Host country employees’ negative perceptions of successive expatriate leadership: the role of leadership transference and implicit leadership theories

Ciuk, Sylwia and Schedlitzki, Doris (2021) Host country employees’ negative perceptions of successive expatriate leadership: the role of leadership transference and implicit leadership theories. Journal of Global Mobility. ISSN 2049-8799 (In Press)

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1108/JGM-04-2021-0044

Abstract / Description

Drawing on socio-cognitively orientated leadership studies, this paper aims to contribute to our understanding of host country employees’ (HCEs) negative perceptions of successive expatriate leadership by exploring how their memories of shared past experiences affect these perceptions. Contrary to previous work which tends to focus on HCEs’ attitudes towards individual expatriates, we shift attention to successive executive expatriate assignments within a single subsidiary.

The paper is based on an intrinsic case study carried out in a Polish subsidiary of an American multinational pharmaceutical company which had been managed by four successive expatriate General Managers one local executive. We draw on interview data with forty HCEs. Twenty-one semi-structured interviews were conducted with staff who had been managed by at least three of the subsidiary’s expatriate leaders.

We demonstrate how transference triggered by past experiences with expatriate leaders as well as HCEs’ implicit leadership theories affect HCEs’ negative perceptions of expatriate leadership and lead to the emergence of expatriate leadership schema.

This is the first study which explores the role of transference and implicit leadership theories in HCEs’ perceptions of successive executive expatriate assignments. By focusing on retrospective accounts of HCEs who had been managed by a series of successive expatriate leaders, our study has generated a more nuanced and contextualised understanding of the role of HCEs’ shared past experiences in shaping their perceptions of expatriate leadership. We propose a new concept - expatriate leadership schema - which describes HCEs’ cognitive structures, developed during past experiences with successive expatriate leaders, which specify what HCEs believe expatriate leadership to look like and what they expect from it.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: successive expatriate assignments; Host Country Employees; perceptions of successive assignments; subsidiary; expatriate leadership schema; implicit leadership theories; intrinsic qualitative case study; leadership transference
Subjects: 300 Social sciences > 330 Economics
Department: Guildhall School of Business and Law
Depositing User: Doris Schedlitzki
Date Deposited: 28 Sep 2021 09:38
Last Modified: 28 Sep 2021 09:42
URI: http://repository.londonmet.ac.uk/id/eprint/6996

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