Date of Award

Spring 2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

School of Strategic Leadership Studies

Advisor(s)

Karen A. Ford

Margaret F. Sloan

Jane B. Thall

Abstract

Individuals that were born in a foreign country, have a bachelor’s degree or higher from a foreign post-secondary education institution, and are not working at their full level of expertise, are referred to more concisely as “internationally trained professionals” (ITPs). Social workers have called becoming informed about immigrants’ integration needs a new frontier of social service and professional development. All fields of human services will benefit from any data resulting from descriptive exploration of the ITP integration issue. The bounded system that serves for this case study is the current limited response to the ITP issue seen in Virginia, USA. In the North of the state we see a mature, urban response by the local state-run community college and various community-based organizations. In the West we see an emergent, rural response by a community coalition of service providers and interested parties from all three sectors of society. Detailed in the case is the acting of leaders to address the marginalization of ITPs. Using the theoretical lens of activist entrepreneurship, the case illustrates the necessity that activist entrepreneurs feel in their work for marginalized peoples, the internal and external environmental opportunities that these leaders identify as facilitating their inner drive, and the broad social needs underpinning the opportunities and necessities. Both qualitative and quantitative data are used to describe Virginia’s response to the ITP issue. A threshold for service entry is established across three ITP variables. A snapshot of the impact of a coalition in its formation stage is explicated. Cross-sector partnerships are key tools in responding to the ITP issue. Several ideas for both quantitative and qualitative follow-up research are generated. Examining ITP variables for relationships and more fully describing the essence and process of activist entrepreneurship are among the proposals.

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