A study of the experiences of migrant student mothers in a context of corporate social responsibility in higher education

Cambridge, Ron Sharona (2018) A study of the experiences of migrant student mothers in a context of corporate social responsibility in higher education. Doctoral thesis, London Metropolitan University.


This case study research focuses on the experience of Migrant Student Mothers (MSM) as a particular stakeholder group in an inner city Higher Education Institution (HEI) within a context of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Widening Participation (WP) and the Employability agenda of the contemporary Higher Education (HE) environment are given a particular focus as relevant aspects of the discussion with regard to MSM and the importance of considering a CSR approach to HE stakeholders.

Affect Theory was utilised as the lens through which the data was thematically analysed, given the affective attributes that mothers assign to CSR and the affective overarching embodiment of affects as emerged from this research. This study argues that the central theme attributed to affects in the individual’s experiences is hope. The findings highlight the invisibility of MSM in HE and that the significance of a reciprocal relationship between material experiences and affective understanding, enables this particular subgroup of the students, to act and progress, both as migrant mothers and as students, through their migration and education trajectories, enabling both themselves and their children to occupy a place as future global citizens. The findings support that the material vehicles available to stakeholders groups are paramount in facilitating such hope and therefore the needs for business entities to actively respond to the needs of these stakeholders.

The research approach that was undertaken, adopting an interpretivist paradigm, was carried out through case study method, utilising several data collection tools in order to gain a rich and in-depth picture of the chosen case. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken at two key points of the academic year with four different stakeholder groups, including over 230 hours verbatim transcription; biographical personal self-definition forms, research diary; and, an in-depth investigation of the University’s policies, documentation, existing statistics, generic emails, management address and publicly available information such as the university website.

The thesis points out that across the many CSR definitions and research there is still an untouched discourse that fails to recognise the heterogeneous complexity of stakeholder groups and within them ‘invisible stakeholders’. Building on a synthesis of Hopkins’ (2016) CSR definition which adopts a stakeholder orientation, the thesis builds on current stakeholder theory by promulgating a three-phase CSR process, encompassing a new CSR model: The Triplex-Invisible Stakeholders, which recognises the heterogeneity of different stakeholder groups through exploring linkages between them, and thus making the invisible stakeholders visible.

Cambridge,Ron-DBA-2-November-2018.pdf - Published Version

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