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Chan, I Y S, Leung, M and Yu, S S W (2012) Managing the Stress of Hong Kong Expatriate Construction Professionals in Mainland China: Focus Group Study Exploring Individual Coping Strategies and Organizational Support. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 138(10), 1150–60.
- Type: Journal Article
- Keywords: Construction industry; China; Organizations; Professional development; Construction professionals; Expatriates; Individual coping strategies; Mainland China; Organizational support;
- ISBN/ISSN: 0733-9364
- URL: https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)CO.1943-7862.0000533
Rapid expansion of the construction industry in mainland China has currently rendered it increasingly common for Hong Kong construction professionals to work in mainland China as expatriates. Given that the unfamiliar working and living environment further escalates these professionals’ stress levels, the current study aims to explore and investigate (1) the experience with stress of Hong Kong expatriate construction professionals in mainland China, (2) the various individual coping strategies they adopt to cope with stress, and (3) the forms of organizational support that are effective in handling stress. Six focus groups (all Hong Kong construction professionals)—including four groups of expatriates working in various cities in mainland China (Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Macau), a repatriate group from mainland China, and a group without expatriate experience—were analyzed in the study. Hong Kong expatriate construction professionals in mainland China from all groups had experienced stress in their expatriate assignments. In group discussions, the participants identified six individual coping strategies and three forms of organizational support. To critically explore the coping strategies and organizational support for expatriate professionals, items addressed by the expatriate and nonexpatriate groups were compared. Various recommendations are made for both individual expatriates and related construction organizations.