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Book part
Publication date: 2 May 2018

Yew Wah Chow and Lorena Mathien

Contemporary international migrations are changing the global labor landscape. However, not all labor migration results are beneficial. Some home countries lose a great…

Abstract

Contemporary international migrations are changing the global labor landscape. However, not all labor migration results are beneficial. Some home countries lose a great amount of home-educated labor to host countries that offer better working and living conditions, consequently lowering the available amount of critically needed intellectual capital for national utility. Ideally, host countries seeking workers should strive to develop a national policy that maximize “brain gain” by attracting workers with complimentary skills and knowledge to fill local employment gaps. Conversely, donor countries that send workers abroad should develop policies that minimize its brain drain by encouraging their skilled citizens to return home after acquiring enhanced skills and knowledge, thus taking advantage of “brain circulation” effects. Therefore, a nation’s best interest, either a host or donor country, may be best served through the development of protocols that minimize friction during the migration process for preferred migrants. Using Malaysia, as an example, we argue that the recognition of dual citizenship would be the appropriate prescription in reducing the “Great Brain Drain” problem afflicting the local labor market. This recognition serves several purposes: (1) provide labor with economic opportunities while retaining their ability to adjust to political climate by taking advantage of the global mobility of talent with favorable immigration policies; (2) increase Malaysia’s financial and human capital stock by leveraging its diasporas; and (3) alleviate friction in the migration process between Malaysia and host countries that will smooth travel between countries and increase economic transactions back to the country in the form of social and economic remittances. This paper examines this allowance and discusses the implications of a potential Malaysian dual-citizenship policy.

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Environment, Politics, and Society
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-775-1

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Article
Publication date: 3 February 2012

William Harvey

This paper seeks to address two research questions: first, to what extent do highly skilled migrants intend to make personal business and financial investments in their…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to address two research questions: first, to what extent do highly skilled migrants intend to make personal business and financial investments in their home countries, and second, what factors influence them to invest in their home countries?

Design/methodology/approach

The results are based on face‐to‐face and telephone interviews which took place between September, 2008 and March, 2009 with 64 highly skilled British migrants working in Vancouver, Canada. Respondents were asked a combination of open‐ and closed‐ended questions.

Findings

The results of this study find that the vast majority of respondents are not investing in or intending to return to their home country, which indicates that they contributing to brain circulation in a limited extent.

Practical implications

The paper argues that governments and organisations in the home country can play an important role in facilitating brain circulation in Europe.

Originality/value

Much of the academic literature suggests that the brain drain has now transformed into brain gain. The findings of this study do not support this shift because most of the sample of British expatriates in Vancouver are not intending to invest in or return to Europe. This is significant because highly skilled migrants could be better utilised as resources by European governments and organisations.

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Journal of Management Development, vol. 31 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

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Article
Publication date: 29 October 2019

Iván Manuel De la Vega Hernández and Luciano Barcellos de Paula

The quintuple helix innovation model allows exploring the sustainable development of countries from the perspective of the capabilities that each of them possesses in…

Abstract

Purpose

The quintuple helix innovation model allows exploring the sustainable development of countries from the perspective of the capabilities that each of them possesses in terms of highly qualified personnel in science and technology. In addition, their distribution among the actors (helices) and the global mobility of this type of people are examined. The purpose of this paper is to dimension and characterise the research structures of the central, emerging and peripheral countries; to estimate the demand and mobility of scientists and technologists in the three selected countries; and to establish whether the concept of brain circulation applies to each of these types of countries.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach of the work is bibliometric and scientometric. In the first step, two theoretical frameworks were built. In the second step, indicators to measure the overall migration were developed and identified. In the third step, data from previous research were used, and data from Peru were added using the same methodology to be able to compare the three types of countries.

Findings

The study shows that the same terminology cannot be used globally to analyse the mobility of scientists in today’s world, despite technological advances because there is no critical mass in peripheral countries.

Originality/value

This study shows that the concept of brain circulation cannot be applied equally to all countries, because those that do not have critical mass lose capabilities, despite the existence of information and communication technologies.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 49 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

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Article
Publication date: 2 May 2019

A.K.M. Ahsan Ullah, Siti Mazidah Mohamad, Noor Hasharina Hassan and Diotima Chattoraj

The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, it intends to engage in skill gain–lose debate in the contemporary global skill mobility context; and second, it looks into…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, it intends to engage in skill gain–lose debate in the contemporary global skill mobility context; and second, it looks into whether Southeast Asia (SEA) is losing by experiencing skill deficiency due to over outflow of talents.

