TitleConceptualizing disability accommodation device acceptance by workgroups through a sociomaterial lens
Publication TypeJournal Articles
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsKulkarni, M, Baldridge, D, Swift, M
JournalEquality, Diversity and Inclusion
Date Published2023

Purpose. Persons with disabilities (PWD) are among the largest and most diverse minority groups and among the most disadvantaged in terms of employment. Entrepreneurial pursuit is often advocated as a path toward employment, inclusion, and equality, yet few studies have investigated earning variation among PWD.

Design/methodology/approach. The authors draw on social cognitive career theory (SCCT), and the disability employment and entrepreneurship literature to develop hypotheses about who among PWD are likely to earn more (less) from entrepreneurial pursuits. The authors then conduct analyses on the nationally representative sample of the Canadian Survey on Disability (CSD) by including all PWD engaged in entrepreneurial pursuit, and matching each to an organizationally employed counterpart of the same gender and race and of similar age and disability severity (n ≈ 810).

Findings. Entrepreneurial pursuit has a stronger negative association with the earnings of PWD who experience earlier disability onset ages, those who report more unmet accommodation needs, and those who are female.

Originality/value. First, this study applies SCCT to help bridge the literature on organizational employment barriers for PWD and entrepreneurs with disabilities. Second, we call into question the logic of neoliberalism about entrepreneurship by showing that barriers to organizational employment impact entrepreneurial pursuit decisions and thereby earnings. Third, we extend the understanding of entrepreneurial earnings among PWD by examining understudied disability attributes and demographic attributes. Lastly, this study is among the first to use a matched sample to empirically test the impact of entrepreneurial pursuit on the earnings of PWD.