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Constructions of inclusion at two senior nursing home units in Sweden: immigrants’ perspectives

Solange Barros de Alcantara Hamrin (Department of Media and Communication, Mid Sweden University, Sundsvall, Sweden)

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

ISSN: 2040-7149

Article publication date: 26 February 2019

Issue publication date: 16 May 2019

Abstract

Purpose

This study is an inductive exploration of factors that are relevant to the inclusion and integration of immigrant workers in a Swedish workplace. The purpose of this paper is to examine the experiences of immigrant employees with other organisational actors at two senior nursing units in Sweden.

Design/methodology/approach

Results are drawn from the analyses of interviews with six female and three male immigrant nursing assistants living permanently in Sweden.

Findings

Trustful relationships with other organisational actors, during both formal and informal interactions, are considered essential facilitating inclusion of these immigrant workers. Immigrant workers experienced inclusion when they achieved language competence (or felt supported in their attempts to do so) and bridged cultural differences. The results also highlight conditions for interactions and leadership as factors influencing inclusion. In addition, inclusion implied acculturation or awareness of the values of native-born citizens.

Research limitations/implications

The study suggests that immigrants’ relational dynamics with their colleagues are essential to inclusion, despite types of studies that focus mainly on the competences of leaders to manage diversity.

Practical implications

The results have implications for organisations’ development of a more democratic workplace with more inclusiveness and with satisfied employees.

Originality/value

The study gives voice to immigrant workers, which is rare in Swedish and international organisations that deal with the issue of immigrant integration in the workplace.

Keywords

Citation

Hamrin, S.B.d.A. (2019), "Constructions of inclusion at two senior nursing home units in Sweden: immigrants’ perspectives", Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Vol. 38 No. 4, pp. 462-476. https://doi.org/10.1108/EDI-05-2018-0091

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited