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Inclusive Management Research: Persons with Disabilities and Self-Employment Activity as an Exemplar

Abstract

We highlight exclusionary practices in management research, and demonstrate through example how a more inclusive management literature can address the unique contexts of persons with disabilities, a group that is disadvantaged in society, globally. Drawing from social psychology, disability, self-employment, entrepreneurship, and vocational rehabilitation literatures, we develop and test a holistic model that demonstrates how persons with disabilities might attain meaningful work and improved self-image via self-employment, thus accessing some of the economic and social-psychological benefits often unavailable to them due to organizational-employment barriers. Our longitudinal study provides evidence of the self-image value of ‘doing’ in self-employment, highlighting the potential to reduce stigma and improve generalized self-efficacy and self-esteem. Implications for self-image theory, entrepreneurship training and development, and public policy related to persons with disabilities are discussed.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Considerable self-employment and entrepreneurship literature examines entrepreneurial self-efficacy, but this construct is distinct from generalized self-efficacy, and has not been shown to have the wider associations with work performance or life satisfaction of the latter construct.

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Acknowledgements

We thank Dirk De Clercq and Ciaran Heavey for their input to earlier versions of this paper. We also thank the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada for research grant and scholarship support, which helped to make this work possible.

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Martin, B.C., Honig, B. Inclusive Management Research: Persons with Disabilities and Self-Employment Activity as an Exemplar. J Bus Ethics 166, 553–575 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-019-04122-x

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Keywords

  • Inclusivity
  • Persons with disabilities
  • Self-employment
  • Self-image
  • Self-esteem
  • Generalized self-efficacy