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Interrelationship of expatriate employees' personality, cultural intelligence, cross-cultural adjustment, and entrepreneurship.

As the global business environment becomes more complex, many multinational companies choose to send personnel to overseas subsidiaries for assignments. These expatriates perform important tasks such as constructing the parent company's bridge or performing other major project tasks (Brewster, Bonache, Cerdin, & Suutari, 2014). However, the cost to companies is high (Johnson, Lenartowicz, & Apud, 2006). Therefore, as expatriates face an unfamiliar cultural environment, they must be carefully selected and trained (Mendenhall & Oddou, 1985). For multinational companies, expatriation is a training method for future reserve of talents and high-level overseas talents. Failed international assignments incur substantial costs when expatriates underperform or leave the assignment prematurely (Harzing & Christensen, 2004). From the perspective of global talent development, companies must measure possible expatriate brain drain. Therefore, the selection of expatriates should be based on their future development and serve as a reference. As expatriates are thus a costly and high-risk management undertaking, why are local employees not hired? The reason is that expatriates perform critical activities that local employees are unable to perform. These activities are usually related to key technologies, home country culture, or operational secrets. For example, Fang, Jiang, Makino, and Beamish (2010) have shown that the use of expatriates may have a distinct effect on the transfer of technological and marketing knowledge to subsidiaries. Chang, Gong, and Peng (2012) stated that expatriates engage in direct knowledge transfer by sharing their home country knowledge, such as the headquarters' culture and management practices, with their host unit colleagues.

In previous studies on expatriation, the focus has been from the perspective of the personal orientation of expatriates, such as their perceived career support (van der Heijden, van Engen, & Paauwe, 2009), psychological contract (Perera, Chew, & Nielsen, 2017), and the effect of personality traits on expatriates' adjustment and job performance (Bhatti, Battour, Ismail, & Sundram, 2014). However, researchers need to examine, from an organizational perspective, why companies use international assignments.

According to international management literature, the transfer and acquisition of knowledge between parent and subsidiary companies is carried out through interaction between expatriates and multinational companies (Kostova & Roth, 2003; Reiche, Harzing, & Kraimer, 2009). High-level personnel assigned to overseas units often have high technical skills, for example, in engineering and programming, because the success of the knowledge transfer and integration process of technology depends on the core competitiveness factors of multinational corporations (Harzing, Pudelko, & Reiche, 2016). Therefore, multinational companies are willing to invest money and resources in personnel international assignments.

Brewster and Pickard (1994) pointed out that, although multinational companies may be uncertain of the value of training expatriates, they, themselves, are positive about the training. They know that, even with prior experience, they will be in a new and difficult position with high performance expectations, in an unknown environment that they may not understand, and which involves possible language barriers and different work habits and patterns (Brewster & Pickard, 1994). These expatriates thus perform important projects, transfer knowledge, and/or create resources (such as knowledge or new markets) in an unfamiliar environment. This concept is consistent with entrepreneurship, which is the action of creating new products or services. The process consists of external, internal, and risk-taking initiatives (Covin & Slevin, 1991; Miller, 1983) to tap into new market opportunities (Birkinshaw & Ridderstrale, 1999; Lumpkin & Dess, 1996). Further, in regard to the immediate strength and development potential of expatriates for the organization, middle and high-level managers, technical experts, or those with potential talent, may be sent to carry out the specific project, and act as a bridge between the parent company and subsidiary.

To achieve such benefits, in this study, we considered it important that expatriates have an entrepreneurial spirit. We started from an organizational perspective, because entrepreneurship, an underexplored area, is an important reference indicator. When expatriates perform an international mission, their entrepreneurship can create significant benefits for overseas subsidiaries. The importance of expatriates in the context of entrepreneurship in an international mission, cannot be underestimated.

Effective international performance by expatriates contributes to a company's business success. However, negative cross-border outcomes lead to investment failure and possibly the loss of human capital for the organization (Farh, Bartol, Shapiro, & Shin, 2010). Although the causes of such failures are numerous and complex, a key factor that has been identified is expatriate employees' lack of local cultural knowledge, or conflict between expatriates and officials or colleagues from the host country, which can inhibit successful knowledge transfer in international operations (Bonache, Langinier, & Zarraga-Oberty, 2016; Cole, 2011; Lenartowicz, Johnson, & Konopaske, 2014).

