Problem Statement

Self-initiated expatriates (SIEs) from sub-Saharan African countries employed in the United States are underpaid even though they are well qualified, (Anderson & Connor, 2019) yet they stay in their jobs, why?

According to the Pew Research Center, these immigrants from sub-Saharan African countries in the United States achieve higher levels of education than the U.S. native-born population. An impressive 69% of sub-Saharan immigrants ages 25 and older reported having some college experience(Anderson & Connor, 2019). Additionally, sub-Saharan immigrants in the United States have relatively high employment rates. In 2017, about 75 percent of sub-Saharan immigrants (ages 16 and over) were in the civilian labor force, compared to 66 percent of foreign-born and 62 percent of native-born adults, respectively. (Echeverria-Estrada & Batalova, 2019) Even though they are well qualified, sub-Saharan immigrant salaries lag those of natives despite their higher levels of education and their strong English skills, albeit being on par with other immigrants nationwide. (Anderson & Connor, 2019)

In this study, we are going to take an in-depth examination of the employment experiences of the self-initiated expatriates from sub-Saharan Africa through the lens of embeddedness theory as we try and decipher why they accept and remain in underpaying jobs.

Theoretical Framework

The pivotal research conducted by Mitchell, Holtom, Lee, Sablynski, and Erez (2001) developed job embeddedness theory to understand why people stay at their jobs. According to embeddedness theory, People get attached to their business organization or community through connections with activities and links to people.  Furthermore, people get acclimatized to organizational and community cultures, as well as by the fear of forfeiting psychological and material benefits that may be associated with leaving an employment opportunity or a community (Porter et al., 2019).  The proposed study seeks to examine how the construct applies to self-initiated expatriates from sub-Saharan African countries employed in the United States

 

Application to Business Administration

This researcher hopes that we will garner a better understanding of the motivation of SIEs as well as embeddedness forces within the U.S. economy and thus provide updated information based on lived experiences that can be utilized for the development, adaptation, adjustment of performance programs. By understanding the conditions as they relate to the embeddedness of SIEs and intent to stay in employment in the U.S., the business administration community will become better equipped in the development of expatriation and repatriation policies.

Purpose Statement

The purpose of this nonexperimental, quantitative, correlational study is to examine the relationship between embeddedness and intent to stay on a with an employer amongst SIEs from sub-Saharan African countries employed in the United States that underpaid even though they are well qualified. We will be investigating host country organizational embeddedness (Host-COE), host country community embeddedness (Host-CCE), home country community embeddedness (Home-CCE) amongst SIEs from sub-Saharan African countries working in the USA. This study will also examine the moderating effects of shocks, push, and pull factors such as perceived stability & economic growth in the home country, perceived organizational cultural accommodation, employee generation/age, mode of entry, length in the USA, as well as the country of origin effects on embeddedness and intent to stay. The lack of literature on the relation between embeddedness of SIEs and the dynamics moderating their intention to stay employed in the U.S. irrespective of poor remuneration finds us with an enormous gap in understanding of behavioral and motivational relations on the embeddedness of SIEs in the U.S. We hope that we will be able to fill some of the cap some of the gap

 

The variables under study are illustrated in Fig. 1.

Figure 1. A conceptual model relating embeddedness to intent to stay on job

As depicted, three sub-variables from the independent variable will be assessed, including Host-COE, Host-CCE, and Home-CCE. We will evaluate moderation of the influence between the variables concerning perceived stability and economic growth in the home country, the perceived organizational cultural accommodation, employee generation or age, mode of entry in the U.S., length of stay in the U.S., and country of origin. The dependent variable will be the intent to stay on the job in the U.S.

Research Questions and Hypothesis

The research questions are consistent with the problem statement in that embeddedness factors somehow affect SIEs from countries in sub-Saharan Africa countries intent to stay employed in underpaying roles despite being very well qualified. We posit that the level of embeddedness is positively related to intent to stay.

 

RQ1. How does host country organizational embeddedness of SIEs from countries in sub-Sahara Africa influence intent to stay on the job in the U.S.?

H11. Host country organizational embeddedness of SIEs is directly associated with the intent to stay on the job in the U.S.

RQ2. How does the host country community embeddedness of SIEs from countries in sub-Sahara Africa influence intent to stay on the job in the U.S.?

H12. Host country community embeddedness of SIEs is directly associated with the intent to stay on the job in the U.S.

RQ3. How does the home country community embeddedness of SIEs from countries in sub-Sahara Africa influence intent to stay on the job in the U.S.?

H13. Home country community embeddedness of SIEs is directly associated with the intent to stay on the job in the U.S.

RQ4. How does perceived stability or economic growth in the home country moderate the decision of an individual on intent to stay in employment in the U.S.?

