Title: The immigrant effect from employer and employee perspectives in a Swedish context

Authors: Heléne Lundberg; Anneli Rehnfors

Addresses: Department of Business, Economics and Law, CER, Mid Sweden University, Holmgatan 10, SE-85170 Sundsvall, Sweden ' Department of Business, Economics and Law, CER, Mid Sweden University, Holmgatan 10, SE-85170 Sundsvall, Sweden

Abstract: This explorative study addresses the immigrant effect. Not only is the employer perspective considered, but employed immigrants also share their experiences. We report a multi-case comparative study of two immigrant-employing SMEs in Vasternorrland, a peripheral and sparsely populated region located in Mid Sweden, in northern Europe. The employment of immigrants reportedly had several advantages as well as disadvantages. Both employers and immigrant employees agreed that the immigrants' language and cultural competences reduced psychic distances between the company and the export market represented by the immigrant's country of origin. Employers reported a generally increased awareness of psychic distance among markets resulting from the employment of immigrants, though employing immigrants resulted in increased psychic distance within the companies.

Keywords: immigrant effect; export; internationalisation; psychic distance; SME; language; cultural competence; cultural awareness; internationalisation knowledge; employer perspective; liability of outsidership; Sweden.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2019.096966

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2019 Vol.36 No.1/2, pp.126 - 147

Received: 04 Jul 2016
Accepted: 30 Mar 2017

Published online: 04 Dec 2018 *

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