Happily (Mal)Adjusted: Cosmopolitan Identity and Expatriate Adjustment

International Journal of Research in Marketing, December 2012, Forthcoming

34 Pages Posted: 27 Mar 2012

See all articles by Amir Grinstein

Amir Grinstein

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev - School of Management

Luc Wathieu

Georgetown University McDonough School of Business

Date Written: February 2012

Abstract

As an increasing population identifies itself as cosmopolitan, we examine whether the cosmopolitan identity involves openness and adaptability to new environments, or instead favors maintaining a global lifestyle that persists across environments. Based on a field study of expatriates, we find that the expected duration of sojourn is a critical moderator of cosmopolitan behavior. In short duration sojourns, cosmopolitans adjust more to new environments than non-cosmopolitans. In long duration sojourns, non-cosmopolitans adjust more to the host country while cosmopolitans tend to retreat into a global lifestyle. We find that these adjustment choices are correlated with well-being, in contradiction with the existing literature on expatriates, which has suggested that adjustment should be the preferred behavior regardless of consumer identity.

Keywords: Consumer identity, cosmopolitanism, expatriate adjustment, horizon effects

JEL Classification: D12, F23, M30

Suggested Citation

Grinstein, Amir and Wathieu, Luc, Happily (Mal)Adjusted: Cosmopolitan Identity and Expatriate Adjustment (February 2012). International Journal of Research in Marketing, December 2012, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2028948

Amir Grinstein

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev - School of Management ( email )

P.O. Box 653
Beer-Sheva 84105
Israel

Luc Wathieu (Contact Author)

Georgetown University McDonough School of Business ( email )

3700 O Street, NW
Washington, DC 20057
United States

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