Towards a dynamic conceptual model for understanding the impact of social isolation on SIE women's adjustment and career development

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Abstract

Purpose
Self-initiated expatriates (SIE) women's career decisions are often based on the establishment of close personal relationships in various spheres of life. This paper aims to explore the effects of social isolation in times of crisis on SIE women's work, psychological and general adjustment.

Design/methodology/approach
The model of expatriate women's adjustment by Caligiuri and Lazarova (2002) is reviewed and adapted to account for the impact of social isolation and loneliness on SIE women's adjustment and professional development in a crisis context. The interplay between duration and intensity of crisis and acculturative stress over time is highlighted; danger zones for potential maladjustment are identified, and adjustment-as-a-crisis context are incorporated into the model.

Findings
The spillover effects between different life spaces in times of isolation have a negative impact on SIE women's ability to develop supportive relationships in different life spaces. The organization becomes the main point of contact with the host culture, but pressure to perform, uncertain contracts, gendered role division and the experience of a double crisis add to the existing acculturative stress which may lead to maladjustment or further fit-dependent crisis over time.

Originality/value
The authors contribute to the theoretical understanding of the impact of social isolation on a single, vulnerable acculturating group, by expanding on an existing static model of adjustment, to account for the temporal (time) and spatial (multi-dimensional crisis context) constraints faced by SIE women which has not been done before.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1362-0436
Pages (from-to)377-391
JournalCareer Development International
Volume28
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Aug 2023

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