The Role of Diversity Training in an Era of Business and Socio-Economic Uncertainty: Managing Migrant Workers’ Social Integration at the Workplace in UK Organisations

  • School: Nottingham Business School
  • Starting: 2019
  • Funding: UK student / EU student (non-UK) / International student (non-EU) / Self-funded


This research study will examine the extent to which diversity training is implemented in UK businesses as an attempt to facilitate their migrant workers’ social integration at the workplace. The study will try to address the perceived challenges and benefits that diversity training could produce for individuals and the business in an era of economic and social uncertainty and insecurity. The large majority of brain outflows across European countries were recorded as brain inflows for UK. Precisely for the latter, brain inflows aimed at filling in the gap of severe labour market shortages, particularly in low skill and low paid sectors, such as manufacturing, hospitality and construction (McDowell, 2009). However, following the results of the UK referendum to leave EU, these developments have recently fostered political debate about the role and flows of migration within the UK. Considering all that, such a social phenomenon becomes increasingly a matter of concern within the EU, as in many cases, this brain mobility is not entirely exploited and for the benefit of both countries. In some other cases work migrants’ overflow from one country to another has also resulted to workplace-related problems such as lack of individuals’ social embeddedness in the workplace (David et al., 2012). Various immigration theories (e.g. Neoclassical, dual labour market, world systems, and network) will inform this research study. All suggest that brain mobility do not just occur owing to social and economic circumstances (and/or due to the push and pull factors), but because of many other factors which could also be at play (e.g. government policies etc.) and of similar importance (Kubursi, 2006; Jennissen, 2006; IOM, 2004; Bonifazi, 2001). Concurrently, it is widely suggested that diversity training could support the creation of a supporting climate of all employees’ social integration at the workplace so to contribute collectively to organisational goals (ibid). It further represents an important social network and structural aspect that can determine social support, cohesion and social capital (CIPD, 2017; Herring and Henderson, 2015; Song, 2012).


A longitudinal survey would allow prospective applicants to examine the extent to which diversity training is offered in UK organisations as part of their efforts to facilitate their migrant workers’ social integration at the workplace. Following the relative lack of research focusing on the experiences and perception of social integration at the workplace on behalf of those who have been able to enter the labour market, this research study will shed light as to how diversity training could facilitate the social integration process through the respective perceptions of our research participants.


Bonifazi, C. (2001). International Migration Theory and the Migration process: Basic Reflections in the Italian Case. In Contributions to International Migration Studies. Edited by Bonifazi, C. and Gesano, G. Institute for Population Research: Roma.

CIPD (2017). Quarterly Labour Market Outlook, Retrieved on 20th April 2017 from: https://www.cipd.co.uk/Images/labour-market-outlook_2017-winter-2016-17_tcm18-18238.pdf London: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

David, Al. Barwinska-Malajowicz, A. and Coenen, F. (2012). From brain drain to brain exchange: How to use better highly skilled workers. Jednolity Rynek Europejski (In English), 5(216): 25-35.

Herring, C. and Henderson, L. (2015). Diversity in Organisations. New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis.

International Organization for Migration (2004). IOM’s Contribution towards the High-Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development. Retrieved from http://www.un.org/esa/population/meetings/thirdcoord2004/P14_IOM.pdf [assessed 25th April 2017].

Jennissen, R. (2006). Economic Theories of International Migration and the Role of Immigration Policy. Research and Documentation Center of the Dutch Ministry of Justice and the Netherlands Interdisciplinary Democratic Institute. Retrieved from http://epc2006.princeton.edu/download.aspx?submissionId=60112 [assessed 20th February 2017].

Kubursi, A. (2006). Economies of Migration and Remittances under Globalization. At: http://www.un.org/en/ecosoc/meetings/2006/hls2006/Preparatory/Statements/Kubursi_RT6.pdf [assessed 20th February 2017].

McDowell, L. (2009). Old and New European economic migrants: whiteness and managed migration policies. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 35(1): 19-36.

Song, L. (2012). Raising network resources while raising children? Access to social capital by parenthood status, gender, and marital status. Social Networks, 34(2): 241-252.


Dr Fotios Mitsakis

Pedro Mendonca

Entry qualifications

An applicant for admission to read for a PhD should normally hold a first or upper second class honours degree of a UK university or an equivalent qualification, or a lower second class honours degree with a Master's degree at Merit level of a UK university or an equivalent qualification.

International students will also need to meet the English language requirements - IELTS 6.5 (with minimum sub-scores of 6.0). Applicants who have taken a higher degree at a UK university are normally exempt from the English language requirements. A research proposal (between 1,000 and a maximum of 2,000 words) must be submitted as part of the application.

For more information please visit the NTU Doctoral School – Research Degrees webpages.

How to apply

Applications are accepted all year round.

Download an application form here.
Please make sure you take a look at our application guidance notes before making your application.

Further information on how to apply can be found on this page.

Fees and funding

This is a self-funded PhD opportunity.

Guidance and support

Further information on guidance and support can be found on this page.

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Fotios Mitsakis