Submit a Manuscript to the Journal
European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology
For a Special Issue on
Advancing Migration Research in Work and Organizational Psychology: Person, Time and Context
01 September 2023
Special Issue Editor(s)
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
University of Washington/ NIOSH
Advancing Migration Research in Work and Organizational Psychology: Person, Time and Context
One key challenge, and opportunity, of today’s society is a steady rise of international migration. In Europe, 2.1 million immigrants cross EU borders per year (Migration and migrant population statistics, 2022). The percentage of immigrants in workforces ranges from 9% in Eastern Europe to 18% in Western and Central Europe (International Labour Organization ILO, 2021). Even though immigrant workers have always been a crucial part of the workforce and are highly relevant for a functioning society, work and organizational psychology has had a limited view on this specific group of workers.
Studies on immigrants in work and organizational psychology can be roughly categorized in two lines of research: one focuses on what happens to immigrants and refugees in the workplace, and the other on what happens to workplace or teams if immigrants are present. Describing working conditions of immigrant workers in relation to their well-being and motivation (e.g., Bergbom et al., 2015; Kößler et al., 2022; Landsbergis et al., 2014; Sterud et al., 2018), the first line of research suggests that immigrants are in less favourable working conditions but they evaluate the poor working conditions and the fewer job resources as less problematic than do native workers (Avery et al., 2010; Hoppe, 2011; Hoppe et al., 2010; Hoppe et al., 2017; Liu et al., 2020). To understand this conundrum, researchers have called for more attention to personal characteristics such as immigrants’ expectations for life and work (Hoppe & Fujishiro, 2015) as well as social processes such as intergroup dynamics (Avery et al., 2010). The second line of research, focusing on workplace ethnic diversity and its effects on social, motivational and well-being outcomes (Guillaume et al., 2017; Kößler et al., 2022; Meyer, 2017; Shemla et al., 2016; van Knippenberg et al., 2004), has identified that being an immigrant, the social status of immigrants, and pro-diversity beliefs are modifying factors between ethnic diversity and these outcomes (Hoppe et al., 2014; Leslie, 2017; Nederveen Pieterse et al., 2013). These findings push researchers to investigate the interplay of person-level and contextual factors in these relationships.
Overall, these findings challenge us to consider immigrants’ perceptions and expectations, and how previous life and work experiences influence the evaluation of work and life in the receiving country. It also challenges us to rethink the way research on immigrant workers has been conducted. In current migration research, immigrant workers come to exist only when they arrive in the receiving country, and research has been primarily conducted from the sole perspective of receiving countries. However, a different perspective can be developed by recognizing immigrants and refugees as individuals with agency, hopes, and ambitions. They weigh the pros and cons of moving, and make decisions with others in their lives. These psychological and social processes are likely to impact the migration decision itself, the post-migration adaptation process, including career paths, job choice, work motivation and well-being (Fujishiro & Hoppe, 2020; Jasinskaja-Lahti & Yijälä, 2011). Research thus needs to take into account pre-migration experiences for post-migration work and life. Furthermore, in the postmigration phase work and life situations remain dynamic and change over time. For example, in the ethnic diversity literature, Li and colleagues (2018) have pointed to the need to consider dynamic developments of diverse teams in order to understand changes in careers, well-being and motivation over time.
Overall, we regard person (i.e. personal characteristics of immigrants and refugees) as an important factor in migration research that involves personal resources, personality, perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors. While the person is the focal actor in psychological migration research, interactions with time and context need to be taken into account. We argue that time is an important factor for migration research that should acknowledge the continuity of life in pre- and post-migration experiences along with developments after migration. In addition, context is a crucial factor not simply as the country of birth and the country of current residence, but as the social environment in which the immigrant lives and works. The occupational, organizational, community, and societal contexts produce or embed stereotypes and norms about immigrants and migration, and may involve organizational (e.g., diversity trainings in organizations) and political resources and restrictions (e.g., how immigrant workers are protected). We therefore argue that context is an important factor for migration research that should go beyond the work context and also include the broader social environment that shapes immigrants’ work and life opportunities.
Our goal with this Special Issue is to bring together high quality, innovative migration research that expands the scope of Work and Organizational Psychology. We thereby challenge contributors to broaden their perspective in migration research by considering the person: exploring how characteristics of the immigrant worker such as personal resources, personality, attitudes and behaviors affect migration processes, career paths, and the interplay of work, motivation and well-being, (2) by incorporating time: considering pre-migration experiences or attitudes for the interpretation of postmigration findings or developments over time in the postmigration phase, and (3) by considering context: embedding research into social and societal structures in and outside of the workplace.
Proposed contributions (field and experimental studies as well as high-quality theoretical papers) for the Special Issue could include:
- Research that takes personal characteristics of immigrant workers into account such as perceptions and attitudes, values and expectations, behaviors and coping strategies. We encourage authors to relate this person-perspective to time and context-perspectives.
- Research at all levels (individual, interpersonal, organizational, and societal) that considers time-perspectives in migration research by considering or combining pre-migration experiences with post-migration developments. Ideally this research takes a longitudinal approach.
- Research at all levels (individual to societal) that considers context – perspectives by taking social contexts along with their characteristics (e.g., norms, status, stereotypes) into account – either as predictors or boundary conditions that influence immigrant workers’ careers, well-being, social integration, motivation or performance.
We accept all forms of methods, but expect high-quality theorizing in all studies. The study population should involve adults with an immigrant background who are currently employed, seeking employment or are unemployed. Papers with student populations are not accepted.
Disclaimer: Dr. Fujishiro’s guest editorship on this Special Issue will be performed in her personal capacity. The opinions expressed in this Special Issue are her own and do not reflect the views of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Health and Human Services, or the United States government.
We seek innovative contributions and encourage high-quality theoretical or empirical papers across a wide range of methodologies and analytical techniques. We allow cross-sectional studies only if considerations are given to context (e.g., countries of origin, ethnic groups, teams, organizations) or when factual information is incorporated in the analyses. Submitting authors need to describe in their cover letter why the cross-sectional design does not invalidate their findings and conclusions.
Papers should be submitted through the journal’s online Submission Portal. Please select "special issue title” when submitting. We encourage authors to send an abstract to the guest editors to receive feedback regarding the fit for this Special Issue prior to submission. All submissions must be accompanied by an authors’ statements in the cover letter on how their study addresses person, time and context (150 – 300 words).
(0) Submission deadline for full papers: September 1st, 2023
(1) Reviews + decision round 1: December 1st, 2023
(2) Resubmission deadline: February 1st, 2024
(3) Reviews + decision round 2: May 1st, 2024
(4) Final submission round 3: September 1st, 2024
(5) Publication of the Special Issue by November 2024
Each submission will initially be screened by the editors to ensure a fit with the Special Issue and quality of the work. After this initial process, the guest editors will inquire for reviewers for the selected submissions. Each article will be assigned one editor and a minimum of two reviewers.
For more information or to discuss tentative abstracts or ideas for the Special Issue, please contact the Guest Editors: Annekatrin Hoppe [email protected] or Kaori Fujishiro [email protected] .
We are looking forward to receiving your submissions!
Annekatrin Hoppe and Kaori Fujishiro