The first Top-20 reading list in our reading list series to celebrate our 20th anniversary was put together by Stacey Fitzsimmons and Tanvi Kothari. They picked their favorite 20 articles at the intersection of migration and diversity in IB. To keep the suspense, we listed the articles from place #20 to #1. The #1 article on the list is accompanied by an interview with the author, scroll to the end to view it.


Rank Reference and reason it was chosen Abstract
20 Harvey, M., Novicevic, M. M., Buckley, M. R., & Fung, H. (2005). Reducing inpatriate managers”liability of foreignness’ by addressing stigmatization and stereotype threats. Journal of World Business40(3), 267-280. <https://doi.o rg/10.1016/j.jwb.2005.05.004>

This theory paper is excellent for explaining how inpatriate managers are often stereotyped or stigmatized based on factors like ethnicity, gender, and accents. It then proposes how to suppress those effects.

The acceptance of ‘others’ in an organization can be a long and protracted process that can take years. Seldom is there a smooth assimilation into the corporate ranks for outsiders. Given the increasing number of inpatriate managers arriving in the domestic organizations of many global organizations, the issues impacting the acceptance of inpatriate managers by home-country managers will invariably increase. The purpose of this paper is to prescribe a program/process designed to suppress the stigmatization and stereotyping of inpatriate managers located in the home-country organization, as stereotype threats may impact not only the performance of the inpatriate managers but also the performance of an organization that is attempting to globalize its operations.


19 Nick Williams & Besnik A. Krasniqi, (2018). Coming out of conflict: How migrant entrepreneurs utilise human and social capital, Journal of International Entrepreneurship, 16(2): 301-323. <https://doi.o rg/10.1007/s10843-017-0221-4>

One of two articles on this list that addressed refugees, a demographic IB has tended to ignore. In contrast to most migrant entrepreneurship research, they find networking among host country nationals helps more than among co-ethnic people.

This paper examines how human and social capital influences the entrepreneurial activity of migrant entrepreneurs, with special reference to forced migrants due to conflict. The study uses Riinvest Migrant’s Survey data collected at the end of 2008 and beginning of 2009 to estimate the probability of entrepreneurial activity among Kosovan migrants. The findings demonstrate that host networking (foreign spouse and foreign language fluency) exerts a positive effect on entrepreneurial activity of migrants, while co-ethnic networking is found not to be important. We show that migration experience has a positive impact on the probability of entrepreneurship. Exposure to host country (both measured as years in migration and age) increases probability to start a business. Educational qualifications in the country of origin before migration do not have any influence on entrepreneurship, while specific business training in the country of residence has a positive impact. Contributions to scholarship on migrant entrepreneurship and policy approaches to mobilise them are discussed.


18 Fitzsimmons, S.R., Baggs, J. and Brannen, M.Y., (2020). Intersectional arithmetic: How gender, race and mother tongue combine to impact immigrants’ work outcomes. Journal of World Business, 55(1), <https://doi.o rg/10.1016/j.jwb.2019.101013>

We all know that female immigrants of color earn less, but how much less? $10,000 (CAD) / year less than white male immigrants (who earn even more than white male non-immigrants). IB firms improved outcomes for marginalized groups, EXCEPT women.

We use an intercategorical approach to intersectionality to quantify pay and attainment of supervisory positions for groups of immigrants and their descendants who also vary in gender, mother tongue, and race. Using a Canadian nationally representative sample of 20,000 employees across 6000 firms, we find a $10,000 spread in annual pay between the groups with the most advantages and those experiencing the most barriers, loosely corresponding to an additive model of intersectional benefits and barriers. The effects of immigrant generation are partially mitigated by the degree to which firms are internationally-oriented, indicating that international businesses may help to reduce inequities.


