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Open AccessArticle

The Roles of Motivation and Coping Behaviours in Managing Stress: Qualitative Interview Study of Hong Kong Expatriate Construction Professionals in Mainland China

1
Department of Real Estate and Construction, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong, China
2
Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, City University of Hong Kong, Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong, China
3
Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, City University of Hong Kong, Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(3), 561; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15030561
Received: 21 February 2018 / Revised: 12 March 2018 / Accepted: 16 March 2018 / Published: 20 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Issues in Occupational Safety and Health)
Driven by fast-growing economies worldwide, the number of international construction projects is booming, and employing expatriates has inevitably become a strategy used by construction firms. However, stress arising from expatriate assignments can lead to early return, assignment failure, and staff turnover, causing in significant losses to an organisation. Extensive research has focused on the effectiveness of coping behaviours in relation to stress. However, studies investigating the antecedents of coping are rare. The limited studies to date tend to focus on content-based motivations (identifying what), instead of on how coping behaviours can be motivated in the stress management process (identifying how). Focus on expatriate construction professionals (ECPs) is further limited. Hence, this study aims to investigate from a process theory perspective the role of motivation in the stress management process. Using a qualitative interview study approach, involving 22 in-depth interviews, this study first identifies the content of motivation, coping behaviours, performance, and stress in the context of Hong Kong ECPs working on cross-cultural projects in China; it then unveils and explains the associations between the identified variables. Based on the results, stakeholders are recommended to review pre-departure training, so as to ensure that key elements such as personal awareness of stress (cognitive, affective, and physical), expectancies of coping strategies on stress (adaptive or maladaptive), and expectancies of the influence of stress on performance are covered. View Full-Text
Keywords: construction; coping behaviours; expatriates; motivations; stress management construction; coping behaviours; expatriates; motivations; stress management
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MDPI and ACS Style

Chan, I.Y.S.; Leung, M.-Y.; Liang, Q. The Roles of Motivation and Coping Behaviours in Managing Stress: Qualitative Interview Study of Hong Kong Expatriate Construction Professionals in Mainland China. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 561.

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