H14. The perceived stability and economic growth in the home country define the intent to stay of SIEs from countries in sub-Sahara Africa in the U.S.

RQ5. How does the perceived organizational cultural accommodation in the host country moderate the decision of an individual on intent to stay in employment in the U.S.?

H15. The perceived organizational cultural accommodation in the host country defines the intent to stay of SIEs from countries in sub-Sahara Africa in the U.S.

RQ6. How does employee generation/age moderate the decision of an individual on intent to stay in employment in the U.S.?

H16. The employee generation or age defines the intent to stay of SIEs from countries in sub-Sahara Africa in the U.S.

RQ7. How does the mode of entry in the U.S. moderate the decision to stay in employment in the country?

H17. The mode of entry in the U.S. defines the intent to stay of SIEs from countries in sub-Sahara Africa in the country.

RQ8. How does the length of stay in the U.S. moderate the intent to stay in employment in the country?

H18. The length of stay in the U.S. defines the intent to stay of SIEs from countries in sub-Sahara Africa in the country.

RQ9. How does the country of origin moderate the intent to stay in employment in the U.S.?

H19. The country of origin defines the intent to stay of SIEs from countries in sub-Sahara Africa in the U.S.

Variables / Phenomena

This nonexperimental, quantitative, correlational study will be based on establishing the relationship between the embeddedness of SIEs from sub-Saharan African countries as the independent variable, and intent to stay in employment in the U.S. as the dependent variable.

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Research Method

The study will utilize a quantitative research method in the collection of primary data and its analysis. The need for primary data in the study will be to enable direct interaction with the information sources to facilitate the definition of their responses through observations. The use of a quantitative method in the current study will be to emphasize objective measures that will be analyzed numerically from data collected via questionnaires. As Zyphur and Pierides (2019) described, we will use structured questionnaires in the gathering of quantitative data. The rationale of using a quantitative method will be to enhance the reliability of the findings we will collect data from a large number of participants allowing extrapolation of the findings to describe the causal effects of SIE embeddedness.

Research Design

 

In the current study, we will employ a correlational research design in the development of data gathering and analysis tools.  The correlational design is the best fit as we are trying to determine if there is a relationship between two or more variables on a single group of participants, observe relationships between variables in a naturally occurring setting, variables can be measured quantitatively, and we hope to determine if a theoretical or logical explanation predicts a correlation. The correlational design will ease the classification of the gathered data using correlation coefficients, thus clearly showing the link between the variables of the study. Andrade (2019)

We will use a deductive approach as the base for interpretation of the analyzed data as it is consistent with the use of quantitative methods in both collection and analysis of statistical data (Hong et al., 2020). Also, Hong et al. (2020) posit the use of the deductive approach in the quantitative study will ease the generation of outcomes of the study, embracing quantitative methods making it easy to establish the correlation of the data which will be collected and reviewed. Consequently, the deductive approach of the study will be useful in the current study because it will expedite the identification of different motivational factors that lead the study groups’ intent to stay.

A survey will be considered ideal for the current study because of its potency in collecting individual opinions over the embeddedness of SIEs to remain in employment in the U.S., irrespective of lower pay than the U.S. native-born population even when the sub-Saharan African SIEs have higher education level. Also, according to Gray (2019), it will be anticipated that the findings from the survey will be more accurate to allow for generalization to the larger SIE population in different countries globally. We will use the survey strategy because this will allow the researcher gather empirical data which will be more dependable since it will be collected directly from the real world with the SIEs from sub-Sahara Africa employed in the U.S. providing a first-hand opinion on the topic under the current study through answering the questions provided in the questionnaire.

Participants

Population – is the self-initiated expatriates who develop a personal initiative motivating them to relocate from their home countries to cross-national destinations. In particular, the study will target SIEs from countries in sub-Sahara Africa living and working in different corporate sectors of the U.S. economy. We will select a sample of n= 385 The purposive strategy of selecting participants will be motivated by defining and attaining a convenient sample based on their specific attributes.

Inclusion-Exclusion Criteria – The participants included in the study will be required to be SIEs with the citizenry in countries located in sub-Sahara Africa. Secondly, they will be required to have higher levels of education and be working within the corporate business sector. The SIEs will be required to have stayed in the U.S. for more than three years, and eliciting intentions of continuing to work for at least five years. The exclusion criteria will eliminate SIEs from countries outside sub-Sahara Africa, and SIEs from sub-Sahara African countries who are about to retire from employment.

Materials

Primary data will be collected using structured questionnaires. A list of 30 structured questions will be developed and issued to the participants. The answers will be collected using a five-point Likert scale with answer choices ranging from strongly disagree up to strongly agree. The questionnaire will also collect demographic information of the participants to elucidate their level of education, stay, and intention to stay in the U.S.