17 Daria Kautto, (2019). Social influences in cross-border entrepreneurial migration policy, Journal of International Business Policy, 2(4): 397-412. <https://doi.or g/10.1057/s42214-019-00040-x>

One of the most cross-level approaches to studying migrants we’ve seen in a long time. It examines how policy can be used to stimulate socio-psychological influences on individuals, ultimately shaping cross-border entrepreneurial firm outcomes. Cool!

This paper addresses the possibilities for public policy to stimulate the entrepreneurial perceptions of individuals by leveraging micro-level social influences produced by migrant entrepreneurs. As opposed to the conventional stand according to which entrepreneurial ecosystems can be stimulated by financial, regulative, cognitive and normative mechanisms of influence, the present study suggests that socio-psychological influences enacted by exogenous policy intervention can be used as a mechanism for shifting the entrepreneurial perceptions of individuals. Cross-border entrepreneurial migration is proposed as an instrument for enacting these socio-psychological influences and enabling public policy to benefit from the distinctively different entrepreneurial behaviors of migrant entrepreneurs and local individuals in the host country. The study offers substantial policy implications by extending the theoretical reasoning guiding the stimulation of entrepreneurial ecosystems through public policy intervention, providing discussion of opportunity perception in cross-border context, and offering an alternative socio-economic perspective on the role of migrant entrepreneurs in the economic life of host countries.


16 Kemeny, T. (2017) Immigrant Diversity and Economic Performance in Cities. International Regional Science Review, 40(2), 164-208. <https://doi. org/10.1177/0160017614541695>

A surprise addition to this list from a journal focused on spatial geography. Its analysis of the global evidence linking immigration to city-level performance outcomes is phenomenal.

This article reviews a growing literature investigating how “immigrant” diversity relates to urban economic performance. As distinct from the labor-supply focus of much of the economics of immigration, this article reviews work that examines how growing heterogeneity in the composition of the workforce may beneficially or harmfully affect the production of goods, services, and ideas, especially in regional economies. Taking stock of existing research, the article argues that the low-hanging fruit in this field has now been picked and lays out a set of open issues that need to be taken up in future studies in order to fulfill the promise of this work.


15 Dietz, J., Joshi, C., Esses, V. M., Hamilton, L. K., & Gabarrot, F. (2015). The skill paradox: Explaining and reducing employment discrimination against skilled immigrants. The International Journal of Human Resource Management26(10), 1318-1334. < 10.1080/09585192.2014.990398>

Introduces a troubling and yet intriguing paradox: More skilled immigrants are more likely to be targets of discrimination. Also proposes how to solve it through HRM like selection criteria that emphasize serving diverse clients.

Using a social identity theory approach, we theorized that recruiters might be particularly biased against skilled immigrant applicants. We refer to this phenomenon as a skill paradox, according to which immigrants are more likely to be targets of employment discrimination the more skilled they are. Furthermore, building on the common ingroup identity model, we proposed that this paradox can be resolved through human resource management strategies that promote inclusive hiring practices (e.g. by emphasizing fit with a diverse clientele). The results from a laboratory experiment were consistent with our predictions: local recruiters preferred skilled local applicants over skilled immigrant applicants, but only when these applicants were qualified for a specific job. This bias against qualified and skilled immigrant applicants was attenuated when fit with a diverse clientele was emphasized, but not when fit with a homogeneous clientele was emphasized or when the hiring strategy was not explained. We discuss the implications of our findings for research on employment discrimination against skilled immigrants, including the role of inclusiveness for reducing discriminatory biases.


14 Tung, R. L. (1981). Selection and training of personnel for overseas assignments. Columbia journal of world business16(1), 68-78.

It’s the 50th anniversary of Rosalie Tung’s seminal piece, the first to highlight the importance of expatriates’ (female) spouses in their willingness to stay for the duration of the expatriate assignment. How far we’ve come from highlighting women’s influence … as wives!

The objectives of this article are twofold: 1, to develop a contingency framework which would identify the factors crucial to success in a particularl job assignment and the type(s) of training programs that a candidate should be exposed to enhance the probability of success; and 2, to present the results of an empirical study on selection and training procedures adopted by a sample of 80 US international corporations.



