Employers' use of low-skilled migrant workers: Assessing the implications for human resource management
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the implications for HRM of employers' use of migrants in low-skilled work in a UK-based firm. Is the use of migrant workers for low skilled work associated with “soft” or “hard” approaches to HRM? How do employers recruit migrant workers? What career progression paths are available to these workers in firms? What are the expectations and aspirations of migrant workers? Design/methodology/approach – The paper examines these issues through a case study of a UK-based employer using large numbers of migrant workers. The paper draws on data from a survey of migrant workers in the firm conducted in 2006, and from interviews with managers and migrant workers within this firm, conducted between 2005 and 2006. Findings – The paper highlights the “hard” HRM strategy pursued by the company in order to maintain a competitive advantage based on low labour costs and substitutability of workers. A contradiction is noted between the desire of the firm to retain migrant workers with a strong work ethic and gain high commitment, on the one hand, and their continued attempt to compete on the basis on minimal labour costs and follow a “hard” approach to HRM, on the other. Practical implications – The paper points to the importance of analysis of employers' use of migrants and the strategies they are adopting towards using these workers. Developing an understanding of these strategies is critical to understanding the social and economic experiences of migrant workers. Originality/value – The paper combines qualitative and quantitative research through an intensive case study to illuminate the implications for HRM of employers' use of migrants in low-skilled jobs.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 30 (2009)
Issue (Month): 5 (September)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.emeraldinsight.com|
|Order Information:|| Postal: Emerald Group Publishing, Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley, BD16 1WA, UK|
Web: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/ijm.htm Email:
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eme:ijmpps:v:30:y:2009:i:5:p:437-452. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Virginia Chapman)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.