Corporate culture and the employment of persons with disabilities

Authors

  • Lisa Schur,

    Corresponding author
    1. Rutgers University, Labor Program, 50 Labor Center Way, New Brunswick, NJ 08901. U.S.A.
    • Rutgers University, Labor Program, 50 Labor Center Way, New Brunswick, NJ 08901. U.S.A.
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    • Associate Professor of Labor Studies and Employment Relations, Rutgers University; Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley; J.D., Northeastern University.

  • Douglas Kruse,

    1. Rutgers University, Labor Program, 50 Labor Center Way, New Brunswick, NJ 08901. U.S.A.
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    • Professor of Human Resource Management, Rutgers University, and Research Associate, National Bureau of Economic Research; Ph.D., Harvard University.

  • Peter Blanck

    1. Rutgers University, Labor Program, 50 Labor Center Way, New Brunswick, NJ 08901. U.S.A.
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    • Charles M. and Marion Kierscht Professor of Law, Professor of Public Health and of Psychology, University of Iowa, and Director of the Law, Health Policy, and Disability Center at the University of Iowa College of Law; Ph.D., Harvard University; J.D., Stanford University. This research was in part funded by grants to the third author from the U.S. Department of Education, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, for (1) the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) on Workforce Investment and Employment Policy for Persons with Disabilities, Grant No. H133B980042-99, (2) “IT Works,” Grant No. H133A011803, and (3) “Technology for Independence: A Community-Based Resource Center,” Grant No. H133A021801; and by the Merrill Lynch Philanthropy Fund, the Great Plains ADA and IT Center, the Nellie Ball Trust Research Fund, and The University of Iowa Law School Foundation. The views herein reflect only those of the authors and not those of any funding agency. For helpful comments, we thank Charles Heckscher, Helen Schartz, Michael Morris, James Schmeling, and Johnette Hartnett. For related projects, visit the Law, Health Policy, and Disability Center at http://disability.law.uiowa.edu/.


Abstract

This article addresses key questions arising from the economic and social disparities that individuals with disabilities experience in the United States. For instance, “What role does corporate culture play in the employment of people with disabilities?” “How does it facilitate or hinder their employment and promotional opportunities, and how can corporations develop supportive cultures that benefit people with disabilities, non-disabled employees, and the organization as a whole?” Corporate culture can create attitudinal, behavioral, and physical barriers for workers and job applicants with disabilities. This research concludes that if the employment prospects of people with disabilities are to be improved significantly, attention must be paid to the ways in which corporate culture creates or reinforces obstacles to employees with disabilities, and how these obstacles can be removed or overcome. Ultimately, we will make the case that corporate culture and societal attitudes must change if people with disabilities are to be accepted and incorporated fully into the workplace. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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