Previous organizational behavior researchers have found that an individual's personality traits--such as extraversion, openness to experience, conscientiousness, and emotional stability--can lead to entrepreneurial success (Zhao, Seibert, & Lumpkin, 2010). Certainly from a competence-based perspective and cross-cultural viewpoint, individuals working in a diverse cultural environment should possess an entrepreneurial personality and culture-specific knowledge, skills, and capabilities to accomplish entrepreneurial success in terms of successful interaction with individuals from different cultural backgrounds (Johnson, Lenartowicz, & Apud, 2006).

Therefore, in this study we have examined which personality traits enable expatriates to quickly identify cultural differences, adapt to the local environment, and help domestic subsidiaries succeed in overseas business creation. We explored which key antecedents lead to expatriates demonstrating entrepreneurial behavior in the assignment process. To this end, we used a research framework consisting of the Big Five personality traits, cultural intelligence, cross-cultural adjustment, and entrepreneurship, to understand the relationships between these variables.

Literature Review and Hypothesis Development

Expatriates' Big Five Personality Traits and Entrepreneurship

In the context of entrepreneurship, external initiative refers to an individual's exploitation of market opportunities outside the boundaries of the corporation (Birkinshaw & Ridderstrale, 1999; Zahra & George, 2002) to create new products or services (Drori, Honig, & Ginsberg, 2006; McDougall & Oviatt, 2003). Internal initiative refers to finding opportunities within the boundaries of the corporation (Birkinshaw & Ridderstrale, 1999). Individuals with high entrepreneurial orientation not only create new ideas and services (Gibson & Dibble, 2008), but also proactively overcome difficulties and persistently develop new ideas (Morris, Davis, & Allen, 1994).

In terms of concept development, the five personality traits are composed of many personality characteristics that are cultivated through culture, environment, and over time. Previous researchers developed the traits through the analysis and extraction of multiple factors and used them to name the Big Five personality traits (Buss, 1991; Digman, 1990; Goldberg, 1993; McCrae & Costa, 1987; McCrae & John, 1992): emotional stability (i.e., low neuroticism; Bhatti et al.; 2014; Caligiuri, 2000; Huang, Chi, & Lawler, 2005; Shaffer et al., 2006), extraversion, conscientiousness, openness to experience, and agreeableness. Expatriates who possess high extraversion and high agreeableness demonstrate extracultural openness (Arthur & Bennett, 1995), are willing to communicate with others (Mendenhall & Oddou, 1985), and attempt to establish harmonious relationships (Huang et al., 2005). Therefore, expatriates with (vs. those without) the traits of extraversion and agreeableness are more sociable and more likely to establish good relationships with local stakeholders (Baker, 1994; Barringer & Greening, 1998). Further, individuals who demonstrate agreeableness and extraversion are capable of leveraging different skills and resources from the company stakeholders, and can successfully accomplish their entrepreneurial initiatives (Ciavarella, Buchhlotz, Riordan, Gatewood, & Stokes, 2004). Dimitriadis, Anastasiades, Karagiannidou, and Lagaki (2017) noted that personality traits are a structure whereby individuals' behavior can be explained, and are the reason that they react differently to a situation. Dimitriadis et al. also reported that entrepreneurial personality is critical to individual entrepreneurial decision making and subsequent entrepreneurial activities, and there is a positive correlation of agreeableness, openness to experience, conscientiousness, and extraversion with the creative behavior of entrepreneurs.

In addition, Zhao et al. (2010) contended that conscientiousness and emotional stability are related to individuals' entrepreneurial activities. As individuals with high conscientiousness are hardworking and achievement-oriented (Ciavarella et al., 2004), when working in expatriate positions, they take on challenges and calculated risks in the host country. However, participation in these high-risk activities may cause an individual to feel more psychological stress and experience negative emotions. Therefore, expatriates' emotional stability plays a significant role in encouraging them to persist in their current task, even when facing possible failure. Ciavarella et al. (2004) and Zhao et al. (2010) proposed that the entrepreneurial function of seeking new opportunities is related to individuals' creativity and openness to new ideas. Therefore, expatriates with high (vs. lower) openness experience are likely to accept challenges, remain curious about learning to interact with local counterparts, act more sociably to maintain business relations, and seek external and internal initiatives within the host country context. Thus, the personality traits of expatriates who are engaged in entrepreneurial activities in a host country are important in their success. Therefore, we proposed the following hypothesis:

Hypothesis 1: Participants' Big Five personality traits, namely, extraversion, conscientiousness, openness to experience, emotional stability, and agreeableness, will positively affect their entrepreneurship.

