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Mihaela Dimitrova

Researcher of the month

Video How expatriates adjust to new work environments - WU Vienna

How expatriates adjust to new…

How expatriates adjust to new work environments

With increasing globalization, multinational organizations have regularly relocated employees to staff international subsidiaries. Numerous individuals take advantage of the opportunities afforded by globalization and choose to live and work outside of their country of origin. These international employees face many challenges in adjusting to the new country, from getting used to an unfamiliar work culture to integrating in the community. How do employees react to these challenges and what proactive steps do they take to adjust to a new environment? Mihaela Dimitrova, researcher at WU’s Department of Global Business and Trade, and a team of researchers in the United States investigates these questions.  

The adaptation to work and live in a foreign country is a dynamic, proactive, and social process, which unfolds over time. Newly hired employees engage in proactive behaviors, such as information and feedback seeking or relationship building, to understand and adjust to the new job and organization. However, being proactive may lead to unexpected negative consequences. Such missteps are more likely to occur in an unfamiliar cultural environment, where employees may inadvertently engage in culturally inappropriate behaviors or find it difficult to connect with locals. Thus, the goal of Mihaela Dimitrova’s research is to find out how international employees use proactive behaviors to adjust to foreign environments in and outside of work. Adjusting to a fast-changing and uncertain global environment is of great importance

[Translate to English:] Mihaela Dimitrova
About Mihaela Dimitrova

Mihaela Dimitrova has been associate professor at WU’s Department of Global Business and Trade since 2017. Prior to joining WU Vienna, she was an Assistant Professor of Management at Oakland University, USA. She holds a PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, USA. Her research interests center around global work experiences. In particular, her focus is on the management of global employees in international environments. Her research has been recognized with several awards at major international academic conferences and has been published in the Journal of Organizational Behavior, the Journal of International Business Studies, the Journal of World Business, and Human Relations, among others. She serves on the editorial review boards of Personnel Psychology, the Journal of Organizational Behavior, and the Journal of Global Mobility. At WU Vienna, she researches and teaches on the topic of international human resource management, global careers, and global human capital analytics.