and emotional wellbeing and satisfaction) and socio-cultural (i.e., the ability to 'fit in' in an interactive and behavioral sense), is not based on a comprehensive model of adjustment and suffers from several measurement inconsistencies and non-comparability (Thomas and Lazarova 2006). The recently proposed measure by Hippler et al. (2014) is a more comprehensive and theory-driven measure covering a range of expatriate adjustment facets. But considering its relative novelty, it has not yet been widely tested and thus has low comparability.

4.2.3 Controls

We included several controls that were shown to affect expatriates' CCA (e.g., Shaffer and Harrison 1998; Selmer 2002): age (chronological), gender (a dummy variable where "1" stands for woman), prior experience in expatriation (a dummy variable where "1" stands for prior experience in expatriation), and cultural similarity (eight items; Torbiorn, 1982, [alpha] = 0.87, [rho] = 0.90).

4.3 Assessment of Common Method Bias

To test for common method variance (CMV) bias, we undertook several ex ante and ex post measures (Podsakoff et al. 2003). First, to avoid social desirability bias, we told our respondents that there are no pre-existing expectations and right or wrong answers when it comes to their responses. Further, we also assured them of their anonymity and confidentiality. Finally, we designed the survey so that the items were ordered randomly throughout the instrument to make it difficult for the respondents to make mental connections between the constructs.

Second, we employed several statistical techniques. We performed Harman's single factor test where we included all items of the two constructs (CCA and career anchors) into exploratory factor analysis. Three factors with eigenvalues greater than one were returned. The first factor accounted for less than 18% of the total variance suggesting no evidence of uni-dimensionality in our data. Then, following the unmeasured latent method construct (ULMC) approach (Williams et al. 1989), we performed three confirmatory factor analyses. The first one was our theoretical model (Model 1). Then an additional latent construct was added and the measurement factor loadings, first, were free to vary (Model 2a) and, second, were constrained to be equal (Model 2b). The method factor did not improve the model fits (GFI (Model2a) = 0.96 and GFI (Model2b) = 0.91 vs. GFI (Model1) = 0.98), the ULMC models showed a non-significant change in fit [chi square] (Mdel1)(462) = 1455; [chi square] (Model2a)(426) = 1406, [DELTA][chi square] (Model1/2a)(36) = 49 [chi square] (Model2b)(457) = 1445, [DELTA][chi square] (M) (odel1/2b)(5) = Thus, we conclude that CMV bias is not a major concern in our analysis.

4.4 Empirical Strategy

In addition to descriptive statistics, we used canonical correlation analysis to examine multiple associations between the three dimensions of CCA and the nine career anchors. This type of analysis is particularly suitable for analyzing the associations between two sets of variables (Sherry and Henson 2005). Canonical correlation analysis is a special case of structural equation modeling (Fan 1997) that is recommended for analyses with two sets of multiple dependent variables (in our case CCA) and independent variables (in our case career anchors) (Henson 2000). The analysis establishes two sets of coefficients--one for criterion variables and one for predictor variables--so that potential canonical factors from the two sets of variables are defined by the more highly correlated possible canonical variates. In this way, it establishes pairs of orthogonal factors between two respective sets of variables, thus assessing associations between two groups of variables (Sherry and Henson 2005). Canonical correlation analysis determines whether two sets of variables are independent, reveals the nature of associations, and measures the contribution of each variable to canonical factors (Alpert and Peterson 1972; Sherry and Henson 2005).

Despite its benefits, canonical correlation analyses are relatively rarely used in management, mostly because the method provides no statistical significance testing (Thompson 1984; Fan 1997), thus raising concerns about interpretation of the results being subjective (Mulaik et al. 1989). Yet, it has been demonstrated that canonical correlation analysis can be represented using SEM estimates (Bagozzi et al. 1981), which can provide statistical significance information (Fan 1997; Guarino 2004). More precisely, canonical correlation analyses can be seen as Multiple Indicators/Multiple Causes (MIMIC) model (see Fan 1997 for a demonstration), where latent variables have both causal and effect indicators (e.g., MacCallum and Browne 1993). We used this approach in our analysis (the multiple indicators corresponded to the dimensions of CCA, while the multiple causes were the nine career anchors) to estimate statistical significance coefficients for our variables. For all the analyses described above we used SAS 9.3 software package.