Expatriates' Cultural Intelligence and Entrepreneurship

To develop these entrepreneurial initiatives, individuals should possess specific competencies to assist them to speedily find new resources and market opportunities. International assignments provide an ideal opportunity for expatriates to develop the necessary skills for adapting to challenging new environments (Farh et al., 2010). As we examined expatriates' entrepreneurial performance from a competence-based perspective in a cross-cultural context, we found that individuals often reflect different values or cognitive characteristics according to their cultural background (Gelfand, Erez, & Aycan, 2007), which may influence expatriates' behavior in the host country. To address these cross-cultural issues, factors such as personality, which influence expatriates' entrepreneurial spirit (Thomas & Mueller, 2000), cross-cultural competencies such as individuals' cultural intelligence, and cross-cultural adjustment (Johnson et al., 2006) are key factors in expatriates' entrepreneurial competence. Therefore, having cross-cultural capabilities can promote innovation (Lorenz, Ramsey, & Richey, 2018; Un, 2016).

Earley and Ang (2003) defined cultural intelligence as individuals' ability to deal effectively with cultural diversity. These cross-cultural competencies consist of cognitive, motivational, and behavioral elements (Earley, 2002; Johnson et al., 2006). Cognitive cultural intelligence refers to specific cultural knowledge and the ability to develop strategic thinking in a cross-cultural context (Earley, Ang, & Tan, 2006). Motivational cultural intelligence refers to personal motivation that enables individuals to manage difficulties and challenges when they experience a cultural shock (Earley et al., 2006). Finally, behavioral cultural intelligence represents individuals' ability to observe, recognize, and adapt to local behavior appropriately in a cross-cultural environment. This ability helps them understand specific cultural signals from local people and adapt or adjust to the local culture and community (Earley et al., 2006).

Thus, individuals with cultural understanding are able to improve their behavior and interaction with local colleagues in a cross-cultural environment, and can use strategic thinking to adopt cultural thinking processes (Earley et al., 2006; Earley & Mosakowski, 2004b). They can also motivate themselves to develop appropriate contextual activities (Earley & Ang, 2003), and make appropriate decisions within the local context (Earley et al., 2006). Cultural intelligence has been proposed as a key element of successful interaction in international markets, in which the role of the expatriate is emphasized (Ott & Michailova, 2018). High cultural intelligence may spark expatriates' creativity, because cultural intelligence increases cognitive flexibility (Yunlu, Clapp-Smith, & Shaffer, 2017). Lorenz et al. (2018) found that expatriates' metacognitive and cognitive cultural intelligence affects their innovativeness through an improved ability to recognize opportunities in the overseas environment. The effects stem from expatriates' understanding of cross-cultural differences, knowing about the foreign country, and finding culturally appropriate opportunities. Thus, we proposed the following hypothesis:

Hypothesis 2: Expatriates' cognitive, motivational, and behavioral cultural intelligence will positively affect their entrepreneurship.

Expatriates' Cross-Cultural Adjustment and Entrepreneurship

In the context of an overseas posting with a multinational company, cross-cultural adjustment is defined as expatriates' capability to fit into the local work and nonwork environment while reducing their stress and increasing their effectiveness at work (Aycan, 1997). We contend that expatriates' cross-cultural adjustment consists of work adjustment (including responsibility, performance, and work effectiveness), life adjustment (adaptation to local food, shopping, and satisfaction with local life), and cultural adjustment (adaptation to local norms, culture, and interaction with local people). When expatriates make a cross-cultural adjustment, this enhances their happiness and satisfaction in the host country and enables them to adapt to, and appreciate, the local culture (Aycan, 1997; Peltokorpi, 2008; Searle & Ward, 1990).

