Exploring the Influence of Cultural Intelligence on the Cross-Cultural Adaptation of Chinese Expatriate Workers: A Phenomenological Analysis


  • Vic Benuyenah (PhD) University of Birmingham
  • Mona Mustafa University of Birmingham




cultural adaptation, migrant workers, UAE labour market, filial responsibility, Guanxi, translanguaging


This study delves into the experiences of a small section of Chinese expatriate workers in the UAE, investigating the roles of Guanxi and cultural acclimatisation as critical adjustment factors. Using a phenomenological technique, we explore the influence of cultural intelligence on the cross-cultural adaptation of workers in the construction sector. As part of a more extensive study, the initial findings suggest that Chinese migrants resort to reconnecting with their families back home to mitigate the linguistic and cultural challenges faced whilst abroad. At the same time, feelings of isolation and loneliness were dealt with through recreational activities and building social capital.

Author Biography

Mona Mustafa, University of Birmingham

Dr. Mona Mustafa holds the position of Associate Professor at the University of Birmingham, Dubai campus. She attained her Ph.D. in Management in 2010, from Royal Holloway, the University of London. Her research interests primarily focus on cross-cultural studies and the field of expatriate management and remote working. She has been an editor for a few journals such as the International Journal of Human Resource Management IJHRM.