5 Findings

The summary statistics for all the variables are provided in Table 1.

First, we explored our sample to identify what career anchors were dominant among the expatriates. As in the work of Suutari and Taka (2004) and Cerdin and Le Pargneux (2009), internationalism was the most dominant anchor (54% of our sample; n = 102) followed by dedication to a cause (18%; n = 34) and lifestyle (15%; n = 28). Dedication to a cause characterizes individuals who make their career decisions based on their will to "improve the world in some fashion" (Schein 1996, p. 24). Its dominance can be attributed to the nature of our sample composed of expatriates working abroad to promote and disseminate French culture, language, and education. Further, lifestyle anchor represents individuals seeking a career that corresponds to their lifestyle (Schein 1996); it is not only about balancing one's own professional and personal lives but also about managing the career of one's spouse. Understandably, this anchor proved dominant since 55% of the expatriates in our sample had families. Altogether, the three dominant anchors represented 87% of the expatriates in the sample.

There were notable differences in the characteristics of the expatriates with the three dominant anchors (see Table 2). Internationalism-anchored expatriates were slightly younger (39 vs. 41) and less experienced in expatriation (8.5 vs. 10) and in their organization (5.7 vs. 7) than their colleagues. Dedication-to-a-cause-anchored expatriates were slightly older (44 vs. 41), had more experience in their function (5.5 vs. 4.3) and expatriation (11.2 vs. 10), a longer tenure (9 vs. 7), and were more often expatriated without spouse/partner and/or children (42 vs. 27%). Lifestyle-anchored expatriates more often had a partner/spouse and/or children (41 vs. 20%) and large families (22 vs. 9%).

To test our hypotheses, we examined the associations between the nine anchors and the three dimensions of CCA through canonical correlation analyses complemented by SEM estimation, as recommended by Fan (1997). We employed canonical correlation analyses to (a) account for the multidimensional nature of CCA and (b) establish the associations (i.e., canonical function coefficients) between the three dimensions of adjustment and specific career anchors. We then used SEM estimation to conduct statistical significance testing for these coefficients to decrease the subjectivity of interpretations of our results (ibid.).

The tests of dimensionality indicated that the three canonical functions were statistically significant at the 0.05 level. The analysis yielded three functions with squared canonical correlations ([MATHEMATICAL EXPRESSION NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) of 0.85, 0.86 and 0.77 for each successive function. The full model across all functions was statistically significant. The multivariate test statistics, including Wilks's Lambda, confirmed that the three dimensions of CCA were related to the nine career anchors (W = 0.72; p < 0.001). Because Wilks's Lambda represents the variance unexplained by the model, 1--Lambda yields the full model effect size (Sherry and Hanson 2005). Thus, for the set of three canonical functions, the model effect size was 0.28, which means that the full model explained altogether 28% of the variance shared between the variable sets. Table 3 presents the estimates from SEM (C), their t-values (t) and significance levels (p-values) for the three canonical functions across both sets of variables (i.e., three dimensions of CCA and nine career anchors).

The first canonical function was positively and significantly associated with interactional adjustment (C = 1.33, p < 0.01), dedication to a cause (C = 0.21, p < 0.05), Pure Challenge (C = 0.14, p < 0.1), and internationalism (C = 0.15, p < 0.1); the second canonical function with general living adjustment (C = 1.21, p < 0.05), autonomy (C = 0.18, p < 0.05), security (C = 0.17, p < 0.05), dedication to a cause (C = 0.22, p < 0.01), and pure challenge (C = 0.11, p < 0.05); and the third canonical function with work adjustment (C = 1.00, p < 0.01), functional competence (C = 0.16, p < 0.1), managerial competence (C = 0.18, p < 0.05), pure challenge (C = 0.09, p < 0.1), and internationalism (C = 0.09, p < 0.1).

The multidimensional analyses showed that two out of three need-based career anchors, namely autonomy and security, but not lifestyle, were positively and significantly associated with expatriates' general living adjustment. Contrary to our expectations, we found no significant association between internationalism and general living adjustment. However, the associations between the value-based anchors (dedication to a cause and pure challenge) and general living adjustment turned out significant. Thus, Hypothesis 1 was partially supported.