13 Berry, D. P., & Bell, M. P. (2012). Expatriates’: gender, race and class distinctions in international management. Gender, Work & Organization19(1), 10-28. < 111/j.1468-0432.2011.00577.x>

We appreciate this paper for explicitly calling out how race, gender and class implicitly underlie distinctions, such as those between expatriates and migrants.

In the international management (IM) literature, ‘expatriate’ is used as a verb in reference to the transnational movement of employees by multinational corporations (MNCs) and as a noun in reference to the people who are so moved across borders to work. IM’s resulting expatriate analyses apply only to a specific minority of relatively privileged people. However, as is clear in other bodies of literature, many others (‘migrants’) in less privileged class positions move themselves across national boundaries for work. In this majority are often women and men — people of diverse races, ethnicities, economic and social means — who have less education and who work in lower level jobs, also often in or for MNCs. Their invisibility in the IM literature sustains and reinforces gender, race and class-based disparities in globalization processes and work to the detriment of poor women of colour around the world. We call for gendering change that would make visible the invisible in IM scholarship related to expatriation.


12 M Lazarova, M Westman, MA Shaffer (2010) Elucidating the positive side of the work-family interface on international assignments: A model of expatriate work and family performance. Academy of Management Review 35 (1), 93-117. <https://do>

Work-family balance has a bad reputation with respect to international assignments. We like this paper for questioning that line of thinking, and looking at the alternative: Could international assignments ever be good for work-family balance?

Drawing on both Job Demands-Resources theory and contagion theory, we conceptualize cognitive, affective, and conative influences on expatriate work role and family role performance. We clarify expatriate adjustment by expanding the concept to capture family role adjustment and by mapping relationships among the forms of adjustment. We also highlight the mediating role of engagement for understanding the influence of adjustment on role performance, and we consider spillover across work and family contexts and crossover between expatriates and partners.


11 Emmanuel, N.D., Elo, M. and Piekkari, R., 2019. Human stickiness as a counterforce to brain drain: Purpose-driven behaviour among Tanzanian medical doctors and implications for policy. Journal of international business policy, 2(4), pp.314-332. <https://doi.or g/10.1057/s42214-019-00036-7>

Expatriate doctors in Tanzania reduced outmigration among some Tanzanian doctors by building local capacity, though the more important factor seems to have been Tanzanian doctors’ sense of purpose in their work.

We explain why a group of Tanzanian medical doctors decided to stay in their home country despite a massive brain drain and pressure to migrate. We argue that purpose-driven behaviour among medical doctors serves as a counterforce to brain drain, fostering human stickiness in a developing country context. A sense of purpose provides a novel lens to understand voluntary non-migration of highly-skilled professionals under extreme conditions. Furthermore, incoming expatriate doctors build local capacity by sharing skills and expertise with Tanzanian doctors. This affects the medical doctors’ motives to migrate, further reducing brain drain. These individual-level decisions not to migrate find their application in policy. We advocate policies that support purpose-driven behaviour and generate long-term commitment to a location, while advancing short-term mobility for knowledge sharing. The policy initiatives are targeted at actors in the sending and receiving countries as well as in international organisations, covering concerted multi-layered policies to support family and community embeddedness, to facilitate the incoming of expatriate doctors and foreign exchange, and to cultivate benefits of circular migration. We argue that migration behaviour is more individually grounded and socio-emotionally constructed than what dominant economic-based explanations suggest.


10 Vera Kunczer & Thomas Lindner & Jonas Puck, (2019). Benefitting from immigration: The value of immigrants’ country knowledge for firm i nternationalization, Journal of International Business Policy, 2(4): 376-376. <https://doi.or g/10.1057/s42214-019-00034-9>

We appreciate how practical this paper’s findings are. Immigration shapes firms’ international investments. Policy and theory can help it happen more easily.

