Date of Award

5-2009

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Advisor

Britt, Thomas W

Committee Member

Moore , DeWayne

Committee Member

Raymark , Patrick

Committee Member

Rosopa , Patrick

Abstract

Today's global workplace is growing in size and scope, creating a demand to integrate strategies and research in the field of international management (Bjorkman & Stahl, 2006). In the present study I argue for a more comprehensive understanding of the demands that employees face when engaged in international work responsibilities along with an analysis of the relationships between international work demands and important outcomes. The current project includes both a qualitative and quantitative study utilizing separate samples. The qualitative study identifies positive and negative aspects of international work demands for employees. In addition, the qualitative study investigates sources of support for employees engaged in international work along with perceived individual qualifications for dealing with international work demands. The quantitative study is the first to define, describe, and measure international work demands. In addition, an organizational stress framework is tested as a basis for understanding the relationships between international work demands and employee well being, job satisfaction, and performance. Finally, three individual and organizational resources: experience, self-monitoring, and perceived organizational support for international work, are examined as possible moderators of the proposed relationships. A robust test of the model was conducted utilizing multiple applied samples, multiple sources of data, and SEM analyses. Results indicated that international work demands can be appraised by workers as more or less challenging or threatening. In addition, the appraisals of international work demands are related to positive and negative psychological states for workers. Finally, both positive and negative psychological states were related to job satisfaction but not to performance. The constructs of international work experience and self-monitoring significantly moderated the relationship between international work demands and appraisals although not all interactions were in the predicted direction. Overall, the two studies provide preliminary evidence that international work demands are relevant to workers today, that challenge and threat appraisals of these demands at work are happening and have differential relationships with important outcomes, and finally that some individual resources should be considered as moderators of the relationship between demands and the appraisal of those demands by workers.

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