Federal grant funds Gustavson bi-cultural research

Together with collaborators Mary Yoko Brannen (Gustavson School of Business) and Jelena Zikic (York University), Stacey Fitzsimmons has received a $52,000 Insight Development grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council for their project “Organizing with the New Demographic: The Bidirectional Influence of Immigrant and Bi-cultural employees on their Organizations.”

As a nation of immigrants, it is essential that Canada builds knowledge about how our country’s interconnected cultural and immigrant communities can contribute to organizations, and how organizations can benefit from employing members of this new multicultural demographic. A new demographic, as defined by Gustavson researcher Mary Yoko Brannen, is a group composed of individuals entering today’s workplace who have more than one culture, such as Indo-Canadians and Chinese Canadians. This knowledge is necessary to promote employment of immigrants in Canada, and also to design policies that promote valuable links between Canada and the countries from which new Canadians emigrate.

The SSHRC funding will help this research team explore the role of this new demographic in organizations and provide direction for leveraging this form of diversity through specific processes related to strategic diversity planning, while keeping in mind the unique quality of career capital of the new demographic.  The team will also be looking at the employee perspective, identifying how existing organizational practices impact the day to day reality for members of both new and old demographic groups. Upon completion of this work, a more comprehensive understanding of both multicultural individuals (employees) and organizational practices, working towards enhanced understanding of the resources each can offer to the other. The results of this work could influence hiring and placement decisions at Canadian organizations and will be of benefit to managers to help them decide under what circumstances and for what purposes they could strategically employ multicultural individuals, and how to do so. This work also has the potential to enhance policy for migration and employment regulations and finally, emphasizing the strategic human resources embedded within multicultural employees.

Stacey Fitzsimmons’s most recent accolades include the 2016 Emerging Scholar Award from the Women in the Academy of International Business for her exemplary research record early in her career, and the 2014 International Human Resources Scholarly Research Award from the Academy of Management, Human Resources Division for most significant contribution to international human resources management, for her work examining how bicultural and multicultural employees contribute to their organizations.