Openness in cross-cultural work settings: A multi-country study of expatriates

Albrecht, A.-G., Dilchert, S., Deller, J., & Paulus, F. M.
Journal of Personality Assessment, 96, 64-75.

Openness plays an important role in determining what kind of experiences individuals seek out not only in their personal lives, but also in work environments. The objectives of this study were (a) to examine the influence of openness and its facets on the decision to work abroad and (b) to study whether employees’ openness relates to cross-cultural adjustment as well as job and life satisfaction. We investigated these questions among a sample of 2,096 expatriates. In addition to self-reports of openness and cross-cultural adjustment, ratings of subjects’ adjustment were also obtained from 928 knowledgeable others. The openness facets of actions, ideas, and values appear to be good predictors of acceptance of international assignments. In addition, global Openness and its facets Openness to actions and feelings relate to self- and other ratings of cross-cultural adjustment.