When expatriates behaviorally adjust to their host country, this contributes to a reduction in uncertainties in work and nonwork environments (Aycan, 1997; Briody & Chrisman, 1991; Feldman & Bolino, 1999). When managers engage in international assignments, it is likely that they must modify their behavior to conform to local social norms (Yukl, 2013). Well-adjusted expatriates learn appropriate behavior from colleagues in their work environment. Further, expatriates who actively interact with local people and are fascinated with the host country's social life (Caligiuri & Lazarova, 2002) more readily establish good relationships and behave appropriately in the cross-cultural context. Therefore, we proposed the following hypothesis:

Hypothesis 3: Expatriates' life, culture, and work cultural adjustment will positively affect their entrepreneurship.

Expatriates' Big Five Personality Traits, Cultural Intelligence, and Cross-Cultural Adjustment

Expatriates' cultural cognition, cultural motivation, and behavioral adaptation in a local culture (Ang, Van Dyne, & Koh, 2006; Earley et al., 2006) are learning-driven competencies. Ang et al. (2006) proposed that expatriates who possess (vs. those who do not possess) positive personality traits are more curious about local cultures, and more likely to consider new ideas in their strategic thinking. This leads to their development of broad-minded cognition, self-efficacy, and self-confidence, thus providing, in the context of a posting with a multinational company, the motivation and energy to establish good relationships with stakeholders (Leiba-O'Sullivan, 1999). For example, extraversion refers to the degree to which individuals express themselves directly. Highly extraverted individuals like to associate and interact with others, and have high sociability and initiative (Barrick & Mount, 1991). Therefore, as an expression of positive personality traits, extraversion is delineated into two categories: ambition, which is similar to entrepreneurial behavior, and sociability, which is characterized by communicative competence, preference for self-expression, and rich expression (Hogan, 1986). Ang et al. (2006) also pointed out that individuals with high extraversion have a higher cultural intelligence quotient and will seek opportunities to interact with, and learn about, others from a different cultural background. In addition, they are likely to be cooperative and trustful toward local people (Mendenhall & Oddou, 1985), and conscientious in their tasks in the local environment, even when encountering obstacles and problems (Ones & Viswesvaran, 1997). As a result, expatriates whose inherent personality facilitates cultural cognition are motivated and demonstrate appropriate behavioral adaptation. Therefore, we proposed the following hypotheses:

Hypothesis 4: Expatriates' Big Five personality traits will positively affect their cultural intelligence.

Hypothesis 5: Expatriates' Big Five personality traits will positively affect their cross-cultural adjustment.

Cultural Intelligence and Cross-Cultural Adjustment as Mediators

Thus, previous findings reveal that the interaction effect of expatriates' inherent personality and their cross-cultural competence, in the form of cultural intelligence and cross-cultural adjustment, positively affect their entrepreneurial initiatives in the host environment. Therefore, we proposed the following hypotheses:

Hypothesis 6: Expatriates' Big Five personality traits will positively affect their entrepreneurship through the mediating effects of cultural intelligence.

Hypothesis 7: Expatriates' Big Five personality traits will positively affect their entrepreneurship through the mediating effects of cross-cultural adjustment.

Accordingly, when expatriates work overseas, their personality traits, cultural perceptions, motivation, behavior, and ability to adapt to local work, life, and culture, can affect their entrepreneurial behavior. The mediating effect of cultural intelligence and cross-cultural adjustment will promote the entrepreneurial behavior of expatriates in overseas units. Thus, we proposed a framework of expatriates' Big Five personality traits, cultural intelligence, cross-cultural adjustment, and entrepreneurship in a cross-cultural context. We developed a conceptual model for empirical testing to validate the relationships among the variables, as shown in Figure 1.


Participants and Procedure

We targeted individuals who had had expatriate experience and were currently on an overseas assignment. For international expatriates, the survey was available in three languages, namely, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, and English. We used convenience sampling as our main sampling method. We first contacted potential respondents and asked them to complete and forward the survey to other suitable individuals. As some respondents were not native Chinese or English speakers, we needed to ensure that their level of English was such that they understood the survey items. Thus, before the survey was completed, the respondent's colleague (original survey respondent) was asked to confirm that the respondent could understand the survey items. As expatriates are stationed worldwide, most survey forms were sent by email. Of the 260 copies of the survey that were distributed, 230 valid responses were collected (response rate: 88%).