Design/methodology/approach

Primary data were collected through interviews with policy makers, stakeholder and migrant professionals from Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Findings

The paper comes up with the brain drain dynamics to better understand the trajectory of skill mobility in and from SEA. Within the skill mobility discourse, it is undoubtedly difficult to conclude who are the losers and the gainers in the long run.

Originality/value

This research is based on relatively small sample. However, this offers a fresh insight into the skill deficiency dynamics in Southeast Asia.

Details

Asian Education and Development Studies, vol. 8 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-3162

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Article
Publication date: 8 October 2020

Vilmante Kumpikaite -Valiuniene, Jurga Duobiene, Ashly H. Pinnington and Abdelmounaim Lahrech

The authors investigate empirically emigrants' intentions and motivations to work virtually for their country of origin. The study focuses on a country with substantial…

Abstract

Purpose

The authors investigate empirically emigrants' intentions and motivations to work virtually for their country of origin. The study focuses on a country with substantial, persistent emigration and explores theories of diaspora investment motivation and virtual work characteristics.

Design/methodology/approach

An exploratory questionnaire survey on migrants' intentions and motivations to work virtually for their country of origin was conducted in late 2016 on 3,022 respondents, all emigrants from Lithuania.

Findings

Migrants are more likely to engage in virtual work for their country of origin when they experience negative career satisfaction, perceive the country of origin as their home country, belong to a recent wave of migration and possess occupational skills commonly employed in virtual work.

Research limitations/implications

A major limitation of this study conducted on emigrants from one country is that it does not permit generalisation of the results to other countries and regions. It is limited, thus, to making general comparisons to what is known in the literature about migrants from other nations. However, the authors have identified some of the main factors which have theoretical and empirical import for future research, and the auhtors have argued that the results of our study possess only a few inherent geographic limitations. This research is a starting point for studies connecting diaspora motivation and their linkage to virtual work as a mean of human capital gain for the country of origin. The findings inform the conceptual model of virtual workplaces of Kumpikaite-Valiuniene et al. (2014) in relation to migrants and support Nielsen and Riddle's (2010) migrant diaspora investment motivation theory.

Practical implications

Understanding how and when organisations will work virtually with migrants from the country of origin as well as knowing more about their needs and expectations for migrants' knowledge, skills and work experience are necessary for future research on the attractiveness and potential of virtual work. As a first step in exploring diaspora motivation for virtual work, the authors recommend conducting qualitative research that would investigate more deeply the various motivations migrants can have for virtual work with their country or origin. This study revealed that females are more motivated to work virtually compared to males. However, gender issues have not been explored in this survey and constitute a future study direction.

Social implications

Moreover, future research should examine what areas of human capital, commercial and cultural knowledge can be productively delivered by migrants working virtually for organisations in the country of origin, which will contribute to greater understanding of knowledge transfer and human capital issues (“brain gain”) in the migration literature. Further, specific forms of virtual work should be studied empirically for the extent that they provide opportunities for self-development and for satisfaction in personal lives and work careers. In addition, the potential business and societal benefits for the country of origin should be studied further through examining diverse dimensions of family, community, work and careers. These studies will expand knowledge of virtual work and related research phenomena and will contribute to this gap in the migration and human resource management (HRM) literature studies.

Originality/value

This research is a starting point for studies connecting diaspora motivation and their linkage to virtual work as a mean of human capital gain for the country of origin. The findings inform the proposed conceptual model of virtual workplaces by Kumpikaite-Valiuniene et al (2014) in relation to migrants and support Nielsen and Riddle (2010) migrant diaspora investment motivation theory. The authors have identified some of the main factors that have theoretical and empirical import for future study. This research topic and new related studies on diaspora have the potential to contribute to the fields of migration, HRM, work and career studies.

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International Journal of Emerging Markets, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-8809

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Article
Publication date: 15 August 2008

Virginia Bodolica and Martin Spraggon

The purpose of this paper is to explore multiple cases of Moldovan women who individually initiated and involved in work arrangements with Italian employers. The main…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore multiple cases of Moldovan women who individually initiated and involved in work arrangements with Italian employers. The main purpose is to examine the international employment experiences of female migrants by identifying the challenges they face in a foreign country and building a comprehensive typology of female migrant workers.

