Breaking Down Business Barriers: The Theory of Planned Behaviour and Employing People with Disabilities

Liam Kenney, Natasha Ladouceur, Kimberly Nakahara, and Dr. Elizabeth McLin, Department of Social Sciences, Vancouver Island University, 900 Fifth St, Nanaimo, BC V9R 5S5

Our team has discovered inadequate understandings of the challenges businesses face when employing people with disabilities (PWD). Most scholarly articles report these barriers from the perspectives of PWD which provides a limited understanding of the difficulties PWD face in employment. Thus, our research question was: From the perspective of businesses, what are the barriers to providing meaningful employment for people with disabilities? By embedding Azjen’s theory of planned behaviour in our research we sought to better understand the social-psychological processes that occur when employing PWD. Through our research, we use his theory to analyze attitudes, normative beliefs, and perceived control to gain an understanding of the conditions that businesses postulate as barriers. Our study used a mixed-methods design. The Theory of Planned Behaviour Questionnaire developed by Azjen was adapted and used to measure and compare the attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived control between businesses that have hired PWD and those who have not. Quantitative analysis was done using a Mann-Whitney U test that functions to compare differences between our several independent variables. Following this questionnaire, participants were asked follow-up questions in an interview to complement quantitative findings. PWD face unequal opportunities when seeking meaningful employment. This has both a negative effect on the person’s ability to integrate into society and diminishes the labour pool that businesses have access to. By gaining an understanding of the unique perspectives of businesses that have hired PWD and those who have not, this research will help seal the fragments in the literature on meaningful employment for PWD and be able to guide businesses and advocacy groups towards more inclusionary employment practices.

Additional Abstract Information

Presenters: Liam Kenney, Kimberly Nakahara, Natasha Ladouceur

Institution: Vancouver Island University

Type: Poster

Subject: Psychology

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Poster 10
Date/Time: Wed 1:30pm-2:30pm
Session Number: 6602