Migrants are able to provide firms with knowledge about their country of origin. This can become a valuable source of knowledge for firms in the process of internationalization. Relating to a Knowledge-Based-View perspective, this paper explains how the resource commitment of firms to foreign countries is contingent on immigration from those countries: Immigrants’ country knowledge reduces uncertainty and makes the governance of foreign operations more efficient. Moreover, this paper connects the relevance of knowledge for firm internationalization to institutional characteristics in immigrants’ home and host countries, both of which policymakers can shape. We test predictions on more than 13,000 observations over a 14-year period (2003–2016). The paper identifies economically significant contingencies of a positive effect of immigration, which are robust to changes in model specification, measurement, and sampling. The results indicate how immigration can shape firms’ investments abroad and have implications for developing policy as well as international business theory.


9 Lee, E. S., Szkudlarek, B., Nguyen, D. C., & Nardon, L. 2020. Unveiling the Canvas Ceiling: A multidisciplinary literature review of refugee employment and workforce integration. International Journal of Management Reviews, 22(2), 193-216.

Our go-to reference when looking for research about refugee employment. Within IB, we can be doing much more to help international organizations hire talented refugees as employees.

Increasing levels of displacement and the need to integrate refugees in the workforce pose new challenges to organizations and societies. Extant research on refugee employment and workforce integration currently resides across various disconnected disciplines, posing a significant challenge for management scholars to contribute to timely and relevant solutions. In this paper, we endeavour to address this challenge by reviewing and synthesizing multidisciplinary literature on refugee employment and workforce integration. Using a relational framework, we organize our findings around three levels of analysis — institutional, organizational and individual — to outline the complexity of factors affecting refugees’ employment outcomes. Based on our analysis, we introduce and elaborate on the phenomenon of the canvas ceiling ‒ a systemic, multilevel barrier to refugee workforce integration and professional advancement. The primary contributions of this paper are twofold. First, we map and integrate the multidisciplinary findings on the challenges of refugee workforce integration. Second, we provide management scholarship with a future research agenda to address the knowledge gap identified in this review and advance practical developments in this domain.


8 Kurt, Yusuf & Sinkovics, Noemi & Sinkovics, Rudolf R. & Yamin, Mo, (2020) The role of spirituality in Islamic business networks: The case of internationalizing Turkish SMEs, Journal of World Business, 55(1). <https://doi.o rg/10.1016/j.jwb.2019.101034>

IB has the potential to lead the way in religious diversity research, as a close cousin to multilingual or multicultural IB research. This paper is an excellent exemplar.

This paper sets out to investigate the role of religion and spirituality in a business network context, with an empirical focus on the international business development of Turkish SMEs. By drawing on the concept of homophily and tie strength, we argue that, while religion can act as a bridge and thus create a multitude of weak ties within a business network, spirituality can deepen these ties and make them stronger through increased emotional intensity, intimacy and reciprocal service. The data were collected from participants in two Islamic business associations in Turkey. The results suggest that spirituality indeed drives members’ commitment to the network and the presence of spirituality has a distinctive effect on members’ contributions to and demands on the network. More specifically, members who treat their network membership as an extension of their spiritual practice tend to mainly benefit from intangible resources, while members who view their shared religion as an entry point into the network seem to benefit from both tangible and intangible network resources. The findings have several theoretical and practical implications, including the introduction of the spirituality concept into the discussion of homophily and tie strength in business networks, and the role of home networks in the internationalization of SMEs.


7 Hong, H.-J. & Minbaeva, D. 2021. Multiculturals as strategic human capital resources in multinational enterprises. Journal of International Business Studies, <https://doi.or g/10.1057/s41267-021-00463-w>

The mere presence of migrant employees is unlikely to be enough to drive innovation. Instead, firms need to strategically manage migrant employees to set up the conditions that allow them to innovate.

