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Title: Return of high skilled migrants : an empirical investigation into the knowledge transfer process of two organizations in New Delhi, India
Author: Vijh, Rajneesh
ISNI:       0000 0004 5359 4121
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2015
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Against the backdrop of the brain drain-brain gain debate, this thesis explores certain facets of the return migration phenomenon. Drawing on several theories, the decision to return among high skilled migrants is likely to be influenced by the prospect of using their overseas-acquired knowledge to secure a better livelihood back home. While ample consideration is given to motivations to return, the choice of employer and issues adjusting to the work and social surroundings, the main objective of the research is to understand migrants' transfer of overseas-acquired knowledge upon their return to India. Given the interdisciplinary nature of the topic, the scope of the thesis is focused on returnees working in two organizations in New Delhi—Fortis Escorts Hospital and Research Centre (EHIRC) and Tata Consultancy Services' Government Industry Solutions Unit (GISU). Adopting a mixed methods approach, survey data and case interviews are analyzed to address the core research question: “How and in which ways do returnees transfer their newly acquired knowledge, skills and experiences in employing organizations?” A key hypothesis is that returnees' social ties affect the extent and nature of knowledge transfers and thus confer intended benefits and may lead to unintended consequences for their organizations. The analyses pit McPherson's (2001) principle of homophily in social networks against Granovetter's (1973) weak ties hypothesis to grasp the role of returnees in knowledge transfers within EHIRC and GISU. Results drawn from data collected on returnees, non-migrants and transnationals strongly confirm that social ties—strong, intermediate or weak—affect the transfer of knowledge to stakeholders in their organizations. The contribution of this thesis to the existing body of research is to shed light on both the potential and limitations of returnees as a conduit for transferring knowledge, upgrading skills and relaying insights to non-migrants, teams or units in the workplace.
Supervisor: Wood, Adrian; Fu, Xiaolan Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Return and reintegration ; Migration ; Human development ; Development economics ; International and macro-economic development ; International business ; Return Migration ; Knowledge Transfers ; Economic Development