Survey forms were distributed to multinational companies in Taiwan and China in the manufacturing (25.2%), service (25.7%), electronic and information technology (25.2%), and trading (8.3%) industries. Regarding participants' demographics, 55.2% were men, and 59.6% were married. Their ages ranged from 20 to 65 years with the majority (50.9%) aged from 31 to 40 years (SD = 1.425). Participants' education level was mainly a master's degree (46.5%), followed by university (41.7%), junior college (8.3%), and senior high school and doctorate (1.7% each). Regarding companies' size, they mostly employed more than 1,001 employees (46.1%), followed by those with between 101 and 500 (20%), 50 or fewer (15.2%), between 50 and 100 (12.2%), and between 501 and 1,000 (6.5%). Participants currently held the positions of deputy and manager (33.5%), followed by employees with no management responsibility (23.5%), directors (10.4%), assistant manager (9.5%), and vice general managers (6.1%), with others (17%).


We employed a 5-point Likert scale ranging from 1 = strongly disagree to 5 = strongly agree to measure the variables of the Big Five personality traits, cultural intelligence, cross-cultural adjustment, and entrepreneurship.

Big Five personality traits. To measure the Big Five personality traits, we adopted the dimensions of the Big Five personality traits from Costa and McCrae's (1985) 60-item NEO Personality Inventory, and referred to Chinag's (2001) questionnaire. Of the 60 items, 43 were retained after reliability and factor analysis. We then referred to Chow (2003), and after further factor analysis, we retained 32 items, which we used to measure the Big Five personality traits of extraversion, conscientiousness, openness to experience, emotional stability, and agreeableness. Sample items are "I always consider things in all respects," and "I like to converse with people a lot."

Cultural intelligence. We referred to Earley and Mosakowski's (2004a) 12-item Cultural Intelligence Scale, which comprises cognitive, motivational, and physical dimensions. However, we focused on the dimensions of cognitive, motivational, and behavioral cultural intelligence as originally proposed by Earley (2002). Sample items are "I can adapt to the lifestyle of a different culture with relative ease," and "I can alter my expression [i.e., in words or behavior] when I encounter cultural conflicts."

Cross-cultural adjustment. We used 11 questions from Black and Stephens' (1989) 14-item cross-cultural adjustment scale (work, general, and life adjustment). Sample items are "How well are you adjusted to socializing with local citizens?" and "How well are you adjusted to the food in the host country?" We added a 12th question on cultural adjustment based on the definition of cultural adjustment by Gu (1993), namely, "How well are you adjusted to the values, work attitudes, and customs in the host country?"

Entrepreneurship. We used the definition by Birkinshaw and Ridderstrale (1999) of internal and external initiative, and Stevenson and Jarillo's (1990) and McDougall and Oviatt's (2000) description of risk taking and innovation initiative to design the 19 items on entrepreneurship. Sample items are "I can usually manage extraordinary situations," and "I usually take high risks for the project to facilitate turnover."

Data Analysis

We conducted a descriptive statistical analysis of the participants' data, namely, gender, age, marital status, education level, industry, nationality, company size, and current position. We then conducted reliability and correlation analysis to ensure reliability and correlations among variables.

To examine if there was common method variance in the survey data, we adopted several precautionary treatments, including psychological isolation, which explains the independence of the topics in each part of the survey; reverse item design, which reduces the inadvertent or potential consistency of participants; and text organization of the items, which reduces participants' bias and effectively controls common method variance (Peng, Kao, & Lin, 2006). To ensure that the variables and survey design were consistent with the research topic, we employed SPSS to conduct an exploratory factor analysis to define the dimensions of cross-cultural adjustment, which were life, work, and cultural adjustment (Black & Stephens, 1989; Huang et al., 2005). We used regression analysis to test Hypotheses 1 to 5, and to ensure the rigor of the study, we used PROCESS 3.3 to test Hypotheses 6 and 7.


Descriptive Statistics, Reliability Analysis, Pearson Correlations

In Table 1, Cronbach's [alpha] was used to test the reliability of all dimensions, which was confirmed as either medium or high. The factor loading of items for all dimensions is higher than .50. Pearson correlations are presented in Table 2. Most dimensions are correlated with one another.

Hypothesis Testing

To explain the interrelationships between variables, we used SPSS 22 to analyze the research models. The results (Hypotheses 1-5) of the data analysis are shown in Table 3.