Design/methodology/approach

The empirical work consists of field notes gathered through direct observations and semi‐structured interviews conducted with five Moldovan women while they were still working in Italy. The content analysis of the interviews reveals how Moldovan workers perceive their foreign experience and the ways it influences their personal development.

Findings

The paper suggests that such brain mobility concepts as brain drain, brain waste and optimal brain drain represent the distinguishing characteristics of our interviewees who are citizens of a transitional economy. Imaginary trip, frustrating encounter, identity consolidation and self‐actualization are identified as four consecutive stages through which the self‐initiated migration experience develops over the time. The resulting variations in migrants' behaviours and mind‐sets create a typology of female workers based on their desperateness to migrate (planner vs despairer), their failure to tolerate the frustrating encounter (surrenderer), their attitudes towards personal development (conformist vs rejuvenator) and their ability to transcend their own limitations (highflyer). The paper describes the double identity strangeness along with other aspects which differentiate self‐initiated experiences from expatriate assignments.

Research limitations/implications

The use of a limited number of case studies prevents concluding whether and to what extent the findings apply to all female migrant workers from other transitional economies. This limitation could be clarified in a future study on larger samples of female respondents involved in self‐initiated employment arrangements in Italy or in other developed countries.

Practical implications

At the organizational level, the findings allow employers and human resource managers in the destination country to distinguish different types of migrant workers and better understand their particular needs in order to facilitate their intra‐firm integration.

Originality/value

Using a gender analysis highlighted in the international migration literature, this research makes a contribution towards creating a solid knowledge base on Moldovan migrant women – a widely underexplored group of migrant workers – and their involvement in labour market processes in Italy.

Details

Equal Opportunities International, vol. 27 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0261-0159

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Article
Publication date: 3 July 2017

Kristie Briggs

This paper aims to examine whether emigration of high-skilled labor creates a positive effect in the home country by generating multi-country joint patent relationships…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine whether emigration of high-skilled labor creates a positive effect in the home country by generating multi-country joint patent relationships between home and destination country-pairs.

Design/methodology/approach

A panel of data that uniquely captures the country of origin of patent applicants is used to assess if and how high-skilled emigration contributes to the prevalence of multi-country joint patents in a country. The analysis is conducted both in aggregate and across sub-samples based on the per capita income level of the home country. Finally, the role of absorptive capacity as a control variable is robustly considered.

Findings

Results suggest that emigration of high-skilled labor positively impacts the prevalence of multi-country joint patent ownership when emigration originates from middle- and high-income countries. Support for such “brain gain” via knowledge sharing in innovation is absent when high-skilled labor emigrates from low-income countries.

Originality/value

The analysis highlights a specific avenue by which the home country benefits from high-skilled emigration. It also provides comparative analysis across home countries of different income levels, which can provide insight into the external validity of papers using high-income country samples of innovative performance when assessing knowledge spillovers.

Details

International Journal of Development Issues, vol. 16 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1446-8956

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Article
Publication date: 19 July 2013

Fangmeng Tian

The purpose of this paper is to closely examine the flows and selectivity of a scientific brain drain from China against the background of global talent competition.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to closely examine the flows and selectivity of a scientific brain drain from China against the background of global talent competition.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is derived from an empirical study, which randomly surveyed 451 Chinese scientists at leading global universities. Based on their biographical information, descriptive analysis and logistic regression not only demonstrates migration patterns of Chinese scientists, but also reveals their demographic profiles between 1998 and 2006.

Findings

The findings of this study show that the scientific community in China experienced increasing personnel exchange with the English academia during the observation period. Emigrant scientists from China were selected positively in terms of educational background, and the pattern seemed to turn stronger over time. By contrast, returnee scientists were selected negatively from those who studied abroad. The predominant mode of migration was both an ongoing brain drain and an emerging brain circulation, and the latter was largely pushed by domestic degree holders with overseas experience.

Originality/value

This empirical study enriches our understanding of international migration in the scientific community, and helps explain China's strategy in achieving rapid scientific development. Although national strategies targeting the research diaspora make a limited contribution in luring prominent scholars back home, a brain circulation can be realized by sending domestic scientists abroad for short‐period training or visiting.

