Would you work abroad? The effect of English proficiency on Chinese employees’ willingness to accept international assignments

Jie Li, Yue Zhao, Xue Han*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The process of globalization has led to a considerable number of expatriates working abroad. In this article, we investigate whether those with a higher level of English proficiency are more willing to accept international assignments. To examine our hypotheses, we conducted a time-lagged survey of 239 employees from Chinese multinational corporations (MNCs). The results reveal that employees’ English language proficiency is positively related to their willingness to accept international assignments, and that their openness to corporate globalization mediates this relationship. In addition, employees’ foreign language anxiety (FLA) moderates the mediating effect of English language proficiency on willingness to accept international assignments via openness to corporate globalization. Implications and future research directions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101669
JournalInternational Business Review
Volume29
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020

Keywords

  • Chinese expatriate management
  • English language proficiency
  • Foreign language anxiety
  • Openness to corporate globalization
  • Willingness to accept international assignments

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