Multiculturals — individuals with notable cultural knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics (KSAOs) — are widely assumed to contribute to MNE performance leading, ultimately, to global competitive advantages. We nuance this general belief by arguing that what matters for an MNE’s competitive advantage is not the employment of multiculturals per se, but rather the MNE’s ability to transform multiculturals’ KSAOs into strategic human capital resources by creating complementarities between KSAOs and emergence-enabling factors. Using a 12-month in-depth ethnographic study over the span of two years in two MNEs, we identified five emergence-enabling factors that enable the transformation of multiculturals’ KSAOs into human capital resources and strategic human capital resources: (1) a global mindset, (2) a differentiated HR architecture, (3) the language policy and practices, (4) team diversity, and (5) multicultural team leadership. We suggested that a global mindset and differentiated HR architecture are emergence-enabling factors that enable the transformation of KSAOs into unit-level strategic human capital resources that are relevant for competitive advantage, while team diversity and multicultural team leadership are emergence-enabling factors that enable the transformation of KSAOs into unit-level human capital resources relevant for performance parity. Finally, the language policy and practices were relevant for both processes.


6 Almeida, P., Phene, A. and Li, S., 2015. The influence of ethnic community knowledge on Indian inventor innovativeness. Organization Science, 26(1), pp.198-217. <https://do>

Migrants who were socially embedded in their ethnic communities accessed information from ethnic networks more easily than migrants who were less embedded. This information drove innovation.

This paper investigates the knowledge influences of the ethnic community on the quality of innovations of Indian immigrant inventors in the U.S. semiconductor industry. Membership in the Indian ethnic community enables inventors to source knowledge from, and to collaborate with, others in the community. By analyzing patent data, we find that the utility of ethnic knowledge and collaborators depends on the level of inventor embeddedness in the community. Most inventors benefit by sourcing knowledge from, or collaborating with, other Indians and hence enhance innovation quality, but at a diminishing rate. For those who are very heavily embedded in the community, ethnic community knowledge decreases the quality of innovation. Our results provide some support for the idea that simultaneously sourcing ethnic knowledge and using ethnic collaborators also decreases innovativeness. Thus, for Indian inventors, the level of embeddedness in the community is a key factor in influencing the quality of innovation.


5 Fan, S.X. & Harzing, A-W., (2017) Host country employees’ ethnic identity confirmation: Evidence from interactions with ethnically similar expatriates, Journal of World Business, 52(5), pp. 640-652. <https://doi.o rg/10.1016/j.jwb.2017.05.001>

Should MNEs select co-ethnic expatriates (e.g. Chinese-Americans sent to China)? Using 2 experiments, “trust does not occur naturally between ethnically similar expatriates and host country employees”.

Employing expatriates who share an ethnicity with host country employees (HCEs) is a widespread expatriate selection strategy. However, little research has compared how expatriates and HCEs perceive this shared ethnicity. Drawing upon an identity perspective, we propose HCEs’ ethnic identity confirmation, the level of agreement between how an HCE views the importance of his/her own ethnic identity and how expatriates view the importance of the HCE’s ethnic identity, affects HCEs’ attitudes towards ethnically similar expatriates. Results of two experiments show that HCEs’ ethnic identity confirmation is related to HCEs’ perception of expatriates’ trustworthiness and knowledge-sharing intention.


4 Lau, V. P., & Shaffer, M. A. (2021). A Typological Theory of Domestic Employees’ Acculturation Stress and Adaptation in the Context of Globalization. Academy of Management Review, <https://d>

The world needs to understand why domestic employees resist immigration. This paper explains why domestic employees feel like they are under threat by immigrants through the lens of losing/gaining resources. It makes a complex idea more understandable.