We tested Hypotheses 1 to 3 in Steps 1-3. In the Step 1 regression analysis, we found that the Big Five personality traits of openness to experience, extraversion, and conscientiousness significantly influenced entrepreneurship. As agreeableness and emotional stability were not significant, Hypothesis 1 was partially supported. In the regression model in Step 2, motivational and behavioral cultural intelligence significantly influenced expatriates' entrepreneurship, but the influence of cognitive cultural intelligence was not significant. Thus, Hypothesis 2 was partially supported. In the regression model in Step 3, the cultural adjustment facet of cross-cultural adjustment significantly influenced entrepreneurship. As the influence of life and work cross-cultural adjustment on entrepreneurship was not significant, Hypothesis 3 was partially supported.

We then examined Hypotheses 4 and 5 through Steps 4 and 5, in the regression models of which agreeableness and extraversion affected participants' cultural intelligence, and extraversion influenced cross-cultural adjustment. As the other facets had no significant influence, Hypotheses 4 and 5 were partially supported.

Finally, we examined Hypotheses 6 and 7 using the PROCESS macro in SPSS (see Table 4). According to the mediation model of PROCESS, within the 95% confidence interval, the path for the Big Five does not contain zero. Thus, there is a direct effect of the Big Five personality traits on entrepreneurship. As the path of cultural intelligence also does not contain zero, the Big Five personality traits have an indirect effect on entrepreneurship through cultural intelligence, which has the role of partial mediator. Thus, Hypothesis 6 was partially supported.

Also, as the path of cross-cultural adjustment does not contain zero, this indicates an indirect effect of the Big Five personality traits on entrepreneurship via cross-cultural adjustment. When the Big Five personality traits have a direct effect on entrepreneurship, cross-cultural adjustment has an indirect effect, which means that it plays the role of partial mediator. Thus, Hypothesis 7 was partially supported.


We explored expatriates' personality, cultural intelligence, cross-cultural adjustment, and entrepreneurial behavior. When working and living overseas (vs. their home country), expatriates face a more diverse cultural environment. They must have relevant personality traits and cross-cultural capabilities that enable them to adapt to this environment.

Thus, the Big Five personality traits, cultural intelligence, and cross-cultural adjustment are powerful antecedents that predict and directly affect expatriates' entrepreneurship. The personality traits of extraversion, openness to experience, and conscientiousness influence entrepreneurship to different degrees, for example, expatriates with these personality traits can establish good relationships with local stakeholders through communication. Along with agreeableness, these personality traits are also positively correlated with entrepreneurs' creative behavior. These findings are consistent with previous results (Baker, 1994; Barringer & Greening, 1998; Ciavarella et al., 2004; Dimitriadis et al., 2017), and indicate that companies can assess prospective expatriates when they are screening them, to ensure that they possess these personality traits, and will thus be suitable for international assignments. Our results also showed that as the behavioral and motivational elements of cultural intelligence both significantly influenced entrepreneurship, expatriates in a different cultural environment can motivate themselves to engage in activities and make decisions that are appropriate to that environment (Earley & Ang, 2003; Earley et al., 2006; Earley & Mosakowski, 2004b). In addition, expatriates with high cultural intelligence can identify new business opportunities and demonstrate innovative behavior through their practical understanding of a different culture (Lorenz et al., 2018); Yunlu et al., 2017). Further, the significance that we identified of cultural adjustment for entrepreneurship in an international assignment, also reflects that expatriates' ability to make cross-cultural adjustment helps them to understand local cultural norms and demonstrate behavior consistent with these norms. In addition, expatriates with this ability will adjust their behavior to find innovation opportunities in the work environment (Aycan, 1997; Briody & Chrisman, 1991; Feldman & Bolino, 1999; Yukl, 2013).

The direct influence of personality traits on cultural intelligence and cross-cultural adjustment, and the mediating roles of cultural intelligence and cross-cultural adjustment in the relationship between expatriates' personality traits and entrepreneurship, confirm the importance of expatriates possessing the personality traits of extraversion, openness to experience, and conscientiousness. For example, if expatriates encounter obstacles or problems in their work, their extraversion personality trait will help them to understand the local culture, be self-motivated, demonstrate appropriate behavior, and establish good relationships (Ang et al., 2006; Mendenhall & Oddou, 1985; Ones & Viswesvaran, 1997). Expatriates' assignments usually involve solving critical problems and/or joining a training program for potential talent. Therefore, extraversion and cross-cultural competence are very important attributes, enabling expatriates to deal with the cultural differences they encounter, be self-motivated, adapt their behavior, and then demonstrate entrepreneurial behavior through their adaptation to the different culture.

