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Disability in the labour market: an exploration of concepts of the ideal worker and organisational fit that disadvantage employees with impairments

Foster, Deborah Jane and Wass, Victoria Jane 2013. Disability in the labour market: an exploration of concepts of the ideal worker and organisational fit that disadvantage employees with impairments. Sociology 47 (4) , pp. 705-721. 10.1177/0038038512454245

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Abstract

The adverse employment effects that attach to disability are empirically well established. They are large and persistent. This is a conceptual article that investigates the source of this deep and enduring employment disadvantage. Debate begins by examining the origins of ideas that have shaped approaches to work study and have influenced concepts of what constitutes an ideal worker. Drawing on feminist critiques of organisational analysis that have highlighted the gendered character of processes, practices and values, it explores the relatively neglected position of disabled employees. With reference to transcripts from four Employment Appeal Tribunals brought under the Disability Discrimination Act, it illustrates how standard jobs, designed around ideal (non-disabled) employees, create a mismatch between a formal job description and someone with an impairment. We suggest this mismatch is central to the organisation’s resistance to implementing adjustments and also to any radical approaches to include impaired employees in the workplace.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Uncontrolled Keywords: ableism; disability; feminist critiques; ideal or standard worker; job design; organisations
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 0038-0385
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 18:55
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/39635

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Cited 10 times in Google Scholar. View in Google Scholar

Cited 19 times in Scopus. View in Scopus. Powered By Scopus® Data

Cited 3 times in Web of Science. View in Web of Science.

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