The Expatriate Flow Model - Towards understanding Internet usage in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Marie Hattingh


Expatriate adjustment research has identified a number of challenges that expatriates experience when adjusting to the host country. These include spousal influence, cultural training/understanding, fluency in the host language and personality or emotional readiness of the expatriate. These challenges are amplified when it is considered in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), which has large cultural distance when compared to an average Western culture and therefore provides a setting for an interesting study. This ongoing study has thus far proposed a theoretical model derived by following Glaser’s Grounded Theory Methodology (GTM). This paper will report on a specific aspect of this proposed model namely the substantive category “degree of flow” which extends the previous discussion of “degree of isolation”. Within the proposed theoretical model, the “degree of flow” experienced by expatriates influences the “degree of isolation” experienced by expatriates. This paper describes how the Flow Theory was operationalized at affective level to aid the understanding of the emotional relationship expatriates in KSA have with the Internet. An expatriate flow model was developed based on the generally accepted three stages of Flow Theory namely: Antecedents to Flow, Experience of Flow and Consequences of Flow.


Expatriate, Internet, Culture, Degree of Isolation, Degree of Flow, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Positive Affect

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