Workers with intellectual disability and developing career-related outcomes
Dr Jillian Cavanagh
Dr Amie Shaw
Abstract: This research presents a unique perspective on the social phenomena of workers with intellectual disabilities (WWID) and their career-related outcomes. The study aims to find how organisational support contributes to the development of WWID and their "career calling'. We examine the workplace opportunities and experiences of WWID, and human resource management (HRM) perspectives on working with WWID in three hotels, a film company and a delivery service in Australia. The research employs Shore et al.'s (2011) framework of inclusion supported by optimal distinctiveness theory (OTD) (Brewer, 1991). These theoretical frames are used to examine how WWID become members of a work group and develop their unique selves, negotiate and engage with experiences at work and identify purposeful career outcomes. A qualitative case study approach was adopted through interviews with 64 participants: 36 WWID, 5 department managers, 5 HR managers and 18 supervisors. Our findings demonstrate the organisational inclusion and support of WWID enhances levels of independance, and creates a positive impact on self-worth and sense of belonging, which, in many cases, reveals workers' desires to advance their calling at work. Some informal initiatives supported WWID; however there is a need for formal Human Resource (HR) policies and practices, and ongoing inclusive organisational interventions to support WWID and their career callings.
Dr Jillian Cavanagh is a Senior Lecturer at La Trobe University in Melbourne. Her commitment to research is predominantly in the area of human resource management and building healthy communities. Research projects have focused on 'Workers with Disability' and 'Men's Sheds and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Men's Groups'. Jillian has published 30 journal articles in peer reviewed journals and two book chapters. She is member of the Editioral Board of the Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources. Recent publications include the Journal of Business Ethics, Journal of Vocational Education and Training, Personnel Review and The International Journal of Human Resource Management.
Dr Amie Shaw is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Employment Relations and Human Resource Management in the Griffith Business School. Her commitment to research is in the broad field of human resources management with recent publications in the areas of HRM, diversity and inclusion (First Peoples and Disability workers) and student learning; with an emphasis on well-being and employability. Recent projects include 'Workers with Disability'; 'Men's Sheds and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Men's Groups'; "Professional Identity construction of capstone students' and "Perceptions of employability and work-readiness in the first year'. Amie has published 12 journal articles; with recent publications in Personnel Review and The International Journal of Human Resource Management;and is the lead author of "Employment Relations: An integrated approach'.