Our greatest contribution to the literature is the organizational perspective of the explanation of why company management staff pursue international assignments. In comparison with general international assignments, these expatriates go to overseas subsidiaries to solve specific problems or develop new markets and/or technologies. It is especially important for them to have an entrepreneurial spirit, which enables them to demonstrate innovative thinking and behavior. When expatriates have the appropriate personality traits and possess cross-cultural competence, they demonstrate appropriate cultural adjustment and enhance their management skills. Expatriates who can perform (vs. cannot perform) these cross-cultural functions provide more entrepreneurial effort to overseas subsidiaries.

There are limitations in this study. As our data comprised only 230 samples, we recommend that future researchers increase the sample size and sources to improve the integrity of the study. In addition, future researchers can explore the influence of expatriate staff members and the overseas subsidiaries in which they are employed, on entrepreneurship from different perspectives such as network ties and cultural distance.


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Christina Yu-Ping Wang (1), Man-Chun Lien (2), Bih-Shiaw Jaw (1), Chen-Yu Wang (1), Yi-Shien Yeh (1), Shu-Hung Kung (1)

(1) Institute of Human Resource Management, National Sun Yat-sen University, Taiwan

(2) Department of Business Management, National Sun Yat-sen University, Taiwan

CORRESPONDENCE Man-Chun Lien, Department of Business Management, National Sun Yat-sen University, 70 Lienhai Rd., Kaohsiung 80424, Taiwan. Email:
Table 1. Cronbach's Alpha and Confirmatory Factor Analysis of the Study

Variable              Dimension               Item  Factor   Cronbach's
                                                    loading  [alpha]

Big Five personality  Agreeableness            1    .627     .796
traits                (Item 21 was deleted)    6    .664
                                              11    .696
                                              16    .524
                                              26    .568
                                              30    .553
                                              32    .568
                      Conscientiousness        7    .713     .751
                      (Items 2 and 17         12    .657
                      were deleted)           22    .654
                                              27    .612
                      Extraversion             3    .572     .743
                                               8    .665
                                              13    .523
                                              18    .533
                                              23    .591
                                              28    .661
                      Emotional stability      4    .719     .576
                      (Items 9, 19, 29, and   14    .678
                      31 were deleted)        24    .780
                      Openness to experience   5    .570     .693
                      (Item 20 was deleted)   10    .752
                                              15    .524
                                              25    .773
Cultural              Cognitive CQ             1    .583     .509
intelligence          (Item 4 was deleted)     2    .500
                                               3    .545
                      Behavioral CQ            5    .597     .743
                                               6    .620
                                               7    .640
                                               8    .774
                      Motivational CQ          9    .865     .888
                                              10    .794
                                              11    .776
                                              12    .829
Cross-Cultural        Life                     1    .686     .663
adjustment                                     2    .593
                                               5    .617
                      Cultural                 3    .656     .746
                                               4    .914
                                               9    .562
                                              11    .603
                      Work                     6    .670     .790
                                               7    .660
                                               8    .580
                                              10    .757
                                              12    .648
Entrepreneurship      Internal initiative      1    .771     .859
                                               2    .775
                                               3    .674
                                               6    .596
                                              11    .713
                                              18    .718
                                              19    .561
                      External initiative      5    .753     .842
                                               9    .772
                                              10    .765
                                              15    .513
                                              17    .720
                      Risk taking and          4    .549     .815
                      innovation initiative   12    .593
                      (Item 16 was deleted)   13    .908
                                              14    .872

Note. Items with a factor loading of less than .50 were deleted. CQ =
cultural intelligence.

Table 2. Correlation Coefficients

      M     SD    B51         B52         B53         B54

B51   3.99  0.41
B52   3.95  0.50   .616 (**)
B53   3.62  0.47   .603 (**)   .686 (**)
B54   2.78  0.64  -.099       -.087       -.148
B55   3.69  0.51   .495 (**)   .687 (**)   .637 (**)  -.053
CQC   3.58  0.61   .033        .103        .124        .232 (**)
CQB   3.60  0.63   .470 (**)   .411 (**)   .491 (**)  -.001
CQM   3.74  0.68   .501 (**)   .423 (**)   .509 (**)  -.129
CCAL  3.75  0.65   .014        .112        .199 (**)  -.081
CCAC  3.66  0.55   .308 (**)   .447 (**)   .466 (**)  -.101
CCAW  3.50  0.61   .222 (**)   .238 (**)   .286 (**)  -.127
EnI   3.75  0.48   .605 (**)   .630 (**)   .670 (**)  -.120
EnE   3.57  0.53   .473 (**)   .647 (**)   .588 (**)  -.099
EnR   3.09  0.62   .302 (**)   .362 (**)   .397 (**)  -.071

