"Brain-drain" in an era of business and socio-economic uncertainty: the role of diversity training in managing social integration at the workplace. The case of Greece and Portugal

Mitsakis, F.V. ORCID: 0000-0001-8454-5777 and Mendonca, P. ORCID: 0000-0001-7035-6246, 2017. "Brain-drain" in an era of business and socio-economic uncertainty: the role of diversity training in managing social integration at the workplace. The case of Greece and Portugal. In: 10th Equality, Diversity and Inclusion International Conference (EDI 2017), Brunel Business School, Brunel University, London, 28-30 June 2017.


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This study examines the extent to which diversity training is being used in workplaces in the UK to better integrate migrant workers. The paper also aims at assessing the perceived challenges and benefits that diversity training may produce for individuals in an era of economic and social uncertainty and insecurity. The underlying reasons that made many highly-skilled individuals to emigrate would also be highlighted. Most importantly though, the paper aims at initiating a discussion as to what extent diversity training could facilitate their social integration at the workplace. Thus, to better serve its purpose, the study explores Greek and Portuguese migrant workers' perceptions of the phenomenon under investigation.
Individuals who left Greece and Portugal for UK were identified as the target audience of this research. Due to time and access constraints, web-based social and professional networks proved to offer the best solution in accessing our sample population. The snowball technique was also utilised (recommendations from existing participants). For instance, Facebook was one amongst them by accessing various Greek and Portuguese community groups. Additionally, several professional sub-groups within Linkedin resulted to higher participation. Further to that, specific levels of integration were suggested (e.g. participants' intention to stay in the organisation, social support from British colleagues, type of diversity training programmes, psychological & work-related distress etc.) so to better evaluate the extent to which diversity training could facilitate their social integration at the workplace. So far, 56 people have successfully completed the survey questionnaire, yet with a response rate to be quite low compared to the members within the respective groups.
Research evidence describes "brain-drain" as an intriguing and important issue both within the organisational and national contexts. The findings of this study indicate that crisis, low wages, and limited career advancement opportunities are amongst the most important reasons reported by respondents. On one hand, research participants reported an overall mediocre or inexistent diversity training programmes implemented within their workplaces. As a result, their social integration was difficult, with some participants indicating high levels of marginalisation within the workplace. In contrary, there were others suggesting that diversity training have offered them the social support being required to effectively integrate within the organisational and work settings. A large majority of our research participants outlined the importance of diversity training as a means of social integration at work. To this extent, the research could make a strong argument that diversity training can be viewed as a means to better integrate migrant workers at the workplace.
The research is expected to offer both theoretical and practical recommendations. The paper offers an association between the "social integration" paradigm and the institutional perspective by suggesting that the two elements of social integration at work (e.g. social connectedness & work context) can facilitate migrant workers’ social integration at work, while concurrently to eliminate its negative aspects. A brain-mobility process has dominated the headlines of most global media over the last 9-10 years, since the global financial crisis commenced. Final research findings and suggestions could constitute the starting point of future research within different national contexts; thus, to offer a comparison amongst people and nations over the phenomenon under investigation.

Item Type: Conference contribution
Description: Working paper
Creators: Mitsakis, F.V. and Mendonca, P.
Date: June 2017
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 15 May 2017 08:59
Last Modified: 06 Oct 2017 07:10
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/30653

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