The Internationalization of Work : Psychophysiological predictors of adjustment to foreign assignment. Ingrid Anderzén, Anderzen.

The Internationalization of Work : Psychophysiological predictors of adjustment to foreign assignment

Stockholm: Karolinska Institutet, 1998.

Trade Paperback. Very Good with no dust jacket. Item #4951
ISBN: 9162832832

SIGNED by author on title page. Light wear. Solid trade paperback. ; Abstract:"Developments during the last decade have resulted in an increased globalization of both personal and financial resources.This thesis is based on a longitudinal, prospective study, following a group of employees and their families (n=131, expatriate group) before (pre-assignment), during (expatriation) and after (repatriation) a work-related assignment abroad. Concurrently, a home-based, non- moving group was followed (n=81). Psychosocial and physiological parameters were assessed on a regular basis.The aims of the thesis were 1) to study psychological, social, physiological and immunological reactions during the relocation process; 2) to identify biophysiological predictors of healthy adjustment to foreign work assignment and; 3) to increase knowledge of individual modifiers of psychophysiologic reactions to strains an stressors.Psychophysiological reactions, such as increased serum levels of prolactin were associated with relocating abroad and partly modified by individual characteristics, such as internal locus of control, high self-esteem, active coping ability and sense of coherence. The first year of the assignment seems to be the most critical period abroad. Negative changes in the psychosocial work environment predicted a large part of the decrease in work adjustment - measured as decreased work satisfaction - during the first year. These findings were also reflected in physiological stress indicators. Job promotion was not related to work satisfaction. Contrary to our expectations, employees reported more decreased well-being after the first six months abroad than their spouses. This might indicate that employees, not the spouses, are the most vulnerable link, in mediating decreased mental well-being in families during the first period abroad.The repatriation phase affected employees' mental health more negatively than expatriation. Psychophysiological indicators of distress, such as cortisol, significantly increased. Results in paper V suggest that unidentified factors associated with foreign relocations increase the risk of sensitization in predisposed children. Stress might be one such factor. In one paper we evaluate the interplay between a real-life stressor (relocation) and possible effects on subjective rated health. Sleep quality suggests a link between stress, vital exhaustion, and subjective health. Changes in subjective health seem closely related to changes in sleep quality and decreased mental energy.Psychophysiological reactions to relocation were primarily individual, as were the consequences for mental well-being and health. Therefore, solutions need to be targeted to individual needs. Results in the thesis emphasize the importance of multinational organizations looking more closely at these individual characteristics before sending employees abroad. They should also be more involved in supporting employees to more effectively manage stressors characteristic of the first year of foreign work. The results suggest that company resources should be concentrated on expatriate employees who exhibit a reduced capacity to handle stress situations. Companies could design policies that ensure the mental and psychological well-being of employees during both the expatriation and repatriation phases of foreign assignments. Such policies would ultimately benefit the individual, employee, family, company and the end user: the customer. "; 269, (16) pages; Signed by Author.

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