As we expected, both dedication to a cause and pure challenge as well as internationalism were positively and significantly associated with expatriates' interactional adjustment. However, contrary to our expectation, no associations were found between interactional adjustment and the need-based anchors, i.e., security, autonomy, and lifestyle. Thus, Hypothesis 2 was partially supported.

Finally, the talent-based anchors, such as functional competence and managerial competence, were positively and significantly associated with the work adjustment of expatriates. We also found marginally significant associations between work adjustment and internationalism as well as pure challenge, but not dedication to a cause. Thus, Hypothesis 3 was also partially supported.

To verify our results, we conducted sensitivity analyses. We duplicated the correlation analysis on a subgroup representing 80% of the observations (n = 151) chosen randomly (see Thompson 1994). The results were robust since the patterns of the associations remained the same.

6 Discussion

6.1 Theoretical Contributions

In this paper, we aimed at contributing to the literature in two ways. First, by exploring the nature of career anchors possessed by expatriates working for an NPO, we addressed the lack of studies on other types of expatriates than expatriates in the for-profit sector (e.g., Selmer and Fenner 2009a, b; Nolan and Morley 2014). Second, by examining the associations between expatriates' career anchors and CCA, the study offered one of the first attempts to increase our understanding of these relationships (e.g., Cerdin and Le Pargneux 2009, 2010). In the following, we discuss our results in more detail.

6.1.1 Career Anchors Among Expatriates in Non-Profit Organizations

We found internationalism, lifestyle, and dedication to a cause to be the most dominant career anchors among the expatriates in our NPO. These results are understandable considering the nature of our expatriates; they are internationally-oriented people who are relocated abroad to carry out a mission of promoting French language and culture. It is notable that, similar to for-profit organizations, expatriates in NPOs are also strongly internationally-oriented. It means that the international nature of these organizations, offering a possibility to work and live in international environments and build an international career, matters a lot to them.

Furthermore, because 55% of our expatriates had their families relocated with them, the lifestyle anchor was well represented in our sample. For these expatriates (especially the ones with one or more children) work-life balance becomes a non-trivial concern and, in some cases, the most central career orientation.

The results concerning these two anchors are generally in line with previous research on expatriates in for-profit organizations (see Suutari and Taka 2004; Cerdin and Le Pargneux 2010), thus indicating that the difference in internal career orientations between expatriates in for-profit organizations and NPOs is not large. And it is not only the ideological nature of international NPOs or their mission that attracts potential employees.

However, in contrast to the previous studies (Suutari and Taka 2004; Cerdin and Le Pargneux 2010), we did not find managerial competence to be among the dominant anchors. Instead, dedication to a cause came on top. This difference can probably be attributed to the organizational context of NPOs, where employees are more likely to be recognized and feel self-realized not by demonstrating their managerial competence and having it acknowledged by their colleagues and superiors but rather by being externally recognized and appreciated for their efforts to help others and for successful pursuit of their ideological cause (Fenwick 2005).

Overall, our analysis provides support for the growing realization in the literature that expatriates around the world are becoming increasingly self-reliant and "boundaryless" in their career orientations (e.g., Stahl et al. 2002; Cerdin and Le Pargneux 2010). Complementing the literature on expatriates in NPOs (Selmer and Fenner 2009a, b), it shows that expatriates also consider internal career characteristics, in terms of what they value the most and want to achieve in their careers (e.g., Schein 1996; Cappellen and Janssens 2005), important for career-related decisions. Furthermore, it appears that there are similarities between the career orientations of expatriates in for-profit organizations and NPOs. Both want to build meaningful careers in an international setting and both want to take into account their current life situations. The only notable difference is that the latter tend to consider their careers more closely interrelated with their ideological aspirations and motivations, whereas the former are more focused on developing their professional competencies and skills. These characteristics and the differences need to be understood and taken into account.

6.1.2 The Career Anchors of Expatriates and Cross-Cultural Adjustment

Our analysis started to shed light on the associations between expatriates' career anchors and the three dimensions of CCA. Up to now, to the best of our knowledge, no study has specifically theorized and examined these associations. Yet, this knowledge is important for understanding how expatriates' long-term career orientations, epitomized in career anchors, relate to their ability to adjust and, subsequently, succeed on their assignments.

