is it that immigrant women from China work more than immigrant women from
India? An intuitive answer is that women in China are more likely to work than
women in India, which is related to prevailing norms in these countries about
gender and work. When women immigrate to, say, the United States, they bring
these norms with them, which influences their subsequent decisions about
whether to work.
Our research confirms this basic insight but adds an important twist: not all women from a particular origin country share the same beliefs regarding work. Therefore, although the employment behavior of immigrant women stems, in part, from the norms that prevail in their countries of origin, the influence of these norms is likely to vary across individuals from the same country, depending on their personal beliefs and motivations for migrating.
When frontline employees speak up candidly, organizations become more effective. Because such employees are often in direct contact with customers and production processes, they tend to encounter important issues and develop valuable ideas and opinions that can help correct for problems on the horizon. Therefore, when employees freely express their thoughts, organizations benefit by being able to quickly spot errors or mistakes, as well as innovate products and systems.
The problem, however, is that employees frequently fail to speak up or voice their concerns in the workplace. Consequently, problems fail to be escalated in a timely manner to leaders in upper management who can act on them. Often, workplace issues linger for a frustratingly long time, even when everyone on the frontlines knows about them. This becomes evident across a range of domains—from safety concerns with products or equipment to cases of sexual harassment.
Why don’t people speak up about workplace issues that are obvious to everyone around?
Many view the Internet as the ultimate labor market tool. By massively expanding information about job openings (through job posting sites like Monster.com) and job seekers (through social media sites like LinkedIn), the internet has reduced the information boundedness problem that plagued earlier labor markets.
But greater exposure to information on both sides of the labor market is insufficient for an expanded opportunity. In fact, it could lead to greater segmentation of the workforce.
To learn more about how the internet has transformed the
market for labor, we interviewed 61 HR professionals in two southern metro
areas in the US. We asked them to explain how they used the internet for
posting jobs, recruiting workers, and reviewing job applicants. The results
revealed two very different ways in which organizational actors perceive the
online labor market.
It’s a puzzle that social scientists have tried to solve for decades: How
can immigrants come to the United States and achieve more economic mobility
than African Americans, even when they start out with equal amounts of human,
financial, and cultural capital?
For a variety of reasons, immigrants commonly use entrepreneurship as a
The mobility prospects for immigrants in wage and salary employment can be low. Immigrants’ credentials, such as a law degree from back home, may not be formally recognized in the United States. In addition, many immigrants may not know English well, and they may experience racial or ethnic discrimination when applying for jobs.