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Congruence of economic mobility beliefs and immigrants’ self-esteem

Laura Guerrero (Department of Management, University of Houston – Clear Lake , Houston, Texas, USA)
Luciana Turchick Hakak (School of Business, University of the Fraser Valley , Abbotsford, Canada)

Journal of Global Mobility

ISSN: 2049-8799

Article publication date: 11 March 2019

Issue publication date: 23 July 2019

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Abstract

Purpose

A dark side of global mobility is that many immigrants have negative work outcomes. Studies have analyzed the antecedents to poor work outcomes from the immigrants’ point of view or from that of host country nationals. The purpose of this paper is to propose a relational model, which applies terror management theory to address how the economic mobility beliefs of immigrants and host country nationals interact and how these different combinations of beliefs affect the self-esteem of immigrants.

Design/methodology/approach

This theoretical model considers the impact of the social interactions between immigrants and host country nationals when immigrants’ mortality is salient.

Findings

In hostile environments that make immigrants’ mortality salient, lack of confirmation of immigrants’ beliefs about economic mobility from host country nationals can lead to a decrease in immigrants’ self-esteem and therefore to negative work outcomes.

Practical implications

As the number of immigrants grows, so do concerns about their ability to contribute to the economy. Lack of confirmation of their beliefs in a context in which their mortality is salient, is likely to lead to lower self-esteem and perhaps other negative outcomes.

Originality/value

This paper is the first, to the authors’ knowledge, to use terror management theory to advance our understanding of the outcome of a lack of confirmation from host country nationals of immigrants’ beliefs on economic mobility under conditions of mortality salience.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This paper forms part of a special section “The dark side of global mobility”.

Citation

Guerrero, L. and Turchick Hakak, L. (2019), "Congruence of economic mobility beliefs and immigrants’ self-esteem", Journal of Global Mobility, Vol. 7 No. 2, pp. 181-193. https://doi.org/10.1108/JGM-09-2018-0044

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited