This article meta-analytically reviews empirical studies on the prediction of expatriate job performance. Using 30 primary studies (total N=4046), it was found that predictive validities of the big five were similar to big five validities reported for domestic employees (Barrick & Mount, 1991; Hurtz & Donovan, 2000; Salgado, 1997; Tae & Byung, 2002). Extraversion, emotional stability, agreeableness, and conscientiousness were predictive of expatriate job performance; openness was not. Other predictors that were found to relate to expatriate job performance were cultural sensitivity and local language ability. Cultural flexibility, selection board ratings, tolerance for ambiguity ego strength, peer nominations, task leadership, people leadership, social adaptability, and interpersonal interest emerged as predictors from exploratory investigations (K<4). Surprisingly, intelligence has seldom been investigated as a predictor of expatriate job performance.

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Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology
Department of Psychology

Mol, S., Born, M., Willemsen, M., & van der Molen, H. (2005). Predicting Expatriate Job Performance for Selection Purposes: A Quantitative Review. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology. Retrieved from