Successful Integration of Migrants to the Workplace

Projekter: ProjektForskning



The purpose of the research project is to develop a better understanding of the challenges and coping strategies of highly-qualified migrants (HQMs), as well as shed light on how organizations facilitate the integration of high and low skilled migrants. Another objective is to investigate how characteristics of the broader institutional and cultural context, such as national immigration policies, public support systems, and societal values may affect migrants’ integration outcomes, either directly or by shaping organizational norms and practices.
The research team comprises a variety of academic collaborators from 12 countries (Australia, Austria, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK and the US) that represent developed economies with substantial numbers of HQMs representing different institutional and cultural contexts. In addition to semi-structured interviews and focus groups conducted, the international team has engaged in a large-scale survey and has collected more than 2000 responses from (high-skilled) migrants.


Significance for the Research Field. The planned research project promises to make a groundbreaking contribution to our understanding of the drivers of acculturation processes and integration outcomes of HQMs by adopting a multilevel design, measurement and analysis approach. First, we offer a unifying, multidimensional framework that synthesizes work from hitherto largely disparate fields (including acculturation, diversity management, cross-cultural and comparative studies, and institutional theory) toward understanding the nature, antecedents, and outcomes of integration-related processes at various levels. Further, by exploring cross-national variations and inter-organizational differences, we aim to develop a better understanding of the boundary conditions and underlying processes that affect the integration of HQMs. Importantly, the concepts and empirical insights developed in this project, by virtue of their multi-level nature, will allow researchers to think more broadly about HQMs as embedded within groups and organizations, as well as organizations embedded within institutional and cultural contexts.
Policy Relevance and Social Impact. Our research will produce important findings on a variety of policies and practices aimed at integrating HQMs into their workplaces and effectively managing diversity in large organizations. Our findings will provide practitioners with guidance on how to design effective organizational policies and support systems to facilitate the integration of HQMs. Further, this study will have important implications for employer associations, unions, and governmental agencies.


This projects aims to shed light on the factors of success in integrating migrants to the workplace. It will answer the following research questions:
1) How do individual factors (religious beliefs, motivation to migrate, coping strategies, skills, etc.) influence migrants’ ability to integrate in the destination country?
2) Which organizational characteristics (corporate culture, diversity climate, HR practices, etc.) affect migrants’ acculturation dynamics, adjustment patterns and integration outcomes?
3) How do aspects of the broader institutional and cultural context (immigration policies, public support systems, societal values, etc.) shape organizational culture, policies and practices with regard to integration of migrants and promote or constrain migrants’ ability to cope with the integration challenges in the destination country?
Kort titelIntegration of Migrants
Effektiv start/slut dato01/08/201931/12/2025


  • Vienna University of Economics and Business (leder)


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