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Title: Before, during and after China : Italian expatriate adjustment to the Middle Kingdom
Author: Boncori, Ilaria
ISNI:       0000 0004 1732 2946
Awarding Body: University of Essex
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis focuses on the individual experience of Italian expatriates who have lived and worked in China for a prolonged period of time. The present study investigates various aspects involved within the three main phases of the expatriate process: issues arising before departure, during the adjustment in loco and upon repatriation. The past three decades have seen a rapid increase in international business and foreign relations with China. The number of Western expatriates in the Middle Kingdom has grown exponentially, and the ability to manage cross-cultural relations has become increasingly crucial: to date, China ranks second amongst the international destinations for expatriation, occupying the top position in terms of challenges faced by expatriates and failure of assignments (GMAC, 2011). However, even though research in this area is growing, empirical academic studies of Sino-Italian business interactions and expatriate experience in particular are not available in the literature. This thesis explores the world of expatriates in the Sino-Italian business context and argues the need to investigate the expatriate assignment process from selection to after repatriation. This study contributes in a number of ways: by highlighting the need for linguistic and cultural pre-departure training, by shedding light on Italian expatriate adjustment in China and by providing a classification of expatriate typologies. This proposition is explored through an interpretive approach with the analysis of data gathered during qualitative interviews and the use of retrospective auto-ethnography, the latter being in itself a major contribution of this thesis given its still limited use in the social sciences in general and in international business relations in particular.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available