Demystifying the myth about marginals: Implications for global leadership




Fitzsimmons, Stacey R.
Lee, Yih-teen
Brannen, Mary Yoko

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European Journal of International Management


Marginals are a type of bicultural (or multicultural) individual who have internalized more than one culture, yet do not identify strongly with either or any of them; they are simultaneously cultural insiders and outsiders. This duality has led them to be overlooked as positive contributors to organizations. On average, marginals have been found to experience worse psychological, social and adjustment outcomes than other biculturals. However, in this paper, we argue that new evidence challenges this view. We propose a conceptual explanation for the outliers from the average marginalized experience, to contend that under certain conditions, marginals may possess certain advantages that facilitate their potential to excel as global leaders.



Cultural Identities, Marginals, Biculturals, Multicultural Individuals, Global Leadership


Fitzsimmons, S.R., Lee, Y., & Brannen, M. (2013). Demystifying the myth about marginals: Implications for global leadership. European Journal of International Management, 7(5), 587-603.