Title: Demystifying the myth about marginals: implications for global leadership

Authors: Stacey R. Fitzsimmons; Yih-teen Lee; Mary Yoko Brannen

Addresses: Haworth College of Business, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA ' IESE Business School, Barcelona, Spain ' Gustavson School of Business, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada

Abstract: Marginals are a type of bicultural (or multicultural) individual who have internalised more than one culture, yet do not identify strongly with either or any of them; they are simultaneously cultural insiders and outsiders. This duality has led them to be overlooked as positive contributors to organisations. On average, marginals have been found to experience worse psychological, social and adjustment outcomes than other biculturals. However, in this paper, we argue that new evidence challenges this view. We propose a conceptual explanation for the outliers from the average marginalised experience, to contend that under certain conditions, marginals may possess certain advantages that facilitate their potential to excel as global leaders.

Keywords: cultural identities; marginals; biculturals; multicultural individuals; global leadership; international management; cultures; marginalised experiences.

DOI: 10.1504/EJIM.2013.056479

European Journal of International Management, 2013 Vol.7 No.5, pp.587 - 603

Published online: 10 Sep 2014 *

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