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SASA Paper TUKS 2011Migration (1) REV 7-1-2011.doc
University of Pretoria (2011)
  • Roy Della Savia, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto
As economies have become more global and knowledge-based, governments and businesses have endeavored to locate and invest in high-skilled workers to increase productivity, growth and profit.  There is a paucity of existing research about these effects related to Canada and South Africa and this study examined factors of influence of the migration patterns and the brain gain-brain drain phenomenon occurring within these two countries.  Migration is often analyzed in the context of the "push-pull" model and the network model; these models formed the theoretic conceptual framework for this study of migrating knowledge workers in Canada and South Africa.  In addition, the research attempts to draw a relationship between demographic factors (e.g. age, gender and income) and the migration of knowledge workers.  
This research was primarily a descriptive, deductive study using a historical procedure approach which collected secondary data and analyzed the data in a critical review of related literature.  However, interviews of nine knowledge workers were also used as case studies to provide inductive empirical illustrations of the role of push and pull, network and demographic factors in the migration of knowledge workers.  Theorems, as a basic proposition type, were formulated to further guide the research.
  • Migration,
  • Immigration,
  • Emigration,
  • Knowledge Workers,
  • Sociology,
  • South Africa,
  • Canada
Publication Date
Summer July 13, 2011
South Africa, Pretoria
The findings, based on the analysis of relevant literature and interviews, showed that for Canadians, the push factors are tangible (such as economics) while the pull factors are related to more intangible aspects of life (such as family ties).  For South Africans, both push and pull factors appear to be tangibles that immigrants seek that are basic to a better quality of life.  Some predominant themes related to push and pull factors and network factors for migration emerged from the interviews.  These themes included the search for meaningful work, cultural differences, ambivalence about where “home” is, family ties, and apprehension about returning home.  People also migrate based on demographic factors, which include age, gender, education, geographic proximity, regional inequality and socialisation differentials. 
Citation Information
The globalisation of economies and the emergence of a knowledge-based economy have attracted increasing attention to workforce mobility. Governments and businesses have endeavoured to locate and invest in high-skilled workers for the knowledge-based economy to increase productivity, growth and profit (Bauder, 2006). Gera et al. (2004) defined high-skilled workers as individuals in knowledge-intensive professions such as science and technology workers, engineers, information technology specialists, physicians, nurses, graduate and post-doctoral students, scholars and researchers and high-level administrators and managers.
Creative Commons License
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons CC_BY-NC International License.