Institutional Logics and Foreign National Origin Based Inequality: The Case of International Migrant Employees

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



Although international migrant employees have been recognized as an integral part of the global workforce contributing to the competitive advantages of the host countries and organizations, research has demonstrated that they face unequal treatment and remain a vulnerable group in the workplace due to their foreign national origin. In this paper, we focus on an understudied ascribed characteristic—foreign national origin and inequality associated with this characteristic toward international migrant employees. Drawing on theories of ascriptive inequality and the institutional logics perspective, we propose a multi-level theoretical model that illustrates how institutional logics at the macro-, meso-, and micro-level, allow inequality due to foreign national origin to be produced, increased, or mitigated. Our theoretical model also explicates the cross-level effects of institutional logics on inequality toward international migrant employees. Lastly, our theorization explores how inequality due to foreign national origin can be questioned and tackled. Implications for theory, practice, and policy are discussed.