Proactive personality has been theoretically defined as a natural disposition that determines the manner in which an individual responds to social environmental changes. However, in crosscultural context, knowledge about the role of proactive personality and its boundary conditions in expatriate cross-cultural adjustment remains limited. To address the gaps, this study aims to investigate whether and how proactive personality accounts for variance phenomena in expatriate cross-cultural adjustment with intervention of boundary conditions. A survey was conducted in three public universities in China, and 247 informative responses were obtained for hypothesis testing analysis. Results reveal that proactive personality contributes to expatriate cross-cultural adjustment. This contribution occurs through the conduit of cultural intelligence (CQ). CQ partially mediates the relationship between proactive personality and academic adjustment but fully mediates that between proactive personality and social adjustment. Moreover, social media usage for gathering information negatively influences the relationship between proactive personality and CQ. Implications and future research directions are discussed as well.
Cross-cultural adjustment refers to the extent of expatriate psychological comfort and acquaintance with various aspects of a foreign environment during international expatriation (Black, Mendenhall, & Oddou, 1991; Huff, Song, & Gresch, 2014). It has been identified as an important factor that underlies expatriate survival and success in a foreign environment (Bhaskar-Shrinivas, Harrison, Shaffer, & Luk, 2005; Chen & Lin, 2013; Earley & Peterson, 2004; Khilji, Davis, & Cseh, 2010). However, developing the ability for cross-cultural adjustment remains a great challenge for expatriates because of the uncertainties and risks related to living in a foreign environment (Caligiuri, 2000a; Koveshnikov, Wechtler, & Dejoux, 2014). Accordingly, scholars paid increased attention to the exploration of potential antecedents that may affect expatriate cross-cultural adjustment (Koveshnikov et al., 2014; Lee, Li, & Wu, 2018; Wechtler, Koveshnikov, & Dejoux, 2015). For instance, the literature has examined the role of personality factors in cross-cultural settings and presented them as key factors related to expatriate adjustment (Klimstra, Crocetti, Hale, Fermani, & Meeus, 2011; Caligiuri, 2000a, 2000b; Ang, Van Dyne, & Koh, 2006). As a disposition to initiate changes and enact behaviors to influence the environment (Bateman & Crant, 1993), proactive personality drives individuals to challenge the status quo and improve the current circumstances rather than passively accept roles (Parker, Williams, & Turner, 2006; Rodrigues & Rebelo, 2013; Wang, Cullen, Yao, & Li, 2013). The literature has indicated that proactive personality should be positively related to cross-cultural adjustment. However, few studies have empirically investigated the explanatory mechanisms and boundary conditions, under which the influence of proactive personality may be strengthened or weakened.