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Migrants as knowledge carriers: international mobility and the highly skilled in Serbia

Jackson, T.; (2012) Migrants as knowledge carriers: international mobility and the highly skilled in Serbia. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This research is a study of knowledge transfer through international mobility in Serbia, focusing on the knowledge and skills that individuals acquire, generate and transfer through the migration experience. Grounded in the literatures on migration and development, globalisation, and knowledge management, the thesis measures the acquisition and transfer of formal skills, qualifications and tacit skills by mobile individuals. Integration of Eastern European countries into global and regional economic and political structures has reinvigorated the study of migration and this project is designed to plug a gap in empirical research on the micro-level experiences of knowledge transfer by return migrants. One of the key questions of this research is why knowledge transfer does not automatically follow return migration, often in spite of micro and macro level efforts targeting skilled migrants. The research argues that the workplace is a key site where reintegration can be observed and measured, and finds that highly skilled returnees carry a range of skills and competences that can benefit workplaces in economic transition. The research also demonstrates that domestic and international factors play a crucial role in the ability of return migrants to transfer knowledge to Serbia. While the workplace is the principal level of investigation, a multi-level analysis is required in recognition of the multiple factors that influence international mobility. As such, this research also analyses the role of the state, global processes, individual motivations, and different types of knowledge. The research approach is multi-method, comprising qualitative and quantitative analysis of unique survey and interview data, and documents produced by government departments, international bodies and NGOs. The methodology also uses qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) to identify the conditions that lead to knowledge sharing in the workplace.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:Migrants as knowledge carriers: international mobility and the highly skilled in Serbia
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language:English
UCL classification:UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > SSEES (School of Slavonic and East European Studies)

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