Date of Award

1-1-2000

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Health Science

Faculty

Faculty of Communications, Health and Science

First Advisor

Ms. J. Mussett

Abstract

This study focused on the adjustment problems created by the effects of living and working in a culturally unfamiliar environment. Sixty-five internationally relocated workers, both male and female aged between 30 and 60 years, from different countries, who were on short-term relocation to Singapore, were asked to complete a survey. This survey questionnaire consisted of 56 questions, about the adjustment problems that they faced while on relocation and the availability or non-availability of pre-departure training. The conceptual framework for this study was developed by referring to difficulties uncovered in the literature review on the topic of international relocation. Questionnaire items were adapted from previously published research instruments. Responses were analysed by using descriptive statistics, one way ANOVAs and Independent sample t-tests. The results of this study highlight the problems associated with international relocation from the workers’ perspective and suggests that employers, employees and their families should be made aware of these problems prior to working abroad. This study, specifically found that workers, whether on relocation with or without their families experienced problems which affected their adjustment to their new environment. Overall, the sample tended to be poorly adjusted in their new environment. Nonetheless, about half of the participants appeared to be satisfied with the level of assistance they were given before departure even though the actual assistance was minimal. These findings can create a new awareness for multinational organisations and initiate a better understanding of the benefits that pre-departure training can have in averting or avoiding potential and costly problems at work. Recommendations from this study are that appropriate training based on a modified motor skills modal would prepare and furnish workers and their families with techniques which will help them to adjust readily to other cultures and thus minimise the mental and physiological effects of “culture shock.” This will provide significant benefits to internationally relocated workers and their families in the areas of health, safety and work productivity as well as contributing to their happiness and the maintenance of stable family relationships.

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