      B55        CQC        CQB        CQM        CCAL       CCAC

CQC   .096
CQB   .307 (**)   .163 (*)
CQM   .428 (**)  -.125      .556 (**)
CCAL  .139 (*)    .162 (*)  .193 (**)  .115
CCAC  .284 (**)   .117      .379 (**)  .421 (**)  .473 (**)
CCAW  .175 (**)   .046      .233 (**)  .292 (**)  .478 (**)  .488 (**)
EnI   .520 (**)   .081      .512 (**)  .570 (**)  .155 (*)   .506 (**)
EnE   .580 (**)   .094      .462 (**)  .460 (**)  .139 (*)   .416 (**)
EnR   .461 (**)   .005      .422 (**)  .469 (**)  .073       .211 (**)

      CCAW       EnI        EnE        EnR

EnI   .292 (**)
EnE   .270 (**)  .772 (**)
EnR   .178 (**)  .535 (**)  .602 (**)

Note. N = 230. B51 = agreeableness, B52 = conscientiousness, B53 =
extraversion, B54 = emotional stability, B55 = openness to experience,
CQC = cognitive cultural intelligence, CQB = behavioral cultural
intelligence, CQM = motivational cultural intelligence, CCAL =
cross-cultural life adjustment, CCAC = cross-cultural cultural
adjustment, CCAW = cross-cultural work adjustment, EnI = internal
initiative, EnE = external initiative, EnR = risk taking and innovation

(*) p < .05, (**) p < .01.

Table 3. Results of Regression Analysis

                                          Step 1        Step 2

Big 5             Agreeableness             .114
                  Conscientiousness         .204 (**)
                  Extraversion              .260 (***)
                  Emotional stability      -.029
                  Openness to experience    .231 (***)
CQ                Cognitive CQ                            .079
                  Behavioral CQ                           .282 (***)
                  Motivational CQ                         .425 (***)
CCA               Life
F                                         42.524 (***)  49.808 (***)
[R.sup.2]                                   .487          .398
[DELTA][R.sup.2]                            .476          .390
VIF                                       all<3         all<2

                  Entrepreneurship  CQ             CCA
                  Step 3            Step 4         Step 5

Big 5                                 .241 (***)   -.070
                                      .049          .155
                                      .382 (***)    .326 (***)
                                      .127         -.130
                                      .024         -.046
CCA                -.123
                    .404 (***)
F                 17.526 (***)      26.528 (***)   9.137 (***)
[R.sup.2]           .189              .372          .170
[DELTA][R.sup.2]    .179              .358          .151
VIF               all<2             all<3          all<3

Note. CQ = cultural intelligence, CCA = cross-cultural adjustment, VIF
= variance inflation factor.

(**) p < .01, (***) p < .001.

Table 4. Results of Regression Analysis

                         Effect  SE    t        P          CI
                                                       LL     UL

Total effect of X on Y   .089    0.07  12.1424  .001   0.746  1.034
Direct effect of X on Y  .618    0.08   7.4726  .001   0.455  0.781
Indirect effect(s) of    Effect  B SE                     BCI
X on Y                                                 LL     UL
Total                    .272    0.06                  0.150  30.405
CQ                       .234    0.06                  0.119  0.366
CCA                      .039    0.02   0.004   0.080

Note. X = Big Five personality trait, Y = entrepreneurship, M1 =
cultural intelligence (CQ), M2 = cross-cultural adjustment (CCA), B =
bootstrap, CI = 95% confidence interval, LL = lower level, UL = upper
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Author:Wang, Christina Yu-Ping; Lien, Man-Chun; Jaw, Bih-Shiaw; Wang, Chen-Yu; Yeh, Yi-Shien; Kung, Shu-Hun
Publication:Social Behavior and Personality: An International Journal
Geographic Code:9TAIW
Date:Dec 1, 2019
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