Building a truly symbiotic relationship

MU research suggests an organization's attitude toward diversity is a key contributor to helping refugees become productive members of a host nation.

June 18, 2021


Brian Consiglio: Refugees continue to come to the U.S., and experts predict that number will continue to rise. Once accepted into the U.S., it’s extremely important that refugees feel safe and a sense of belonging in order to become productive members of their host society and previous research says being employed can help accomplish that.

However, in a recent study, MU professor john Schaubroeck found that refugees benefit most from a workplace that values diversity. He said that his research lays out a pathway for organizations and businesses to help build employee morale, especially for refugees.

Schaubroeck: “Generally, organizations do want their employees to identify with their organizations. Especially for a case with refugees, you can do this by promoting a favorable diversity climate.”

Consiglio: Schaubroeck’s research also found that the perception that a society or organization stigmatizes refugees can limit the positive effects of employing refugees. While it’s difficult to change someone’s perception, he said it’s possible to limit the perceived stigma’s relevancy.

Schaubroeck: “There’s not much the organization can do about individual beliefs that the society stigmatizes refugees. However, within our theory and our findings, that belief is less relevant as long as the organization has a favorable diversity climate.”

Consiglio: For more on this research visit

I’m Brian Consiglio with a Spotlight on Mizzou.

Learn more about the research here

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