Interestingly, among the dominant anchors, only dedication to a cause had a significant positive association with both general living and interactional adjustments. The associations of internationalism with interactional and work adjustment were only marginally significant, whereas lifestyle was not found to relate to any of the adjustment dimensions. Nevertheless, other anchors appeared to be (and in some cases even stronger) associated with different dimensions of CCA: autonomy, security and pure challenge for general living; pure challenge for interactional; and managerial competence, functional competence with pure challenge for work adjustment.

Prior literature has suggested, although purely conceptually (see Cerdin and Le Pargneux 2009), that managerial competence, autonomy, pure challenge, and internationalism are likely to relate positively to expatriates' assignment success. In this sense, our study reaffirms these propositions, but in a more nuanced fashion, showing what aspects of CCA these anchors positively relate to. Furthermore, we find other anchors that were previously argued to be negatively associated with expatriates' success (see Cerdin and Le Pargneux 2009), whereas in our study they were positively associated with adjustment. These are dedication to a cause, security, and functional competence.

The positive association between dedication to a cause and interactional adjustment is in line with our expectations. Moreover, it also helps expatriates in general living adjustment; it appears that when dedicated to a cause an expatriate is likely to focus on ensuring that all aspects of his/her new environment are in shape and do not distract him/her from the pursued cause. Successful adjustment with the new social group appears to facilitate an expatriate's adjustment to his/her wider cultural environment.

When it comes to functional competence and its positive association with work adjustment, it can be that when an expatriate possesses a high level of technical or functional competence (in our case it is language and cultural skills), it is seen as a sign of professionalism that triggers respect from local employees, further helping the expatriate to adjust to his/her new working environment. On the other hand, being a good professional may make it easier for an expatriate to adjust to the new workplace.

Finally, the expatriates anchored by security appear to be relatively more motivated to invest their psychological resources in adjusting successfully to the new living context and thus feel secure. This is in line with our theorizing based on Schein (1996), according to which the foundation of employee security and autonomy in the contemporary world is shifting away from dependence and reliance on an organization towards dependence and reliance on oneself and one's surrounding environment.

As already mentioned, it is interesting that the lifestyle anchor, which was shown or argued elsewhere to be dominant among different groups of expatriates (Suutari and Taka 2004; Cerdin and Le Pargneux 2009, 2010), was not found to be positively associated with expatriates' CCA. Perhaps the nature of this anchor, which is concerned with achieving a satisfactory work-life balance (Cerdin and Le Pargneux 2010), prevents expatriates from focusing their efforts on adjusting to their new living and work environments to a sufficient degree, thus leaving them in a sort of limbo between the two. On the other hand, we found pure challenge to be the only anchor associated with all dimensions of CCA. It seems that being driven in one's career by the desire to overcome challenges and obstacles constitutes a perfect career orientation for those who embark on international assignments ready to deal with whatever challenges come their way.

Overall, our analysis contributes to the literature on expatriates' CCA (e.g., Shaffer et al. 1999; Froese 2012; Selmer and Lauring 2013) by addressing the lack of research on the associations between expatriates' anchors and CCA. It uses PE fit theory and the literature that links career anchors to psychological resources to theorize how expatriates with particular types of anchors are likely to focus during their assignments on achieving particular types of fit and how this is then likely to facilitate their CCA. By so doing, we provided a more nuanced and theoretically-grounded understanding of the associations between the anchors and the different dimensions of expatriates' CCA.

6.2 Managerial Relevance

The study offers several practical implications. First, information about career anchors can be valuable for companies, including NPOs, when choosing and evaluating potential expatriates, as it may help anticipate what motivations and priorities these people have in their careers. The information can then be used to plan and develop different mobility support measures to facilitate expatriates' adjustment precisely in those areas where it will likely be needed the most in each individual case. According to our results, expatriates with talent-based dominant anchors are more likely to need assistance in general living and interactional adjustment, whereas those anchored by need-based anchors in interactional and work adjustment.

Second, our results also point toward the danger of HR specialists homogenizing and disregarding the diversity in goals, motivations, and aspirations existing among expatriates. It also holds for NPOs where it is an oversimplification to assume that all expatriates are driven in their careers by ideological beliefs and the desire to disseminate them. Our analysis also shows that among these expatriates internationalism is by far the most dominant career anchor motivating them to engage in international careers.

