The Shifting Identity of the Professional Workforce in Australian Organizations: The Indian Migrant Experience

By Sunaina Gowan and Gregory Teal.

Published by The International Journal of Organizational Diversity

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Most research on cultural diversity in the workplace in Australia has looked at unskilled migrant labor even though the pattern of migration in Australia has changed significantly. Many migrants are now working in management and professional roles. Australian organizations have a culturally diverse workforce, not just in low-wage and low-skilled positions, but higher up in the organizational hierarchy, even if cultural minorities generally remain underrepresented at higher levels.
To a large extent research on diversity in organizations has centered on the persistence of gender inequality. Relatively few studies deal with the racialized character of many professional workplaces and how racial/ethnic minorities experience ‘emotion work’. This article will critically examine the experience of migration, cultural, and kinship obligations of skilled, professional, Indian migrants to Australia. It focuses on the adjustments and struggles which compel and determine their decisions on settlement and their engagement strategies with Australian society, and whether these factors also play a role in their integration within organizations.

Keywords: Diversity, Exclusionary Inclusion, Immigration, Discrimination, Emotional Labor

The International Journal of Organizational Diversity, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp.17-27. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 444.838KB).

Sunaina Gowan

Lecturer, School of Business, University of Western Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Sunaina Gowan is a Lecturer of Management and is currently pursuing her PhD from the University of Western Sydney. Her work is focused on emotional labor, exclusionary inclusion and organizational change.

Dr Gregory Teal

Director, Academic Programs (ABL/Honours), School of Business, University of Western Sydney, Campbelltown, NSW, Australia

Greg Teal is a Social Anthropologist, and Director of Academic Programs (Advanced Business Leadership and Honours) in the School of Business, University of Western Sydney. His Masters was on Korean migration and intra-ethnic relations in Edmonton, Alberta. His PhD was on the social division of labor along ethnic, gender and occupational lines in the clothing industry in Montreal. He has also conducted fieldwork and published on the garment industry and garment workers in Mexico, automobile workers and organizational culture in Korea and Canada, and tourism industry development in the Dominican Republic, among others. He has an abiding interest in modes of social inclusion/exclusion in business organizations, social justice, and community dynamics.