Managing work-life balance abroad is considered as one of the key challenges associated with expatriation. That is particularly true when the enactment of the work-life boundaries of expatriates' home and host countries diverge. Drawing from boundary theory, we investigate whether and how expatriates experience cross-cultural challenges in terms of their work-life boundaries abroad. We interviewed 28 German expatriates in South Korea because both cultures differ substantially in terms of their preferred work-life boundaries. Our study shows that perceived work-life boundary pressures in the foreign environment and willingness to adjust to the local work-life boundary culture vary substantially among expatriates. Based on a function of these two forces, we develop a typology of four work-life boundary adjustment styles and relate them to work-life balance satisfaction. Furthermore, we identify individual and organizational factors that influence expatriates' work-life boundary adjustment styles. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Business and International Management
- Strategy and Management