Finally, expatriates with different dominant career anchors can be employed by companies for different expatriation purposes; those anchored by talent-based anchors will be ideal for assignments involving a transfer of some sort of technology or knowledge, whereas those anchored by value-based anchors can be more suitable for more challenging assignments involving potential restructurings, corporate culture dissemination, ideological missions, corporate changes and, possibly, conflicts and confrontations.

6.3 Limitations and Future Research

Like any study ours is not without limitations. First, we used self-reported measures. Although we undertook several preventive measures and conducted several statistical tests to verify that common method variance bias was not a major concern for our analyses and interpretations, we acknowledge the source of our data as a limitation. Second, we relied on French translations of the main constructs in our study. We tried to minimize the risks associated with translations of measures by using existing and validated French measures which we found in the literature. Third, because in our analyses we relied on canonical correlations analyses, we tried to be cautious in our causality claims throughout the paper. Finally, due to the nature of our sample our results are limited to organizationally-assigned expatriates in NPOs. Although it is an interesting and understudied context (implying one of the contributions of our study), we acknowledge that our results might have been different in other expatriation and organizational contexts. It's up to future research to shed light on these potential differences.

Also, as we noted, Black et al.'s (1991) measure of CCA has been criticized in the past. Future research could try to verify the associations obtained in this study using an alternative CCA measure, for instance, the one developed by Hippler et al. (2014). In addition, it would also be interesting to examine influences of career anchors on other outcomes than CCA, e.g., expatriation satisfaction or intentions to return. Furthermore, the metaphor of the "anchor" itself may limit our understanding concerning the presumed stability of individuals' career orientations (cf. Feldman and Bolino 1996; Rodrigues et al. 2013). Individuals go through several stages in life and each of these stages is associated with different life and work-related priorities, attitudes, beliefs, and motivations (Kooij et al. 2011). However, our study does not examine how the associations between CCA and career anchors differ from one career stage to another. This aspect deserves attention in future research.

Appendix 1: An Illustrative Example of a Dominant Career Anchor Calculation (Based on Schein 2006)

For clarification purposes, here is an illustrative example with three items.

Assume that the three most important items for Respondent 1 in the order of importance are Item 7 ("I will feel successful in my career only if I have the feeling of having made a real contribution to the welfare of society"), Item 14 ("I have felt most fulfilled in my career when I have been able to use my talents in the service of others"), and Item 16 ("I dream of a career that would permit me to integrate my personal, family, and work needs").

Assume further that the original scores of Items 7, 14, and 16 are respectively 6, 6, and 6. Thus, following the recommendation of Schein (2006), 5 points are added to the score of Item 7 as the most important one, 4 points to Item 14 as the second most important, and 3 points to Item 16 as the third most important. These additions result in the following new scores for the items in question: respectively 11, 10, and 9.

Furthermore, Item 7 and Item 14 measure the dedication to a cause anchor, while Item 16 measures the lifestyle anchor. Assuming for simplicity reasons that the rest of the items for both anchors (i.e., the measure of dedication to a cause anchor besides Item 7 and Item 14 also includes three more items and the measure of lifestyle anchor four more items in addition to Item 16) were all marked as 4 by our respondent, the resultant scores of the two anchors [S(new)] for Respondent 1 become the following:

* Dedication to a cause: S(new) = (11 + 10 + 4+4 + 4)/5 = 6.6 instead of S(old) = (6 + 6+4 + 4+4)/5 = 4.8.

* Lifestyle: S(new) = (9 + 4+4 + 4+4)/5 = 5 instead of S(old) = (6 + 4+4 + 4+4)/5 = 4.4.

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Heidi Wechtler (1*) Alexei Koveshnikov (2*) Cecile Dejoux (3)

Received: 8 February 2016/Revised: 11 October 2016/Accepted: 26 October 2016/

Published online: 1 December 2016

[c] Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Alexei Koveshnikov alexei.koveshnikov@aalto.fi

(1) Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia

(2) Department of Management Studies, Aalto University School of Business, Helsinki, Finland

(3) Cnam, Paris, France

(1) http://www.finaccord.com/press-release_2014_global-expatriates_-size-segmentation-and-forecast-for-the-worldwide-market.htm (accessed on 4 July 2016).

