The Cross-Cultural Experience of US Expatriates Working in Brazil

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Abstract

Interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) guided this study to explore how US expatriates on assignments for US organizations in Brazil experienced cross-cultural learning. With the growth of emerging economies and globalization, the Anglo-European traits that have dominated international business are transforming into a more diverse blend, requiring more investigation of cross-cultural learning between developed economies and emerging nations. Findings from this study point to expatriation in Brazil as confusion and loss of control due to cultural extremes; adjustment as a realistic and nonlinear process of highs and lows like surfing; and cross-cultural learning as experiential, a process that happens in the interaction between the individual and the environment, where it becomes real.