Details

Journal of Science and Technology Policy in China, vol. 4 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1758-552X

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Article
Publication date: 11 March 2014

Caf Dowlah

The purpose of the paper is to examine convergence of economic interests – both empirically and theoretically – among labor-abundant (labor-sending) and labor scarce…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the paper is to examine convergence of economic interests – both empirically and theoretically – among labor-abundant (labor-sending) and labor scarce (labor receiving) countries, in the context of Mode 4 of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) of the WTO. The paper also explores regional trade associations as an interim alternative forum for promoting temporary cross-border labor mobility in the backdrop of failure of multilateral trade negotiations under the Doha Round.

Design/methodology/approach

The research methodology of the paper involves literature review, an analysis of databases and theoretical findings, and a critical examination of pertinent empirical and secondary information on the subject matter.

Findings

The findings reveal that although a convergence of economic interests seem to exist between the labor-sending and receiving countries for promoting cross-border labor mobility, this sector faces formidable trade and non-trade barriers across the world, especially in the developed countries. As multilateral trade negotiations under the Doha Round have failed to make any progress toward liberalization of this sector, regional trade associations, especially those pursued by the USA, Canada and Australia, seem to provide a credible alternative vehicle, as an interim measure, for further liberalization of this sector. These RTAs can serve as examples for other RTAs to promote regional mobility of labor.

Research limitations/implications

Cross-border temporary labor mobility, as envisaged by GATs of the WTO, is a burgeoning field. Although some serious works are available, especially sponsored by the World Bank and some leading universities, there is a considerable dearth in this field, especially in respect to contribution from individual scholars and researchers. This paper fills the void to some extent by ascertaining factors and forces that help or hinder cross-border mobility, by pointing out limitations of multilateral trade negotiations under the WTO, and by exploring the regional trade associations as an interim measure for promoting cross-border labor mobility.

Practical implications

This paper points out factors and forces that help or hinder cross-border mobility, ascertains crucial limitations of multilateral trade negotiations under the WTO, and explores the RTAs as an interim measure for promoting cross-border labor mobility – all these would have practical policy implications.

Originality/value

The originality of the paper lies with its critical and careful review of existing literature and available databases, with the determination of factors and forces that help or hinder cross-border mobility in the contemporary world, in pointing out the limitations of multilateral trade negotiations under the WTO, and in exploring the RTAs as an interim measure for promoting cross-border labor mobility.

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Article
Publication date: 3 March 2020

Arup Varma and Rosalie Tung

The present study was designed to investigate the factors that prompt ex-host country nationals (EHCNs) to return to their country of origin, specifically, India. In order…

Abstract

Purpose

The present study was designed to investigate the factors that prompt ex-host country nationals (EHCNs) to return to their country of origin, specifically, India. In order to identify specific factors that guide the decision to return, we examined several categories of reasons why members of the Indian diaspora who have lived/worked abroad may choose to return to India.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a sample of 98 executives from Southern India, this exploratory study sheds light on the emerging phenomenon of “brain circulation” advanced by Saxenian (2005) where highly qualified professionals (human talent, in short) ply between their country of origin (COO) and country of residency (COR). The authors investigate (i) their overall impression of their COO, (ii) the reasons they believe their company transferred them to India in the event of company-sponsored relocations, (iii) the impediments they face in performing their jobs in their COO, and (iv) their level of satisfaction with various aspects of their assignment, whether company-sponsored or self-initiated assignments.

Findings

The findings of this study indicate that EHCNs were driven by several unique factors in their decision to return to their COO, including (i) quality of life, (ii) better career opportunities, (iii) remuneration and (iv) family reasons.

Research limitations/implications

The findings of this study should help scholars develop theoretical models that can help explain the factors that determine the decision-making process of EHCNs related to returning to their COO. Furthermore, while our study was conducted in India, the factors guiding the decisions of the EHCNs are clearly universal, such as quality of life and opportunities for self.

Practical implications

Overall, the EHCNs in our sample were happy with their decision to return to live and work in India, thus suggesting that it would not be very problematic for the Indian government to attract them to return home to satisfy the growing demand for human talent associated with inward and outward foreign direct investment to/from India.

Originality/value

Given the Indian government's continuing efforts to attract qualified EHCNs to return to India and contribute to the growth of the economy, our study offers specific insights into what motivates individuals to return to their COO.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 49 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

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