Diverse by Default: Extending the Business Case of Migrant Workers at the Workplace

Lotte Holck

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This paper contributes to theoretical debates around migrant workers at the workplace, labour market inequality and the business case of diversity. Building on stories of overqualified migrant stuck in low-rank jobs due to their migration, this paper explores how migrant workers are simultaneous defined by precarization and high demand especially in the service industry. Drawing on the qualitative data from the case company, Service, I inquire how a diverse composition of employees happened by coincidence, has turned into an advantage of extending the conventional diversity business case: Employing highlyskilled, career-minded migrants in low-skilled postions, migrants are simultaneously casted as a disposable, replicable and temporary resource, the ‘ideal worker’, AND as a ‘high potential’ for first line management. This extended business case of diversity draws on multifaceted business arguments that arise from migrants’ paradoxical situation. To improve their situation, the article discusses whether alternative conceptualization of talents, ‘high potentials’, and making the ambitions of diverse employees more prominent in strategic human resource management can be a relavant strategy – instead of targeted diversity management programs often losing sight of equality. Promoting socio-economic redistribution and general recognition of migrant workers through labor marked affiliation might be the best way to protect these 'diverse workers'; just by fighting for better working conditions for them as workers (Fraser and Honneth, 2003; Zanoni and Janssens, 2014).
Antal sider18
StatusUdgivet - 2017
BegivenhedThe 24th Nordic Academy of Management Conference: Nordic Opportunities - Nord University Business School, Bodø, Norge
Varighed: 23 aug. 201725 aug. 2017
Konferencens nummer: 24


KonferenceThe 24th Nordic Academy of Management Conference
LokationNord University Business School