Do Overwhelmed Expatriates Intend to Leave? The Effects of Sensory Processing Sensitivity, Stress, and Social Capital on Expatriates' Turnover Intention
Expatriates need to deal with numerous stimuli resulting from new environmental and cultural influences abroad, contributing to stress and high rates of failure and turnover. Based on conservation-of-resources theory, this study aims to explore the role of resources (including sensory processing sensitivity (SPS) and social capital) in explaining expatriates' perceived stress and turnover intention. This is the first study to examine the personality trait SPS in the field of expatriate management. High-SPS individuals tend to be easily overwhelmed by novel stimuli. Based on a dataset of 311 expatriates, structural equation model (SEM) and mediation analyses proved full mediation of the positive relation between SPS and turnover intention through perceived stress. Moreover, stress fully mediated the negative relation between bonding social capital and turnover intention. While 20% of the domestic population are assumed to show high SPS, we found a 26.4% ratio in our expatriate sample. Implications for both management and research are derived.