Realizing Immigrant Contributions to Workgroup and Organizational Performance

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Date of Original Version



Although immigrants play a key role in organizations, less attention is paid to their role in workgroups. Research in diversity management does not routinely distinguish immigrants from their native-born ethnic counterparts. Instead, how immigrants’ unique characteristics may contribute to workgroups and, ultimately, organizational performance has been overlooked. This paper addresses this gap by providing a cross-disciplinary approach that shows how immigrants contribute to performance. Grounded in the ability-motivation-opportunity (AMO) framework, we argue that for immigrants to become strategically beneficial human resources, managers must help workplaces overcome barriers that block the contextual and interpersonal conditions that foster immigrants’ unique capabilities, motivations, and opportunities for group performance. We discuss several barriers that can impede workgroup and firm performance, including language proficiency barriers, cross-cultural competency and adjustment barriers, intergroup bias barriers due to immigrant status, and immigrants’ strategic integration barriers. We contribute to the diversity management literature by answering multiple calls to pay more attention to immigrants and their integration in groups and organizations.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal