SIEs motivational CQ on job satisfaction: A two-study examination of power distance and role clarity

Yi Zhang, Feng Wei, Ian Grey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Choosing to work abroad without the sponsorship of an organisation is becoming increasingly commonplace, and this is a defining characteristic of self-initiated expatriates (SIE). Previous research suggests that SIEs’ willingness to interact and adapt to new cultural occupational settings, and their motivational cultural intelligence or cultural quotient (motivational CQ), are particularly important qualities, and that these qualities are related to their levels of job satisfaction. However, it remains unclear how motivational CQ interacts with specific situational aspects of the workplace, such as role clarity and power distance. This study examines the contributions made by motivational CQ and its interaction with power distance in relation to role clarity to determining subsequent job satisfaction. The results indicate that motivational CQ is positively related to role clarity, which helps to improve job satisfaction, and that this indirect effect is moderated by power distance. Furthermore, this pattern of effects is more apparent for Chinese SIEs than for British SIEs. We discuss the theoretical and practical implications of the findings, as well as the limitations of the study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)158-169
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Intercultural Relations
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Job satisfaction
  • Motivational CQ
  • Power distance
  • Self-initiated expatriate (SIE)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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