Integrating Hobfoll’s (1989) conservation of resources theory with Berry’s (1997) acculturation taxonomies, we develop a typological theory to explain the acculturation stress and adaptation processes of domestic employees in the context of globalization. From a resource-based perspective, we first identify four resources — social dominance, ethnocentric orientation, social capital, and absorptive capacity — that represent Hobfoll’s four kinds of resources (i.e., object, personal, condition, and energy) and differentiate them in terms of their goal (i.e., maintaining the original culture or seeking intercultural interactions) and orientation (i.e., individual or social). We postulate that domestic employees’ loss and gain of these resources set boundary conditions for acculturation stress in response to the influence of globalization. Then, drawing on Berry’s taxonomies, we configure different combinations of the loss and gain of these resources to form individual and collective ideal types of resources that set boundary conditions for the influence of acculturation stress on adaptation approaches (i.e., integration, assimilation, separation, and marginalization) at the individual level and the influence of globalization on adaptation cultures (i.e., multiculturalism, melting pot, segregation, and exclusion) at the organizational level. Finally, we propose that adaptation cultures exert influences on domestic employees’ normative freedom of choice of adaptation approaches.


3 Elo, M., Täube, F. A., & Servais, P. (2021). Who is doing “transnational diaspora entrepreneurship”? Understanding formal identity and status. Journal of World Busines, doi. org/10.1016/j.jwb.2021.101240

Critically examines TDE in IB: “Current leading IB/IE literature indicates a notable disconnect from e.g. migration-, political economy- and economic-regional development theory discussions.”

This paper addresses transnational diaspora entrepreneurship (TDE), its superdiversity and respective formal identity and status. As migration increases, formal identity becomes a panacea for migrants’ economic participation and global entrepreneurial policies. Our review of TDE literature identified a lack of specification of TDE types and criteria. We develop a taxonomy and discuss TDE problems addressing formal identity, generation, mixed-origin, multi-location, diversity of migratory patterns and cross-border entrepreneurial business activities. Since policymaking employs formal status for impeding or facilitating cross-border venturing, it is crucial to reduce the ambiguity of terms and categories and facilitate more nuanced and accurate theorizing and policymaking.


2 Bell, M. P., Kwesiga, E. N., Berry, D. P. 2010. Immigrants: The new “invisible men and women” in diversity research. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 25: 177-188. <https://doi.o rg/10.1108/02683941011019375>

For coining the best catchphrase for immigration research. It convinced others to pay more attention to immigrant employees. A decade later, we want to find out what Myrtle Bell thinks has changed. Note that she is one of only four authors appearing twice on this list: Bell, Berry, Shaffer & Elo.

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the invisibility of immigrants in diversity research in the management field. Experiences of Hispanic immigrants to the USA are largely absent from diversity literature even though immigrants are significant contributors to the diversity of the USA. There are clear differences in the employment experiences of native‐born Hispanic‐Americans and those who are immigrants, with the latter, both documented and undocumented, generally faring worse in wages, benefits, and interpersonal treatment when compared with those who are native‐born.


1 Özkazanc-Pan, B. 2019. “Superdiversity”: a new paradigm for inclusion in a transnational world, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, 38 (4), 477-490. <https://doi. org/10.1108/EDI-07-2018-0134>

Delightfully provocative! It explains why resistance research tends to favor migration over other forms of diversity: “Migration has become a lightning rod for conversations about the value of diversity and inclusion in liberal democracies”.

This paper focuses on contributions to diversity theorizing and research available from “superdiversity”, an analytic framework derived from transnational migration studies. “Superdiversity” speaks to the novel social transformations taking place globally and provides new opportunities, albeit with critique, for conceptualizing and studying people, difference and inclusion. The purpose of this paper is to provide innovative ways to rethink hallmark concepts of diversity scholarship by offering new insights about the role of nation-states, the concept of difference and inclusion in the midst of mobility. Deploying the analytic framework of “superdiversity,” the paper offers “belonging” as the new conversation on inclusion and proposes mobile methods as a means to study mobile subjects/objects. In addition, it discusses how the ongoing transformative societal changes by way of transnational migration impact the ways in which the author theorizes and carry out diversity research. Questions and concerns around ethics, (in)equality and representation are considered vital to future research in/around diversity.