The social construction of disability in organizations: Why employers resist reasonable accommodation

Sharon Harlan, Pamela M. Robert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

113 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Reasonable accommodation, a provision of the 1990 Americans With Disabilities Act, directs employers to alter the workplace so that qualified workers with disabilities have equal employment opportunity. Data on employees' requests for and employers' responses to reasonable accommodation, reported by people with disabilities, demonstrate that employers are reluctant to modify the social structure of work because of their perceived need to contain the costs of reform and maintain control of the work process. Employers often discourage employees with disabilities from making requests for accommodation, and they deny one of every three requests. The authors show how organizations devalue the work of people with disabilities, and identify an array of resistance strategies employers use to preserve hierarchy and authority in organizations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)397-435
Number of pages39
JournalWork and Occupations
Volume25
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1998

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social construction
accommodation
employer
disability
employee
employment opportunity
social structure
workplace
act
Social construction
Employers
Accommodation
worker
reform
costs
Employees

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

The social construction of disability in organizations : Why employers resist reasonable accommodation. / Harlan, Sharon; Robert, Pamela M.

In: Work and Occupations, Vol. 25, No. 4, 11.1998, p. 397-435.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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