Migrant workers, migrant work, public policy and human resource management

Julia Connell, John Burgess

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to outline some of the key issues related to migrant workers, work, public policy and HRM while introducing the five articles included in the special issue. Design/methodology/approach – The paper reports on the issue which is made up of articles that present research based on surveys, interviews and longitudinal census data. Findings – It is evident that high-performing economies attract migrants from lower-performing economies. However, with influxes of migrant labour there are a number of challenges that need to be met at the organisational and policy levels. Research limitations/implications – The indications are that some economies are beginning to slow and this means that migrant flows will also slow or reverse. The implications for migrant-dependent sectors and countries are not clear, although all five papers indicate areas for further research. Practical implications – Each article includes practical implications depending on the sector, skill and country being examined. Practical implications include the role of day labour centres as HR mediators between organisations and employees, the need for culturally sensitive and tailored training programs to assist professional migrants and the need for policies geared towards the assimilation of migrants and return migrants in order to assist their integration into the labour market. Originality/value – The five articles presented here represent a wide range of approaches, skill levels and sectors within the five counties examined: the USA, UK, Australia, Canada, and Finland. Some, such as the US paper which includes the first national survey of day labour worker centres, present findings from a highly under-represented area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)412-421
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Manpower
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 14 Aug 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Human resource management
  • Migrant workers
  • Public policy


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