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Barriers and paths to success: Latin American MBAs' views of employment in Canada

Luciana Turchick Hakak (Schulich School of Business, York University, Toronto, Canada)
Ingo Holzinger (Schulich School of Business, York University, Toronto, Canada)
Jelena Zikic (Atkinson School of Administrative Studies, York University, Toronto, Canada)

Journal of Managerial Psychology

ISSN: 0268-3946

Article publication date: 16 February 2010




This paper aims to examine perceived barriers and paths to success for Latin American immigrant professionals in the Canadian job market.


Findings are based on 20 semi‐structured interviews with Latin American graduates of Canadian MBA programs. Interviews were analyzed for emergent categories and common themes.


Despite their strong educational backgrounds, participants perceived several challenges to their success in the Canadian workplace, specifically, language barriers, lack of networks, cultural differences and discrimination. They also identified factors that influenced their professional success in Canada, such as homophilious networks and their Latin American background.

Research limitations/implications

By investigating stories of Latin American immigrant professionals, the study explores subjective views of immigration experiences and discrimination in this unique and rarely examined group. A larger sample will increase the confidence of the study's findings and future studies should examine dynamics of these issues over time.


This paper presents insight onto the labor market experiences and coping mechanisms of the currently understudied group of Latin American immigrant professionals in Canada. The study's qualitative approach enabled the examination of challenges experienced by immigrant professionals beyond those typically studied in this literature (e.g. devaluation of foreign credentials) and led to the finding that being Latin American can act both as a disadvantage in the form of discrimination and as an advantage as it differentiates immigrant professionals from other job seekers.



Turchick Hakak, L., Holzinger, I. and Zikic, J. (2010), "Barriers and paths to success: Latin American MBAs' views of employment in Canada", Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 25 No. 2, pp. 159-176.



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Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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