(2) Source: the official Alliance Francaise webpage (www.alliancefr.org/en/who-are-we), accessed on 20 Jan 2016.

Table 1 Means, standard deviations, and correlation analysis

                          Mean   SD     1       2       3       4

1. General adjustment     4.91   0.77  (0.87)
2. Interactional adj.     4.89   0.93   0.61   (0.91)
3. Work adjustment        5.09   0.84   0.59    0.62   (0.90)
4. Functional comp.       3.98   0.80   0.12    0.17    0.26   (0.75)
5. Managerial comp.       3.53   0.91   0.19    0.24    0.31    0.29
6. Entr. creativity       3.56   1.05   0.05    0.06    0.07    0.19
7. Autonomy               4.20   0.98   0.27    0.21    0.19    0.24
8. Security               3.38   0.82   0.21    0.11    0.17    0.17
9. Lifestyle              4.96   1.07   0.17    0.13    0.12    0.13
10. Ded. to a cause       5.02   1.17   0.11    0.21    0.18    0.19
11. Pure challenge        4.23   0.97   0.21    0.29    0.22    0.28
12. Internationalism      5.19   1.24   0.19    0.26    0.24    0.37
13. Age                  41     11      0.09    0.16    0.22    0.09
14. Cultural similarity   2.86   0.98   0.35    0.12    0.22    0.11
15. Female(a)             0.29   0.45   0.04    0.12    0.01    0.16
16. Prior experience(a)   0.52   0.50   0.15    0.21    0.27    0.16

                          5         6        7        8        9

1. General adjustment
2. Interactional adj.
3. Work adjustment
4. Functional comp.
5. Managerial comp.      (0.78)
6. Entr. creativity       0.23    (0.79)
7. Autonomy               0 31     0.32    (0.78)
8. Security               0.19     0.14     0.05    (0.75)
9. Lifestyle              0.04     0.27     0.32     0.30    (0.71)
10. Ded. to a cause       0.12     0.10     0.24     0.09     0.30
11. Pure challenge        0.32     0.16     0,07     0.02     0.11
12. Internationalism      0.34     0.12     0.33     0.06     0.12
13. Age                   0.10    -0.07    -0.17     0.01    -0.09
14. Cultural similarity   0.03     0.14     0.12     0.14    -0.03
15. Female(a)            -0.04     0.10     0.09    -0.15     0.14
16. Prior experience(a)   0.01    -0.08    -0.12    -0.04    -0.09

                         10       11      12       13      14

1. General adjustment
2. Interactional adj.
3. Work adjustment
4. Functional comp.
5. Managerial comp.
6. Entr. creativity
7. Autonomy
8. Security
9. Lifestyle
10. Ded. to a cause      (0.78)
11. Pure challenge        0.43   (0.81)
12. Internationalism      0.31    0.36    (0.79)
13. Age                   0.00    0.02    -0.09    -
14. Cultural similarity   0.04    0.00     0.03     0.03  (0.87)
15. Female(a)             0.24    0.08     0.08    -0.26   0.02
16. Prior experience(a)  -0.06    0.01    -0.02     0.17   0.01

                         15     16

1. General adjustment
2. Interactional adj.
3. Work adjustment
4. Functional comp.
5. Managerial comp.
6. Entr. creativity
7. Autonomy
8. Security
9. Lifestyle
10. Ded. to a cause
11. Pure challenge
12. Internationalism
13. Age
14. Cultural similarity
15. Female(a)            -
16. Prior experience(a)  -0.20  -

N = 189. All correlations above 0.09 are significant at the 5% level.
Pearson correlations if not otherwise indicated
Cronbach's alphas are presented in parenthesis
Adj adjustment. Comp competence, Entr entrepreneurial, Ded dedication
(a) Bi-serial correlations

Table 2 Dominant career anchors, age and family circumstances

                                          Sample (N = 189)

                                          Overall average


Age                                       41
Experience in function (in years)         4.3
Experience in expatriation (in years)     10
Experience in organization (in years)     7

                                          Overall
                                          frequency (%)



Expatriation with partner and children    20
Expatriation without partner or children  27
Three children or more                     9

