International mobility of professional knowledge from the Global South: Indian IT workers in the Netherlands

Authors


(corresponding author) Department of Sociology, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Postbox 1738, 3000 DR Rotterdam, The Netherlands burgers@fsw.eur.nl

Abstract

Although there are many studies on both expatriates and the phenomenon of brain drain, there are few on those professionals who move from a less to a more advanced economy through a transfer from one division of a transnational corporation to another. In a study of Indian IT professionals employed by the Dutch division of the producer-service company Capgemini, we assessed the reasons for their recruitment and the type of professional knowledge they bring to the job. Our main findings are that the international mobility of Indian professionals is not just a matter of reducing labour costs and that, though some Indian IT professionals engage in routine programming activities, others are involved in activities that require tacit forms of knowledge. This applies to those who link the Dutch and Indian offices of Capgemini and to those who acquire assignments operating in the epistemic community of the international business milieu.

Ancillary