Call for Papers: Wharton Conference on Migration, Organizations, and Management

The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

May 30-31, 2019

Organizers:

  • Prithwiraj Choudhury, Harvard Business School
  • Exequiel Hernandez, The Wharton School
  • Elena Kulchina, Duke University
  • Dan Wang, Columbia University

Migration, or the movement of people across national borders for either permanent or temporary settlement, is one of the defining issues of our time. Despite its importance, migration has not been emphasized in the study of management and organizations. Existing research from other disciplines has focused on “macro” or policy issues. For instance, many studies explore whether low-skill immigrants affect the employment and wages of native workers (Card, 1990; Borjas, 1994; Peri and Sparber, 2009). Other work focuses on how high-skill immigrants create clusters of knowledge and entrepreneurship at the regional or national level (Saxenian, 2006; Kerr, 2019). Yet other research focuses on the role migration plays in cross-border trade and investment (Gould, 1994; Leblang, 2010). These precedents suggest that migration is an important factor affecting the mobility of labor, knowledge, and capital – i.e., the very resources upon which organizations and their managers rely to survive, grow, and innovate.

Migration is central to the management and performance of organizations for several reasons. Firms are the primary entities that hire workers and determine their mobility across borders—which requires building and managing diverse teams within and across locations. Further, highly skilled migrants that power knowledge diffusion and innovation either work for established organizations or start their own firms through entrepreneurship in the receiving or sending locations. And organizations strategically determine whether and where to make investments to exploit the resources and markets created by ever-evolving migrant communities. Indeed, a growing body of research has provided evidence that migration plays an important role in organizational founding, expansion, innovation, and asset reconfiguration (Foley and Kerr, 2013; Hernandez, 2014; Wang, 2015; Kulchina, 2016; Choudhury and Kim, 2018). However, the body of work linking migration to organizations and management is young, and many important questions remain unanswered.

Through this conference, we seek to create a community and forum to present, discuss, and disseminate research on these important issues. We invite submissions of papers linking migration to topics such as:

  • Organizational performance
  • Employee mobility
  • The management of individuals and teams
  • The microfoundations of firm capabilities
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Organizational innovation
  • Firm location choice and strategic investments

Any other topic at the intersection of migration and organizations and their management is appropriate. However, this conference is NOT for research focused primarily on policy or “macro” topics in which the role of the organization or firm is not apparent.

Please submit papers or extended abstracts by March 15, 2019 to immigration@wharton.upenn.edu. Accepted authors will be notified no later than early April.

You may direct any questions to same email address or to any of the organizers: Prithwiraj Choudhury (pchoudhury@hbs.edu), Exequiel (Zeke) Hernandez (exequiel@wharton.upenn.edu), Elena Kulchina (elena.kulchina@duke.edu), or Dan Wang (dan.wang@columbia.edu).

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