Procedure

Data Collection – We will perform the data collection after recruitment, where the researcher will send invitation letters and information sheets to candidate participants via emails explaining the rationale of the study, including the aim, objectives, and benefits of the findings. On acceptance to participate, scheduling on the day of data collection will be made. An informed consent form, detailing the rights and obligations of participation will be issued together with the questionnaire at the time of data collection. We will only consider a questionnaire to be complete only when a signed consent form accompanies it.

Data Analysis – The collected data will be assessed for completeness or missing data and tabulated in SPSS spreadsheet. We will subject raw data to descriptive and correlational analyses based on a regression model. The findings will be interpreted based on relational significance.

Ethics

We will seek approvals for the collection of data from human participants from the university institutional review board (IRB). Per stipulated IRB guidelines, we will treat all collected data with the utmost confidentiality coding the responses to avert identity of the respondents and the institutions they work. The conditions of participation will be included in the informed consent form highlighting on the right to respond or not, and right to withdraw from participation at any point in the research process without any consequences whatsoever.

 

 

References

Anderson, M., & Connor, P. (2019, December 30). Sub-Saharan African Immigrants in U.S. More Educated Than Those in Top E.U. Countries. Retrieved from https://www.pewresearch.org/global/2018/04/24/sub-saharan-african-immigrants-in-the-u-s-are-often-more-educated-than-those-in-top-european-destinations/

Andrade, C. (2019). Describing Research Design. Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine, 41(2), 201–202. https://doi-org.libraryresources.columbiasouthern.edu/10.4103/IJPSYM.IJPSYM_66_19

Benedictkt. (n.d.). Benedict K. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPdiUsnZeWd6PbZndHEAw5g

Echeverria-Estrada, J. B. C., & Batalova, J. (2019, December 5). Sub-Saharan African Immigrants in the United States. Retrieved from https://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/sub-saharan-african-immigrants-united-states

Gray, D. E. (2019). Doing research in the business world. Sage Publications Limited.

Hong, M., Jacobucci, R., & Lubke, G. (2020). Deductive data mining. Psychological Methods.

Mitchell, T. R., & Lee, T. W. (2001). The unfolding model of voluntary turnover and job embeddedness: Foundations for a comprehensive theory of attachment. Research in organizational behavior, 23, 189-246. Retrieved from  https://www.journals.elsevier.com/research-in-organizational-behavior

Mitchell, T. R., Holtom, B. C., Lee, T. W., Sablynski, C. J., & Erez, M. (2001). Why people stay: Using job embeddedness to predict voluntary turnover. The Academy of Management Journal, 44(6), 1102-1121. doi:10.2307/3069391

Porter, C. M., Posthuma, R. A., Maertz, C. P., Jr., Joplin, J. R. W., Rigby, J., Gordon, M., & Graves, K. (2019). On-the-job and off-the-job embeddedness differentially influence relationships between informal job search and turnover. Journal of Applied Psychology, 104(5), 678–689. https://doi-org.libraryresources.columbiasouthern.edu/10.1037/apl0000375

Zyphur, M., & Pierides, D. (2017). Is Quantitative Research Ethical? Tools for Ethically Practicing, Evaluating, and Using Quantitative Research. Journal of Business Ethics, 143(1), 1–16. https://doi-org.libraryresources.columbiasouthern.edu/10.1007/s10551-017-3549-8

The problem statement is the heart of a student’s research. The problem statement should begin with an initial statement about the topic to be investigated. Each succeeded sentence should cascade to narrow the focus until ending with a sentence that describes the lack of knowledge or gap in academic research in the specific area of business administration. A problem statement should contain 4-6 academic references, and allow a reader to easily follow the rationale described by the student. Should be no longer than 1-2 paragraphs in length.

Per Dr. Ready’s CP Template: A student should be able to articulate a research problem in 4-6 sentences. The problem statement should conclude with the identified gap in academic research that cascades from the first sentence to the end, and shows the student’s ability to employ deductive reasoning.

 

  • Problem Statement is one paragraph
    • Be specific
    • Be concise
    • Business specific
    • Supported by academic research
  • Identify the Problem
    • Keywords
    • Analyze the Problem
    • Build the Problem
    • Identify the gap
  • A conceptual problem arises when we (in academia) don’t understand something in the world as well as we would like (Booth, Colomb, & Williams, 2008).
  • A problem statement provides information about –
  • Importance
  • Evidence
  • Gap
  • The lens in which you will view your –
  • Problem
  • Sample
  • Data
  • Specifically identified
  • Well-grounded in academic research
  • Cite originating source and bring theory forward (as applicable)