                                          Dominant internationalism
                                          (n = 102)
                                          Group average  Difference(a)
                                          (i)

Age                                       39             -2(**)
Experience in function (in years)          4             -0.3
Experience in expatriation (in years)      8.5           -1.5(**)
Experience in organization (in years)      5.7           -1.3(*)


                                          Group          Difference
                                          frequency (%)  (ii)


Expatriation with partner and children    18             -2
Expatriation without partner or children  29              2
Three children or more                     7             -2

                                          Dominant dedication to a
                                          cause (n = 34)
                                          Group average  Difference
                                          (i)

Age                                       44              +3 (**)
Experience in function (in years)          5.5            +1.2 (**)
Experience in expatriation (in years)     11.2            +1.2 (*)
Experience in organization (in years)      9              +2 (**)

                                          Group          Difference
                                          frequency (%)  (ii)


Expatriation with partner and children    18              -2
Expatriation without partner or children  42             +15 (***)
Three children or more                     9              0
                                          Dominant lifestyle (n = 28)

                                          Group average  Difference (i)


Age                                       40.5            -0.5
Experience in function (in years)          4              -0.3
Experience in expatriation (in years)     10.4             0.4
Experience in organization (in years)      6.3            -0.7

                                          Group          Difference
                                          frequency (%)  (ii)



Expatriation with partner and children    41             +21 (***)
Expatriation without partner or children  28               1
Three children or more                    22             +13 (***)

(i) Significance was determined by a Student test;
(ii) significance was determined by Chi squared test.
(***) p < 0.01; (**) p < 0.05; (*) p < 0.1
Significantly overrepresented characteristics are displayed in bold,
significantly underrepresented characteristics in italics
(a) Difference between group and sample averages
(e.g., 39 - 41 = -2 for 'Age' and 'Dominant internationalism')

Table 3 Canonical solution for career anchors predicting
cross-cultural adjustment

                              Function 1             Function 2
                               C      t      p      C      t      p
Cross-cultural adjustment
  General living adjustment    0.17   8.20  <0.01   1.21   2.10   <0.05
  Interactional adjustment     1.33   9.12  <0.01   0.22   1.30   ns
  Work adjustment              0.23   7.31  <0.01   0.16   1.12   ns
Career anchors
 Talent-based anchors
  Functional competence        0.01   0.16  ns     -0.18  -1.74  ns
  Managerial competence        0.13   1.58  ns      0.06   0.92   ns
  Entrepreneurial creativity   0.00  -0.41  ns     -0.05  -0.89  ns
Need-based anchors
  Autonomy                    -0.05  -0.01  ns      0.18   2.22   <0.05
  Security                    -0.03  -0.35  ns      0.17   2.08   <0.05
  Lifestyle                    0.06   0.73  ns      0.00   0.09   ns
 Value-based anchors
  Dedication to a cause        0.21   2.44  <0.05   0.22   3.68   <0.01
  Pure challenge               0.14   1.60  <0.1    0.11   2.11   <0.05
 Internationalism anchor
  Internationalism             0.15   1.61  <0.1    0.09   1.49   ns

                               Function 3
                               C         t     p

Cross-cultural adjustment
 General living adjustment    -0.23    -0.98    ns
 Interactional adjustment      0.31     2.43   <0.05
 Work adjustment               1.00     4.51   <0.01
Career anchors
 Talent-based anchors
  Functional competence        0.16     1.72   <0.1
  Managerial competence        0.18     2.10   <0.05
  Entrepreneurial creativity  -0.03    -0.67   ns
 Need-based anchors
  Autonomy                     0.02     0.4    ns
  Security                     0.06     1.14   ns
  Lifestyle                    0.04     0.75   ns
 Value-based anchors
  Dedication to a cause        0.08     1.49   ns
  Pure challenge               0.09     1.77   <0.1
 Internationalism anchor
  Internationalism             0.09     1.73   <0.1


N = 189. C = estimates from SEM; t = t-value; p = statistical
significance; ns = non-significant.
Control variables; Age, gender, prior experience in expatriation, and
cultural similarity.
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Title Annotation:RESEARCH ARTICLE
Author:Wechtler, Heidi; Koveshnikov, Alexei; Dejoux, Cecile
Publication:Management International Review
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Date:Mar 1, 2017
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